Andrea Greenspan on Michael Eastman
“I am particularly drawn to Michael Eastman’s Abstract Wall #2, Havana 2000. Michael Eastman’s Abstract Wall #2, Havana 2000, illustrates Castro’s Communist strangulation of bourgeois, European architecture, and local voices in Cuba’s cultural history. I applaud the photographer’s clear-eyed framing of two distinctly different vertical panels in the shot to illustrate the point.
In the left panel, water and minerals seep through the aged paint on the building, forming a molten shape of a cross. Hovering from the cross is either a sobbing, sodden body of Christ or a black, winged devil of death. The outlining, progressively lighter dissemination of minerals from the water stain creates a glow of energy, silently speaking to, as the graffiti says, the locals. But the energy may be waning as the dangling electrical cord has no power. Beware of the death grip on your faith. With boarded doors, there is no way in and no way out of the dilemma.
In contrast to the molten panel on the left, the scale and impact of the organized, green block grid punctuated by an oversized orange door controls the eye and beckons one into the building. With clarity, it suggests order, power, and stability. It’s literally a step up from the other panel. The bronze bas relief head obligates one to acknowledge the power.
Eastman has, with the click of the aperture, framed the opposing forces struggling in a crumbling infrastructure that is Cuba: disorganization vs. organization, organic vs. construct, democratic vs. communist regime. “
Cross Currents is a recurring series that shares the insightful perspectives of influential individuals on fine art photography.
The series creates a dialogue that emphasizes and expresses the power of art.
We use the concept of “Cross Currents” to illustrate how a significant master in one art or practice can influence a different expression form. For the series, Holden Luntz Gallery connects with gifted individuals outside the discipline of photography and asks them to share their thoughts on a photographer or a body of work and how it has impacted them.