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Art Reviews/D. Dominick Lombardi
“Havana Rough/Refined”

Henaine Fine Art, 6 North Pearl Street, 404F,
Port Chester, through June 12

Leslie Long loves tropical places. As a photographer, this Westchester resident is looking for special cultural experiences and has apparently found one in Havana.

Her show at Henaine Fine Art reveals the almost surreal quality of a crumbling city of Havana that, despite its economic woes, is rich in culture and life.

For this exhibition, Ms. Long offers 17 black and white archival gelatin silver prints all taken in Havana, in March, 2001.

Photographs like “Celebrating” and “Twirling” show a city in disrepair; still functioning and driven by an undying human spirit.

“Railing” shows that a decayed stairwell can be beautiful and poetic if one takes the time to look.

“Drinking” portrays a newly emptied daiquiri glass against a shimming field with highlights that form a fluid composition not unlike a predawn, artificially illuminated rainy city street.

This contrast between the clarity of the foreground and the blurry background can be seen again in the aforementioned “Celebrating,” whereas the opposite occurs in works like “Cruise Ship: Leaving” and “Preening” where the foreground fades and the background comes into focus giving the work a political, albeit tentative undertone.

The angle or vantage point of the photographer’s lens in works like “Floating” and “Resting” adds a voyeuristic quality while “Whispering,” which depicts a young man peering through an open doorway into a classroom almost seems awkward, even intrusive.