Cars in Cuba

Posted on March 08, 2014 by UNITED PHOTO PRESS MAGAZINE

1957 Chevrolet on the Malecon in Havana, Cuba, 1998. © Daniel Kramer
Houston-based editorial photographer Daniel Kramer had the opportunity to visit Cuba multiple times and created an extensive body of work including this series on Cuban cars that was photographed between 1998 and 2000. 

His first trip to Cuba was in January 1998 when the Village Voice asked Kramer to photograph Pope John Paul II. Kramer tells PDN, “I returned [to Cuba] in November. The visas only allowed one [person] to stay for 30 days, so I’d return to the States, do some laundry, mail my Kodachrome to the lab, and turn around and go back.” 

The idea of photographing Pope John Paul II with Fidel Castro was appealing to Kramer, but so was the idea of documenting a place that was forbidden to U.S. citizens. “This is the land of the free … and we can’t travel to this beautiful island only 90 miles from our shores?” asks Kramer. “My mom is a world traveler who has been to more than 100 countries. Hanging in her office is an unattributed quote: ‘My favorite thing is to go where I’ve never been.’ 

One day I Googled the quote … Diane Arbus.” Twenty five of Kramer’s photos shot in Cuba in 2006, and a few other photos, are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.