Bruce Weber’s Look At Haiti

Known for his provocative and startling style of photography for Calvin Klein and Abercrombie in fashion circles, Bruce Weber has now turned his lens on the realer aspects of life with his portraits of the Haitian community at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami, his first major show in an American museum. Surprisingly, the man known for his racy images of nude men has managed to deliver the same impact when taking portraits of one of Miami’s largest immigrant communities:

“In 2003, The Miami Herald published a magazine supplement of Bruce Weber’s photographs of Miami’s Haitian community. The photographs were Weber’s response to an unjust U.S. immigration system in which Haitian men, women and children were detained indefinitely unlike refugees from other countries who were typically released to family or friends while awaiting asylum hearings. The documentary film, The Agronomist, by Jonathan Demme, had been Weber’s call to arms.  In it, Demme chronicled the life of Haiti’s most famous journalist, Jean Dominique, the founder of Radio Haiti Internationale, and his murder by unknown assailants in 2000.  Incensed by the violence, political strife, and poverty depicted in the film, Weber asked Demme what he could do, and Demme suggested turning his attention to what was happening to Haitians in Miami, where Weber had a home. Compelled to tell the story of the struggle of Haitian immigrants, Weber immersed himself in the Haitian community, which he has continued to chronicle through the present.”

Featuring images taken from 2003 until now, Bruce Weber: Little Haiti is comprised of 75 images which are on view from now until February 13, 2011. For more information, go the the museum website, and be sure to check out a preview of the show over at The New York Times.

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