Thursday, July 31, 2008
Recommended - Havana Style
The book is called Havana Style, by Christiane Reiter, edited by Angelika Taschen, published by Taschen Press. It is mostly vivid photography of Havana, Cuba, a place in the world that I have long been fascinated with. Not everything we read needs to knock our socks off with its progressiveness and grandeur. Sometimes you just need a good coffee-table book to help inspire conversation at a summer party.
A quote from the section "Interiors": ...the house is built of weathered boards. The doors and windows are low. In front of the altars blessed porcelain dishes shimmer in the humid heat, flanked by a SONY recorder and several Japanese ventilators."
That's about all the text you get in this book, everything else is photography. Here's a sampling of what you can expect to see: much of El Malecon, the tall double shotgun doors, vaulted ceilings, iron balconies weathered by hurricanes, ample coverage of the smooth, charming columns and stairs at the Casa La Guarida, those cozy little veteran cars from the 50s, impressive stacks of green bananas in transit, portraiture of family members, statesmen, Jesus. There are elaborate tile designs, chipping away over the decades, rocking chairs, pottery, and of course the occasional large-scale image of Che Guevara.