Our next Photographer of the Week is Rose Marie Cromwell. Cromwell is a photographic and video artist currently living and working between New York, Panama, and Cuba.
This week, we are featuring images from Cromwell’s series El Libro Supremo de la Suerte. The title of this body of work originates from a booklet explaining La Charada, a Chinese-Cuban folkloric number system that assigns specific meaning to numbers 1 through 100. Chronicling her surroundings during her travels in Cuba, Cromwell discovered that many Cubans translate their own experiences into numbers they then play in the underground lottery. Influenced by La Charada’s symbolic power, Cromwell began a search, photographing mundane subjects–vinyl adverts, embraced figures, ripening fruit–that embodied a level of personal significance in Cuba.
There is an unmistakable intimacy that exists in each of Cromwell’s pictures. Rather than shooting from a distance, Cromwell gets close and personal to her subjects while making her photographs. Although she is documenting a community as an outsider, Cromwell’s pictures convey a positive assimilation of an unfamiliar culture. This relationship allows her to create photographs outside of the stereotypical genre of travel photography and present a body of work that is imbued with personal experience, spirituality, and human connection.
Cromwell was named one of 25 under 25 Up and Coming American Photographers by PowerHouse Books and the Center for Documentary Studies in 2008, and named one of 15 Photographers to Watch by the Telegraph in 2014.
For more of Cromwell’s work, make sure to visit her website