Photography Exhibition: Macondo As Seen by Leo Matiz

The legendary Colombian town of Macondo (Aracataca in real life), the scene of Gabriel García Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, has been immortalized through the lens of photographer Leo Matiz (Colombia, 1917-1998). The collection, featuring 50 black and white photographs, is on display in Cuba, under the title “Macondo as seen by Leo Matiz.” It is on view at the Hispanic-American Culture Center in Havana. This exhibit, sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Colombia and the Leo Matiz Foundation, will tour several cities in Canada, Tokyo, Mexico and Santo Domingo, after its closing in Havana on July 12.

Cuba Now reports that critics have called this Colombian photographer the “guardian of shadow” of Latin American photography, a reference to the accentuated and intense contrast of lights and shadows that distinguish his vignettes.

Aracataca is located in the Department of Magdalena, in Colombia’s Caribbean region. Both Matiz and García Márquez are from here. “The Macondo-Aracataca that they constructed, each in their own personal way, is revived by virtue of the art of the image.” For more than six decades, from 1930 to 1960, Matiz explored, in the role of photo-reporter, every remote site of the Colombian north coast, “cradle to the mythical Macondo.” The collection on exhibit in Havana constitutes a powerful mural of an epoch.

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For more on the “Macondo” series, see

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