Roberto Aguilar will present “Habana, Habanos, Habaneros: Cuba and the Special Period” at the Spéos Gallery, 7 rue Jules Vallès 75011 Paris, from June 7th to September 28th, 2018.
Opening of the exhibition: June 7th, 2018, from 6pm to 9pm.
Roberto Aguilar travelled to Cuba intermittently between 1995-1999 at the urging of friends. A common affinity to cigars led them there along with the curiosity of exploring a complex other: Cuba was mysterious, complicated, forbidden. The idea of discovering it visually became a challenge and an opportunity for him as an emerging photographer.
The images presented, blurring the juncture between documentary and art, capture enigmatic scenes that Roberto has recently rediscovered among stored boxes of forgotten, dusty negatives. Their unearthing reveals a multiplicity of journeys and brings to the present a glimpse of the fleeting. What Roberto intends to assemble through this series is an amalgam of the effects of memory, time, history and relationships that became available to him during singular moments of contact with Cuba’s official tobacco distributors – Habanos S.A. – and a nascent cigar business, which still resonate today.
Roberto Aguilar was born in El Salvador and raised in the U.S. (Miami, Florida). His fascination of the entire photographic process led him to the darkroom at age ten. He then became a contributing photographer in school and later photo editor for the university newspaper. His father’s sudden death forced him to move back to his home country of El Salvador in 1994, where he continued his love for photography working as a commercial photographer for many multinational clients in the Central American region. In 2000, he decided to take a year off and go to Paris to attend Spéos. In 2004, he moved to London, where he was recruited by a major hair-care brand to be their main photographer. These days, Roberto tries to balance his commercial with his personal work, usually in his studio in Battersea, London.
Roberto is a Spéos Alumni 2001 from the Professional Photography in 1 year program.