Juxtaposition / by Preston Thomas

JUXTAPOSITION | HAVANA, CUBA | © PRESTON LEWIS THOMAS

JUXTAPOSITION | HAVANA, CUBA | © PRESTON LEWIS THOMAS

In the foreground we have two young girls on their way to school. In the background, we have a scene from Inception. This pretty much sums up the visual nature of Havana.

The city is awash in beautiful and often, massive and decaying structures created decades ago by master architects and builders. Colors weathered and worn but that still explode with a preternatural vibrance under the slightest bit of sunlight, they shine an embarrassing light on the drab, lifeless, beige existence that is so pervasive in the United States.

We’ve all seen city streets ripped apart, chunks of concrete and asphalt strewn alongside the roads while various components of infrastructure are added, removed or replaced. But when it happens in a place like Havana, it's just another work of art.
Abstract Expressionism for the People.

On another note: the skirts worn by the young girls in this photograph don’t start out that way. When the uniform first arrives, the skirt actually stops just below the knees. But as every parent knows... teenagers are gonna be teenagers, and that’s that.