Puerto Rico Mio: Puerto Rico Mio

Jack Delano, Author, J. Delano, Author, Arturo Carrion, Author Smithsonian Books $39.95 (242p) ISBN 978-0-87474-389-0
Delano, who first visited Puerto Rico in 1941 as a photographer for the Farm Security Administration, returned 40 years later to film again the Puerto Rican landscapes and lives he had come to love. Introduced by four brief essays in both English and Spanish by Delano and educator Arturo Morales Carrion, art historian Alan Fern and anthropologist Sidney W. Mintz, the 175 duotones collected here reflect ``the ambiguous, divided situation of a country with which the North Americans have not known how to cope.'' But Delano's editorial eye proves implacably unimaginative, undermining the power of his photographic vision. The images are organized according to two indefatigably repeated principles: contrast (in one spread, tobacco fields of decades past abut a new housing development) and timeless constancy (another pair of photos depicts sugarcane laborers of 1941 and 1981 who are all but identical). Yet, taken individually, his pictures include honest, beautiful, persuasive portraits of farmers and their mules, exquisitely specific domestic still lifes, and poetic evocations of anonymous solitudes. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/17/1990
Release date: 04/01/1990
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