Exhibition by Valentín Sanz. Fototeca of Cuba, Mercaderes street Nr. 307, Old Square, Old Havana.

Father Valentín Sanz has been walking all over Cuba building images for a long time. From north to south, from east to west, from the capital to the periphery, Valentin has walked with his camera on his back to portray our essences. In his journey he has crossed all the seas and rivers, he has seen laughter and weeping, love and pain, tenderness and crying, and above all, he has entered countless places to discover the unusual poem of forms.

Valentin really understood the writing of the photo on a blessed piece of our Island: Baracoa. It was there, between the deep green of its trees and the sublime blue of the sea where he set out to catch the spectacular beauty of a universe open to all times. From the First Villa the artist began to communicate his deep impressions of a reality that had no limits. Then he became the priest to the miracle of art, to present to us the philosophy of an image that he did not understand of false rhetoric nor of hackneyed conventions. Blessed were you, my friend, because from that mystical inspiration flowed images of spectacular expressive force.

Perhaps no one has portrayed Baracoa better than Valentín, because he did it from the essences. Nothing was foreign to him in his documentary vocation, nor in his poetic vocation. On his way to art he knew how to mix the sacred and the profane, the sublime and the ridiculous; the countryside and the city, the true and the false, the lyrical and the prosaic, the infinite ranges of greys with the spectacularity of color, in this way conforming a monumental work that today, in part, is exhibited for all in this exhibition organized by the Fototeca de Cuba.

Without intending to, this photographer knew how to combine generations and trends in a total communion of interests. Heir to the best of photoclubism, Valentín cannot deny the influence that Cuban documentary photography has had on his development as an artist. There is here, therefore, a creator of the present who approaches, without blushing, the best traditions of the past, although he also becomes a chronicler of today who projects himself into the future.

Discreet, away from the hustle and bustle, on the sidelines; Valentín demands a more attentive look at our cultural environment. I once called him a "photographer of silence," a term I used to refer to the almost null mention of his work in national photographic circles. Unfortunately, many other photographers from the eastern region of Cuba suffered (and suffer) from this mutism; but Valentín turns silence into strength, and idleness into a stimulus for the development of his work. Blessed, then, are those of us who have witnessed its spartan fiber.

Valentin Sanz has made his way to all directions and all times. Don't be fooled, he's a universal photographer. From Baracoa, the Villa Primada, departed to the great capitals of the world with its camera in hand to capture unforgettable images that will one day enter history through the widest door. In this way, in his patient dedication to art, a new Chiron can be discovered who, from his cave, forges a tomorrow where heroes will turn him into a master.

Today Valentin continues to set a new course for his photography. And let no one be astonished, because no matter what happens, he will never renounce his fate: his destiny is written. Without forgetting his teachers: Father Gaztelu, Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, or Grandal; Valentín is still standing looking at the world with his camera.

Between Havana and Santiago, between Baracoa and Rome; between the countryside and the city, between white and black; between color and texture, between body and soul and above all, between alpha and omega; Valentín will speak to all times. And he will do it in the most universal of languages: the image, although he will also be able to do it in Latin, Hebrew, Aramaic, or in any language created by this human race that he will know how to understand and use.

By right, and by merit, his work has earned the privilege of accompanying all Cubans in their passage through history.

For ever and ever... Amen.

by: David Silveira Toledo