Patron: Her Majesty the Queen

Honorary Member: HRH the Prince of Wales

‘Cuba’ – a new book by Aimee Birnbaum RI

Born in New York City, I live and work in London. I am a member of The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, based at the Mall Galleries, London. I have been deeply absorbed in painting and etching for many years, but gradually fell in love with photography as well. Using a camera for street photography was the direct opposite of the solitude of painting. Painting is a slow process, a meditation. In contrast street photography throws me out of myself.  With a heightened awareness of the human life around me, I feel I want to preserve the ephemeral moments that stream across the lens. I suddenly feel an intense empathy with the people that catch my eye, and I enter into a fleeting but permanent relationship with them once they are embraced by the camera.

In Cuba I was unleashed into a full obsession. Everything and everyone was entrancing. I was touched by the natural friendliness, the grace and warmth of the Cubans. Isolated from the world, persecuted by the boycott, the Cubans have found richness in their social relationships, their culture and their joie de vivre, from the salsa and Buena Vista music pouring out of every cafe to the spontaneous dancing on the street.

Cuba’s kaleidoscope of colour and magic transformed me into a voracious flaneur. The intense happiness of seeing such beauty made me desperate never to leave Havana. I found that photography was a way to make time stand still. In love with everyone I phgotographed, the beautiful Cubans captured in my photographs are now a part of me, and part of me will always be there. I hope you enjoy these photos which I hope will convey my love for this unique people.


Published by Mirabilis Art Editions