Marta María Pérez Bravo(Havana, 1959)

Marta María Pérez Bravo is a pioneer of artistic photography in Cuba, a kind of photography done by artists rather than professional photographers, photo-reporters or photojournalists (although, of course, these can also make works of art). The purpose of this particular form of artistic creation, sometimes called metaphoric photography, is not to document external reality, people's faces, city or country landscapes, or to record scenes of daily or family life, politics or rituals. The objective is rather to explore (or to make spectators discover in the photographic images) the ideas, concepts, emotions, desires, fears, hopes and beliefs that the artist intended to convey.

Caminos I (Road I)

In Caminos I, the two hooked sticks of Elegguá are tied in opposite directions to the ankles of the figure. We could think of the double power of this orisha, who is considered the owner of destiny, capable of making us advance, impelling us vigorously forward or obstructing our path, to hinder or paralyze our progress. I do not recall in all the Cuban visual arts a more profound or elegant representation of Elegguá than this one. Marta María has represented the double power that this orisha may exert with the simple tool that is its best attribute, the hooked stick. The ambivalent personality of this deity of Yoruba origin is like our own destiny, often guided by opposed and uncontrollable, favourable and unfavourable forces. To be aware of the existence of Elegguá does not mean that Elegguá does not exercise its functions inexorably, a practitioner of Santeria could say.

Year: 1999
Technique: Photograph
Size: 100 x 80 cm

Theme: religion