LOS ANGELES, CA.- Couturier Gallery
presents Mis 60 / My 60s, an exhibition of prominent photographer José A. Figueroas images of the barely-remembered other life in Cuba of the 1960s, the social everyday existence not portrayed by Revolutionaries, military outfits or arms. The forty photographs document quotidian life that paralleled the customs and styles prevalent elsewhere in the world, from mod and hip fashion to signs of flower power and free love. The exhibition began September 11th (through October 16), with the Artists Reception, lecture and book signing that will take place Sunday, Sept. 19th.
José A. Figueroa (Havana, 1946), has covered uninterruptedly, as photographer, more than four decades of the life of his nation Cuba. Due to his age, social background and training, he is part of a transitional generation that was, at the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, too young to have actively participated, but sufficiently adult to be a conscious and analytical witness. His life and work deal with "the inside" and "the outside" of such period of time. This has allowed him to document, to analyze and to symbolize many features, of both the public and the private life of the nation like the two sides of the same coin -, throughout many years; and most importantly, his work was made in Cuba or from a Cuban perspective. These characteristics and circumstances are, in fact, not very frequent among his contemporaries or predecessors, when seen individually. Mis 60 / My 60s series is an approach to such a piece of history, Cuban sixties, through photography.
Figueroas photographs in those years are the vindication of a generation (his generation) and an aesthetics that was determined to survive massification or mass socialization and the censorship imposed by the socialist project. Thus he has handed down to us a vision of the 1960´s that is little known in the history of Cuban photography and is absent, even today, from the official iconography of the Revolution. His photographic essay Exilio (1967-1994) is perhaps one of the most eloquent works begun in those years, starting from the exhaustive photographic documentation of Cuban migration to United States of almost all his family and friends. This exhibition of Mis 60 / My 60s is the first presentation of this body of work in the United States.
Figueroas work is included in numerous public collections including the Arki Busson Foundation, London/Zürich; Biblioteca Nacional José Martí, Havana, Cuba; Casa de Las Américas, Havana, Cuba; Center for Cuban Studies, NY; Centro Studi e Archivio della Comunicazione, Universidad de Parma, Parma, Italy; Consejo Mexicano de Fotografía, México, D.F.; El Museo del Barrio, NY; Fototeca de Cuba, Havana, Cuba; Galleria IF, Milán, IT; Galleria Il Diafragma, Milán, IT; Maison de la Culture, La Seine Saint-Dennis, París, FR; Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Havana, Cuba; Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, FL.