From March 5 through March 31, 2011, Eastside Luv Wine Bar y Queso will showcase the debut of 25-year-old artist, Juan Luis Garcia. Cuba y Cubans: Photographs by Juan Luis Garcia presents fifteen portraits shot throughout Cuba in 2009 during Garcia’s visit to the country. A book featuring the portraits and 80 more will accompany the exhibit. A reception will be held Saturday, March 5 at 5PM at Eastside Luv.
As US travel to Cuba began to expand, Garcia was presented with the opportunity to shoot stills for a documentary. The photos, shot with a Hasselblad on medium format film, capture the diversity of Cuban life Garcia experienced while traveling through five cities. Subjects include cigar rollers, children at play, sex workers and farmers. Garcia believes the photos of everyday life will reveal similarities non-Cubans have to a country shut off to so many people. “I wanted to bring back honest portraits of the Cuban people and show family and friends it wasn't a scary, communist place.”
Juan Luis Garcia has shot professionally since 2004. His love for photography began at an early age when he would dream of “walking the streets with my camera.” A self-taught photographer, Garcia focuses on capturing entertainers. Notable subjects include actors Andy Garcia, Rosario Dawson, Jeff Garlin, Luis Guzman, Carla Gugino, Eva Longoria, and Charo; artists Shepard Fairey, Mayda del Valle, and Mark Gonzales; comedians Godfrey, Luenell and Erik Rivera; and Zack de la Rocha of Rage Against the Machine. Garcia has worked with Stephen Cohen and photo l.a. since 2005 and created art collective, Hecho Con Ganas, with friend, Ernesto Yerena. He has traveled all over the world for his work, including France, The Netherlands, Australia, and Dubai.