In 2002, art collector and philanthropist Madeleine P. Plonsker began traveling to Cuba to uncover Havana’s thriving art scene. The Light in Cuban Eyes: Lake Forest College’s Madeleine P. Plon-sker Collection of Contemporary Cuban Photography focuses on Cuban photography between 1992 and 2012. These years cover Cuba’s “Special Period,” a desperate time resulting from the with-drawal of financial support from the former Soviet Union that continues to present day.
The fifty artists represented in this bilingual book—includ-ing Juan Carlos Alom, Adrin Fernndez Milans, Marta Mara Prez Bravo, Cirenaica Moreira, and Glenda Len—shoot their worlds in styles ranging from fabulist to gritty. This is world-class work, yet the artists are often known only to the small population of collectors fortunate enough to have traveled to this tightly re-stricted country, or through art world reputations that have only recently started to expand beyond the island.
Lake Forest College's Madeleine P. Plonsker Collection of Con-temporary Cuban Photography comprises 170 pieces. The Light in Cuban Eyes is the first North American publication with support from the Cuban Ministry of Culture and Fototeca de Cuba, Cuba's repository of photography, comparable in function to the Smithsonian Photography Department in Washington, D.C.
"The range of photographers and their magnetic images reminds us of the complexity of contemporary Cuban culture. This is a book that reflects unique qualities about this special island, its sense of place and people, while also claiming a place for this array of work within the context of the best photography in our day."--Tom L. Freudenheim, retired museum director and former assistant secretary for museums at the Smithsonian Institution and contributor to the Wall Street Journal