Los Angeles-based photographer Eric Politzer has been awarded First Place in the Music Category in the 2021 Creative Photo Awards’ Siena Awards.
“I have had an incredible love affair with Cuba since my first trip there in 2011. Over an 8-year period, I had the immense privilege of working on a number of deep dive projects into various areas of Cuban society and culture. Beginning with a self-published book about the female impersonators and transgender women in the gay cabarets of Havana, I have tried to bring to light groups of people in Cuba who have not received a lot of attention, while at the same time as trying to look at familiar groups and physical locales from new perspectives. This photo brings together both of those objectives.
Music is everywhere in Cuba. In the bars and restaurants, the streets and the parks, the countryside and people’s homes. Many people don’t know, however, about richness of musical education in Cuba, or the prevalence of classical music along side the many different styles that make up the full range of Cuban music. Cuba offers free universal education to all of its citizens, including a highly reputed program in the arts. Students can begin a focus on any subject, including the performing arts, at a very young age, and they can continue intensive studies through graduate programs without ever having to pay any tuition. The arts are held in as high esteem, in not higher, than most other subjects at all levels of the Cuban education system.
Many of the most successful popular musical artists in Cuba have a strong foundation in the conservatories, much of which is made up of training in classical music. In addition to photographing many of these internationally known artists, I wanted also to capture younger musicians as they were embarking on their professional careers. Such was the case with this wonderful cellist.
The location for this shoot was an abandoned and dilapidated former cinema house. In recent years since this shoot, the building has become increasingly popular with foreign photographers and photography workshops. Most images that I had seen of this building that included people were of either groups of performers or individuals in isolated areas of the building. I wanted to represent how one person could be focal point of a much more encompassing photo of the whole structure, how an individual could command the entire space.
This photo works especially well for me because it an intersection of the individual with the social, the part with the whole, the past with the present, the abstract with the concrete, color with light, the human with her surroundings. At one and the same time I can hear her solitary note along with voices of the crowds who inhabited the space before at film showings. For me, this photo represents the invitation that Cuba has extended to me to explore the complex and endlessly fascinating nature of its people, history, society and culture.”
About the Creative Photo Awards
Creative Photo Awards aims to recognize and reward visionary artists using photographic processes and images. It’s searching for photos born out of the passion and from the author’s deep sensitivity: the result from a need to express feelings through the image, a unique view of the surrounding reality. We seek to find artists and unique souls who breathe and live for creativity. Creative Photo Awards aims to be a perfect instrument, which allows a person to communicate with the world and share their vision. What matters is your unique vision and your skills in translating that vision into exceptional and original work. Show us how you’re pushing the photographic medium, experimenting with different techniques or creative approaches to bring your ideas to life.
In this competition, everyone is free to use any technique. Only the final effect counts. We break all the rules, and we want you to break them with us by creating new trends in art. Our judges evaluate the work of artists in different categories so that the participants have a better chance at precisely defining their niche and showcasing their innovative prowess in the area they feel most comfortable with. The winners will be exhibited in Siena alongside Siena Awards.