Human Landscapes: Raúl Cañibano's Photographs of Cuba
Human Landscapes at the Photographers' Gallery brings together early and recent works by Raúl Cañibano. Showcasing images taken over three decades, this exhibition celebrates Cañibano’s profound love for his native Cuba.
Raised in post-revolutionary Cuba and initially a welder by trade, Cañibano's photographic journey began in 1984. Self-taught, and inspired by the art books at Cuba’s National Library, Cañibano soon developed his own style, which he calls “somehow surrealist.” This surrealist sensibility is most evident in his playful use of scale, often contrasting uncannily close-up subjects with distant figures to evoke mysterious affinities and tensions. Everyday scenes take on poetic and mystical qualities tinged with a political edge.
Cañibano’s large, open-ended photographic essays explore the complexity of urban and rural life in Cuba. Taking an anthropological approach, he documents a way of life that he believes will soon vanish. Having travelled extensively across the country, often living with his subjects for months at a time, Cañibano offers an intimate and nuanced perspective on the island's identity. Human Landscapes provides a window into Cañibano’s Cuba, from the small farming communities of his childhood to the exuberance of Havana and the Malecón.