Photos stolen from the eighties Cuban music

by
AM

I was born in Paris, in June 1959, due to fortuitous circumstances. My parents, both Argentines, met there; but a few months after I was born they ended up separating, and my mother decided to take me by the ear to travel the world, especially on the "socialist" side. She, who in France had begun to study cinema, went to the GDR to take a war cameraman course that took her to Cuba when the invasion of Playa Girón.

Anabell Lopez Photo: Sebastián Elizondo.

So, I fell in Cuba with three years and speaking only German. I grew up, became a photographer, studied a degree in History and started working in the world of cinema; first in the Cined, and then in the Icaic.

Arturo Sandoval. Photo: Sebastián Elizondo.

Although I am born in France, I am not French, I am Argentine because of the nationality of my parents, but during the military dictatorship in Argentina, I was denied citizenship for not presenting myself to the mandatory service, so until democracy did not arrive in Argentina, I was able to travel because I didn't have a passport. I did not want to become a Cuban for fear that they would not let me leave the country, which at that time was the biggest nightmare for any young person in Cuba.

Xiomara Laugart and Fito Páez. Photo: Sebastián Elizondo.

I studied photography in a self-taught way, but close to great masters such as Mayito (Mario García Joya) and Marucha (María Eugenia Haya Giménez). She was the one who introduced me to the world of disc cover design, in the Egrem, together with Adita Santamaría.

Fito Paez Photo: Sebastián Elizondo.

At that time I was the couple of Abigail García Fayat, also a photographer, one of Mayito's daughters, and with her, I made our first LP cover, (Vida, from Santiago Feliú). Following this work we made friends with Santiago, who introduced us to the world of the new trova, on the other hand, I knew Noel Nicola as a child. He was the one who asked me to make the cover of his disk Lejanías, perhaps my most successful design, despite the 30 years that have passed.

Gerardo Alfonso, Carlos Varela, Santiago Feliú and Frank Delgado. Photo: Sebastián Elizondo.

At that time when I was studying at the University, Egrem was my livelihood with the design of records. I was a year and a half to do a thesis that was a torture for me. The world of music and plastic arts was an incredible boil; The 80s in Cuba and my 20s were a beautiful scheme to create.

Carlos Varela Photo: Sebastián Elizondo.

My first camera was a Zenit inherited from my mother, who was also a photographer. If I remember correctly, with that I took out my Palo Cagao series. Then my father Angel sent me a Nikon from Argentina; It would be 1982. I was with it in Viñales with the Hexagon Team, and when I fell into the networks of the Mayito-Marucha clan, I necessarily had to go to Canon, since that way we could all exchange lenses and knowledge. I loved the Canon until a few years ago I switched to Sony. For the disc covers I used a 6 × 6, Zenza Bronica, which I bought from someone who had stolen it from their workplace; I think it came out at 120 pesos.

Gonzalo Rubalcaba. Photo: Sebastián Elizondo.

In the year 87 I went on vacation to Buenos Aires and ended up staying. It was not intentional, but the circumstances caused it. There I lived 13 years, 4 more in Miami, eight more in Madrid and 6 in Miami back, which is where I now live with my family. During all these years I continued taking photographs, but I never approached the world of music as in Cuba.

Dizzy Gillespie. Photo: Sebastián Elizondo.
Pablo Milanés. Photo: Sebastián Elizondo.
Santiago Feliú. Photo: Sebastián Elizondo.
Sayyd Abdul Al-Khabyyr. Photo: Sebastián Elizondo.
Zbigniew Namysłowski. Photo: Sebastián Elizondo.

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