Photographer & Author Michael Chinnici Releases "Vanishing Cuba" Book
Vanishing Cuba is a curated visual storytelling book by American documentary travel photographer, designer, and author, Michael Chinnici. The collection depicts the changes Cuba faces as it emerges from more than 60 years of isolation and decay. Michael's 24 trips to Cuba have yielded tens of thousands of photographs, thought-provoking and emotional stories, and created lifelong friendships. Vanishing Cuba is about capturing the past, present, and future of Cuba, and even more so, about capturing the "Soul of Cuba." Michael's love affair with Cuba and the Cuban people comes through in this compelling and beautifully produced book.
"Cuba as we know it will vanish. It's not a matter of whether or not it will change; it's more a question of when it will change. And trying to imagine what a new Cuba will look like is anyone's guess," says Chinnici. "It was my goal to capture the magic of Cuba before it changes." For the Cuban people, change has become one of the most important goals for the success and survival of this island nation of 11 million people. "Cuba can no longer exist on ration cards and subsidized government salaries. The people know it, and the government knows it."
Images by Michael Chinnici from his latest photography book, Vanishing Cuba
Chinnici goes on to say, "As Cuba emerges from 60 years of repression and decay, it will undoubtedly feel its growing pains. But like all cultures that go through transition, a part of their soul goes with it. This unique experiment of isolation called "Cuba" has captured the minds and souls of everyone around the world. And as appealing as that may be to tourists and photographers like myself, Cuba must find a way to evolve, grow, and escape its misery without giving up the very soul that makes it such a special place."
The book itself is a work of art—produced to the highest standards. Chinnici is known for his vibrant color photography as well as his emotional black and white renditions. For this reason, he chose to print the book using the Spectra7 and Triton printing techniques offered by Longo AG in Bolzano, Italy. "We printed in 10 colors, including 7-color process, plus 2-blacks and a PMS grey for the B&W. It's truly revolutionary what we did—especially using stochastic printing across 10 colors. It’s available in three editions, including a Silver Edition, Deluxe Edition and Reserve edition, and each is printed in both English and Spanish.” says Chinnici.
Chinnici goes on to say, "As a documentary travel photographer, I enjoy the best of both worlds. I love documenting and learning about different cultures, all while traveling the globe. I am searching for authenticity, beauty, and emotion, and I try to meld all three to create images that truly "Evoke Emotion." I feel that my Cuba work is very representative of this."
Referring to his photographic technique, Chinnici says, "I capture authenticity by blending into the environment and assimilating with those around me, making others feel comfortable with my presence. I get people around me to let their guard down and invite me into their space without them even knowing it. It's sort of like breaking the ice on a first date, except this date might only last a few seconds or minutes, or however long it takes to get that great shot."
"I'm excited to be returning to Cuba in 2022 after two years of pandemic restrictions," says Chinnici, who leads small-group Vanishing Cuba photo tours and cultural adventures to Cuba through his company, Photo Workshop Adventures. "It's going to be wonderful to see so many of my Cuban friends who I've missed, as well as photograph Cuba post-covid.”
If you're attending ART BASEL WEEK, December 1-5, 2021, you can find the collectors Reserve Edition of Vanishing Cuba on display at CONTEXT MIAMI ART - the Simons Gallery (A26), located at the Pavillon at One Herald Square in downtown Miami. The Reserve Edition is limited to just 300 signed and numbered copies and includes three signed and numbered prints of your choice to match the book.
His next book, due to be published in 2024, is titled Vanishing India. So exciting! To purchase Michael Chinnici's Vanishing Cuba photography book go to Red Octopus Publishing.