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Poker Face  From the Series Stolen Talent  2009-10.   8 photographs. Light jet print, 76.2 x 60.9 cm each, Ed. 5 + 2 AP

 

Between 1959 and 2013, no car imported in Cuba could be legally registered under the name of a person other than its first owner.Nevertheless, a certain amount of alterations to update the old automobiles was tolerated by the government in a law that allowed a thirty percent of alterations. This paved the way into huge creativity, especially after the nineties, when the tourist sector busted the economy and a wealthier class appeared. With the money to invest in their old cars, people started acquiring parts of new cars’ chassis and engines in the black market to make the updates, that were often more than the percent allowed. The resulting hybrids were often a combination of different years and makes. There was also a new job created in the black market. A few panel beaters became experts in customized automobiles, where the transitions between the old and the new were invisible. In this series, I document some of the cars, as results of this phenomenon that has deeper social implications.