“. . . Eduardo Hernandez Santos’s camera has captured in his luscious tome, EL muro: The Wall,  Gs, Ls, Bs and a stunning array of Ts face the lens with fierce defiance.

. . . act of faith and courage, a heavy topic artistically and delicately presented. I loved looking into those dark, defiant eyes.”—Eduardo Santiago

Eduardo Hernández Santos made these photographs of homosexuals, transgenders, and crossdressers in the summer of 2005 at Havana, Cuba’s seafront wall.

Taken together, the pictures in this book tell a remarkable story of human endurance and triumph. Hernández Santos presents his subjects not as passive players but as people who struggle (though more quietly than not) against discrimination even though such struggle is very risky.

Once Hernández Santos made his prints, he used transfer lettering to literally press onto his images the words of the late, gay, Cuban poet and playwright, Virgilio Pinera.

Late one night at 4:00am, on his way home from El Muro (The Wall), Hernández Santos was beaten and robbed of his camera. His project ended then and there.


 

El muro is a collection of 10 offset triptych photographs and 2 bilingual essays by the artist and the Cuban ethnographer Abel Sierra.

The photographs and text are printed on Shine, luminous mica coated, acid free paper. Three sheets of translucent magenta paper separate the photographs and essays. El Muro is 9″ x 13.5″ opening to 20″. The structure of the book is semi-concealed wire-o binding serving the original triptych photographs.

Edition of 1200 – $45

Deluxe edition of 50 – $600, includes a signed copy of El muro and two pigmented-ink portraits signed on verso in a clamshell box.

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. . . the walls leave indelible traces within us. It is such invisible walls that Eduardo Hernández Santos’ powerful work brings into visibility.

— Anca Cristofovici, Professor of American Literature and Photography at the University of Caen, France and author of Touching Surfaces: Photographic Aesthetics, Temporality, Aging, Rodopi Press 2009.

Its ‘glitter,’ particularly that black paper, & the book’s delicacy as form, seems perfect for Hernández’s subject; something both profoundly staged & artificial, & simultaneously rough & human.

– Robert Seydel, Editor of Several Gravities by Keith Waldrop, published by Siglio Press and Associate Professor of Visual Art at Hampshire College, Amherst, MA

 

Reviews: Santiago reviewQuiroga review

 

Collections:

MoMA, Hass Family Art Library, Yale University; Smith College; Williams College; Hampshire College;Wake Forest, Lafayette College Library; Library of Congress; Wesleyan University; University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill; Cuban Heritage Collection, University of Miami; Green Library, Stanford University

Princeton University Library; George Eastman House; Tulane; Phoenix Art Museum; Columbia College; British Library; Free Library of Philadelphia; University of the West of England – Bristol; ICP-International Center for Photography; The Sex Museum; The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Center, New York

Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut, Germany; Museo de Bellas Artes, Wifredo Lam Contemporary Art Center, San Alejandro Academy of Art, Casa de Americas, and UNEAC (Union of Artists and Writers), Havana Cuba, to name but a few.

View El Muro at Smith College Museum of Art (2011) on Flickr