Ana Cuba is a young and promising photographer from Zaragoza, Spain. In just under three years her work has suffered an important transformation which has bring a good mature and professional result.
I’ve been following her work for some time and from the beginning I was captivated by her way to see and observe what surrounds her. I believe she has a solid work for such a young woman, you can clearly see that she works and thinks carefully every shoot she proposes. So here it is Ana Cuba on Seeking Magazine.
Seeking Magazine: When and how did you started with photography?
Ana Cuba: I started three years ago, when I bought a 400D from my boyfriend Salva. The truth is that I think I don’t have a lot to tell, but a lot to show, that was what attracted me to photography. At first, my photos where artificial and provocative, now without sense to me. Nevertheless it took me a short time, although it is always too long, to find a aesthetic path to follow. Perhaps in the future I would do another interview and will laugh at my actual work, but I think at this moment I’m on the right path.
SM: What about that misterious room with a flower paper and a classic mood? (‘One I had a love’ Series)
AC: Is not so especial. That room is from a kitsch hotel in Barcelona called Hotel Palacete. My father wanted to give a surprise to my mother and made a reservation, when I came to visit I liked the room so much that I threw my parents out and called Salva to told him we needed to do something there. That is the result of what happened that afternoon on the room.
At that time I was attracted to the idea of fragmenting the human body, representing it by its parts. I would like to go back and do it again patiently, probably I would not do the same type of photos.
SM: Are the portraits better if they are done in pairs? (‘Adriana and Maria’ Series)
AC: The truth is that they aren’t. Adriana and Maria, two of my best friends, are fantastic and I have to thank them a lot for letting me photograph them, especially Maria. Nevertheless, I think this series doesn’t work to well, I think some of the photos are forced. I don’t know what I keep them on my website!
I think that doing portraiture of various people is much more complicated, there must be chemistry or something else than putting my two enduring and beautiful friends to pose.
I think I should practice this more in order to make it work.
SM: Tell us something about “Spanish Women”, your project in collaboration with Salva López.
AC: This is a project that an Ukrainian organization proposed to us (http://www.gggg.org.ua/) for an exposition that took place on that country the past April. This exhibition consisted on getting different photographers from the world to represent the woman of their countries. You can see the results over their official blog: http://zhinka3000.blogspot.com/
Salva and I got together to represent, of course our way, the Spanish woman. We wanted to show three generations of woman, grandmothers, mothers and daughters. Apart from taking some portraits, we wanted to add some shoots of their bellies, all of them with scars. From the big scar of the grandmother to the small but deep scar of the younger one. With this, we wanted to represent the suffering of the Spanish woman in the last century, the fact of being a mother and taking care of their sons was considered till recently like the only task of the woman. That is why the scars also suggest the idea of maternity.
SM: How did the idea of photographing the innocent girls lay down on the blue carpet came to fruition? (‘Les Filles Föllen’ Series)
AC: Well, this series was really a surprise . ‘Les Filles Föllen’ are a duo of dancers that contacted me because they were interested in a photo session. We meet on a Saturday morning on some office they knew. The place was fantastic and the carpet even more! They were looking to represent the movements of their dances and well, that is what I tried to get.
SM: Which photographers have influenced you?
AC: The truth is that I started the house from the roof. Flickr is full of great young photographers and I could name a lot that have influenced me. Out from the virtual world, my passion is Hellen Van Meene, to name one. I wish I could have done each of her portraits, she is genius.
SM: How much time to devote to photography?
AC: That depends a lot on the season I’m in. Sometimes I don’t take the Contax out of my purse in a month and I’m uploading photos non-stop, while other times I forget totally about it. I really need to be in the mood for shooting, if I’m not focused on it I can’t “see” the photos and even less taking them.
SM: A place that you don’t know and you would like to go with a camera…
AC: I really want to go to Japan.
SM: What is your current project?
AC: I’m not sure if I can call it a project. I still don’t think that I have real project, but ‘María’ has been my last work. Once again, Maria poses for me, but this time are different Marias. The story is that she wanted to shave her head, so before that she dyed it blonde and red (I couldn’t convice her to dye it blue). I wanted to photograph her blonde, redhead and lastly with her head shaved. Results can be seen here:
On the other hand I’m still with my serie ‘Corbelle’. Everyt ime I go to my town in Galicia, I take photos with my Rollei. The fact that I only go twice a year is interesting, because every time I arrive I’m focused on this for a week. So each time I go I see things differently, for example this summer I took the decision to photograph the people who lives there.
SM: When you aren’t shooting, what do you enjoy doing?
AC: I spend to much time in front of the computer, sometimes I realize that I’ve spend all the afternoon without doing anything! Cinema and playing with my cat are my two big joys!
Copyright © Ana Cuba, All rights reserved. This photographs are not to be used as free stock.