NEW YORK, NY.- An exhibition of works from famed American photographer Michael Dweck will open at Staley-Wise Gallery in New York City on December 9, 2011. Timed to coincide with the international release of Dweck’s third and latest book HABANA LIBRE (Damiani editore, $65), it will feature the New York debut of photographs from HABANA LIBRE, along with rare iconic images from his previous work THE END: MONTAUK N.Y. (2004) including “Sonya Poles” and “Dave and Pam in their Caddy.”
“Both ‘The End’ and ‘Habana Libre’ are snapshots of places in time and ways of life that are either fading or being completely reinvented,” said Artist Michael Dweck. “The most obvious similarities are aesthetic - beautiful people in striking island settings. That was my initial attraction to both locales; this charmed life, the fantastical elements of seduction.”
“However, after spending a lot of time in these places with these people I found more interesting connections,” Dweck continues. “Here are two worldly paradises, both built-up in the 50’s and preserved since – for better or worse; both populated by insular groups in some kind of isolation, whether it’s self or externally imposed; both beset by threats from without and by new hierarchies from within.”
The implied subtext of seduction, isolation and the individual’s interpretation of freedom threads through both works, drawing the viewer in to a world away from the often humdrum existence of their everyday life.
HABANA LIBRE is an island intrigue, playing on the theme of privilege in a classless society, beauty and art in one of the last communist capitals. It is an insider’s exploration of one close knit group of well connected friends – the creative elite – living a secret, charmed life in Cuba. The elegance and intimacy of this social world and the identities of some of the players adds to the mischief, given that this is happening in Castro’s Cuba. In February 2012, HABANA LIBRE will be exhibited at the Fototeca de Cuba Museum in Havana, Cuba. It marks the first time an American artist has been invited to show contemporary work in a solo exhibition there.
Dweck’s highly acclaimed THE END: MONTAUK N.Y. (2004), portrays the old fishing community of Montauk and its surfing subculture. It is an evocation of a real-world paradise lost: of summer, youth, and erotic possibility; of community and camaraderie in a special place apart - an American version of the Arcadian vision. Blending nostalgia, fantasy, and documentation the photographs present a compelling portrait of a place in time and a way of life at once fading and being reinvented with each new season.
Michael Dweck’s photographs were first showcased at Sotheby’s, New York, in 2003, in their first solo exhibition for a living photographer. Dweck’s work has become part of important international art collections and has been exhibited extensively throughout the world, with solo exhibitions at the Staley-Wise Gallery (New York), Modernism (San Francisco), Acte2 (Paris), Maruani & Noirhomme (Belgium), and the Blitz Gallery (Tokyo).