Photographer Alexis Rodriguez-Duarte Keeps Celia Cruz's Memory Alive With Miami Exhibit
|Celia and Alexis|
Rodriguez-Duarte first met the late doyenne of Cuban music back when he and his partner and now husband, fashion stylist, Tico Torres, where starving artists and were literally surviving on a diet of "bread and mayonnaise sandwiches," he says.
"It was 1988 and we were living in London, and exiting an underground tube station one day, we noticed a huge poster that announced Celia Cruz in Concert! My first thought was, "Celia Cruz? Who in London would go see Celia Cruz?"
|Celia y su chispa|
They were both left tongue-tied when Cruz answered their call and invited them up for tea and cake, embracing them both as long lost friends. She also left them two VIP tickets at the box office window the next day.
|Los zapaticos de Celia|
The series of black and white snaps form a selection from Rodriguez-Duarte's 2004 book Presenting Celia consisting of private, backstage settings and onstage performances before rapturous live audiences and the show's title is partly based on her 2000 album by the same name.
The longtime friend and personal photographer is also celebrating the mega-star in another photographic exhibition opening this weekend at Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education in New York.
"Siempre Viviré: Photographic Portraits of Celia Cruz by Alexis Rodriguez - Duarte," Hispanic Branch Library (1398 SW 1st Street, Miami) Through March 2012. Library hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Wednesday noon to 8:00 p.m. Free to the Public. Call 305-643-8574 or visit mdpls.org.
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