Tony Mendoza is a Cuban American artist based in Columbus, Ohio, where he was a professor of Photography at The Ohio State University. There are two series of works represented in the exhibition. In the images from the ‘Stories’ series, you see the personal history of the artist through his family photos. A photograph of his sister’s debutante ball at the Havana Yacht Club prior to Castro. As the text below the photograph reveals, Mendoza’s prominent family, along with most all of their community, fled to Miami after the revolution, to dramatically different financial circumstances.
The Cuba Series is from a visit to Havana in 1996, the only time that the artist has returned. These images poetically describe the life that has come to define Cuba, seen through a lens of sympathy and optimism. There is a gas station that services bicycles, an empty store employee turned neighborhood counselor, stray dogs in a lonely harbor and the faces of young boys and girls.
Mendoza was born in 1941 in Havana, Cuba. He graduated from Yale in 1963 with a degree in engineering, and from Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1968. He was a Professor in the Department of Art's Photography area at The Ohio State University until his retirement in 2013. Some of his exhibitions have been in California, Columbus, Florida and New York. Some collections that hold his work are the Museum of Modern Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Columbus Museum of Art, the Toledo Museum of Art, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. He currently lives in Columbus, Ohio.
Image used with permission & courtesy of the artist.