Portfolio Naples February 2017 - Page 41

Domenech unearths the influence and sensibility of the pres- ence of the Native and the African, both subsumed by and jux- taposed to European traditions. In other images, shadows layer upon shadows, revealing figures painted in the deep recesses of corners haunted by time. In the end, somehow, these images em- phasize the poetic dimension of the middle distance---a space sus- pended between hope and fulfillment. In this light they are a portrait not only of the structures but also of the City, if not the island, itself. Beginning with the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, a structure built and rebuilt in place for nearly 500 years, he col- laborated with European and American Universities, while as- sembling and training a school of craftsmen to complete the ambitious work, now underway. Nearly one year after the storm, by chance the Archbishop en- countered a childhood friend in Miami: the acclaimed photog- rapher, Carlos Domenech, and invited him to document the churches. is photographic mission was Domenech’s first return to Cuba after 46 years and his pictures form the content of this exhibit. ey document the confluence of diverse elements that formed over time a unique expression of what we recognize as “Cuban” in the islands architecture. With the clarity of a Cuban sky, Domenech captures the precision of Segrera’s Beaux Arts façade for the Cathedral. He paints light eroding the formidable “muro” of Cuban monumentality. He evokes a trance-like state from the indefinite extension of geometric patterns whether from tile floors or Mudejar wooden roofs. Above: San Francisco, East Aisle with benches, 2015 Right: San Francisco, East Aisle, 2015 Opposite page:"Nuestra Senora del Carmen" 2015 PORTFOLIO MAGAZINE 39