Robert Polidori: Havana

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A beautifully layered portrait of Havana.

In 1998, The New Yorker published a Paul Goldberger piece on Havana’s architecture and the decline of the city’s historical buildings. The article featured stunning photos by Robert Polidori, then a staff photographer at the magazine. Years later, the internationally acclaimed photographer returned to Havana several more times. His incredible collection of large-format photos captures the city’s buildings and the people who inhabit them. Published by Steidl, Robert Polidori: Havana offers a detailed view of Cuba’s capital at the start of the 21st-century.

Robert Polidori considers himself a “habitat photographer” instead of an architectural photographer. Looking at his images, it’s clear why the distinction is important. Throughout the book, the city comes to life in photos that explore its incredible architecture and the effects of years of social, economical, and political turmoil.

Colonial mansions offer a glimpse of the past in layers of flaking paint and crumbling walls. Havana’s art and rich cultural heritage as well as the residents’ spirit shine across the series of photographs. In former grand villas that stand at the edge of ruin, Polidori uncovers the remnants of daily living. Here, the contrasts between the city’s past and present tell a multi-layered story. Printed as an oversized book, Robert Polidori: Havana brings the soul of the city to life through monumental photos that each feature a flawless composition, stunning details, and rich colors. Photographs© Robert Polidori.

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