The Wrinkles of the City – La Havana 2012
By JR and José Parlá
The image above is one of 25 portraits of senior citizens taken by artists JR and José Parlá during 2012. This particular image, the portrait of Leda Antonia Machado, is one of my favorites from the series. Through this collaboration, the artists created public art mural installations throughout the city that depict the stories of some of the ordinary senior citizens living in the city.
The artists were able to install images that were very different from the political propaganda commonly displayed throughout Havana. The portraits are an example of how art can have an effect on the masses. These images were able to bring the community together and got them to share their stories. It was very interesting to see the different reactions as the portraits were being created. While most of the reactions were positive, there was one couple who said they would remove the calligraphy portion of the painting once it was completed.
Photography and art can be very controversial and also very powerful. One of the ladies that was photographed was so honored. She said that she can now die happily, knowing that she will be known and remembered.
Click here to see The Wrinkles of the City video.