Some raw photography and mixed media from Sasha Kurmaz of the Ukraine.
I came across Sven Dreesbach’s work a while back and couldn’t look away. I spent almost an hour cruising through his photos and when I was directed towards his La Habana series from a recent trip to Cuba, I was mesmerized. I have always wanted to visit this frozen-in-time island, but after studying Sven’s photos it was solidified, I must go.
I had the opportunity to ask Sven about his photos and what the trip meant to him. What he told me felt like it fit the photos perfectly. You can almost hear his excitement dripping from his words as he talks about his travels and Habana.
Let me tell you a little bit about my trip to Habana de Cuba. So we stayed there for 10 days to explore the “myths” around Cuban culture and people. My fiancee and a befriended couple of ours joined me. As you arrive at the airport in Havana you can observe how the clock slowly starts turning backwards. After taking a 30 Minute cab ride into the Vieja (old town) district, you arrive right at the core of a bizarre world that feels like it hasn’t changed in 60 years. Streets and buildings once as prestigious and beautiful as you can only imagine, seem to have fallen into a state of eternal sleep a long time ago. Cuba’s iconic vintage Cadillacs, Plymouths and Buicks which are populating the Cuban avenidas and calles are the most visible remains of an era long gone. Their bodies have all been maintained meticulously with all but many available means. It’s mainly Russian engines which are hiding under those hoods now. We literally did not find a single sign of capitalism on any of the buildings. The only corporation controlling Cuba is its socialist government. At night, energy was saved by switching off the wide majority of street lights, turning Habana’s streets into near darkness.
On its surface, it was a trip back in time and into an environment similar to what I experienced when I traveled into former East-Germany for the first time, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Despite all the limitations, we ran into a culture as vibrant, colorful and full of joy as you could ever imagine. Even visiting the less touristy and more working class neighborhoods of Alamar didn’t change this notion. There was something remarkable about the many Cubans I met or simply observed. It appeared to me like these fine people did not only have a patience , but also a sense of community I am missing elsewhere so often.
Habana de Cuba compares to an old diva, who was so beautiful during her glory days but who now shines through her strong inner beauty with all her patience and experience.
We are honored to feature your series Sven, and a glimpse at your travels. See more here.
Here is a collection of our favorite photos from our followers on Instagram from yesterday’s 4th of July celebrations. Absolutely amazing, we are so proud of us. Happy 4th Friends.
We’ve decided to consolidate Facestalker posts into one post each Friday for your viewing pleasure. Here is Volume 1. To check out past Facestalker posts head here!
Erik Gustafsson captures the shit out of mood in his photography. I love his raw depth and the imperfect element to his photos. I thought about writing to him to ask about all of the stories from these photos, but I think I like it better not knowing because I get to create my own. Stories that is, because I have no idea what the hell Erik’s process is, maybe he can comment on this post and let us know his secrets, or not. Regardless we love his work and can’t wait to see more.
The Sartorialist of the private space? Not sure why we are obsessed with others personal space, but when it’s shot simply yet considerately, it’s really interesting. Vauxlair is a mystery, and the mind behind it hopes to keep it that way. So we really don’t know much about this project except for we applaud the concept and the photos. To enter a space and share it in this way intrigues us, however wonder if it blows up huge, how many people will want their bedrooms photographed? Assuming that Vauxlair maybe means Fox Lair, isn’t it better for the fox to stay hidden?
We have come across some amazing photographers living in Paris lately. Last week we featured Margot Gabel also from Paris, but today is all about another young photographer gifted with an eye for photography. Matheus Bonafe is brazilian but is living in Paris following his passion. He is only 19 yet it’s interesting how well he captures the elderly and more mature subjects. I sense an appreciation for simplicity in his work, and for time standing still. Those moments when it seems the city takes a moment to breath in is when Matheus presses down his shutter. Enjoy a few special photos from this talented young photographer.
Margot Gabel has been sent to us from Paris with love. She shoots with a maturity, not only in her compositions and the moments she captures but also with her process. “I just have one rule : never retouching my photos. I still indicate in detail what equipment and what film I used. I want to be honest, because digital photography isn’t.” The rules she has set for herself show in her work, and the audience is left with not just honesty, but spontaneity as well.
Her work makes us want to travel, to be lost in Europe among the youthful energy of cobblestone streets, bus stops, and train stations.”I began film photography 6 years ago, & I have not stopped since ! I was only working with black & white films, that I developed myself in the lab of my art school in Lyon. Now I shoot with color film.” she tells us.
Margot speaks as though she has been photographing for fifty years even though she is only twenty. Her comprehension of film and light and movement reminds us of painters we know from a different era, from a different country and that thought makes us feel romantic, as these images do. “I always have one or two cameras with me so I did not choose my subjects or my site, everything is spontaneous, true. These are incongruous, pleasant, surprising moments of my everyday that you will see on my films.”