Imagine your kitchen, if you have one. What’s in it? Appliances? Food on the counters? Is it messy or sparse? Fully stocked or running on empty?
These are questions that fascinate commercial photographer Ellen Silverman… It’s what inspired her personal series, Spare Beauty: The Cuban Kitchen, which she shot while on a workshop trip in Havana — now on display at the Umbrella Arts Gallery in New York City for a few more days.
“People are still rationed. They get a ration card and you get a certain amount of food a month,” she explains. “There are supermarkets, but there are very few … people buying food on a daily basis. Not everybody has refrigerators.”
Silverman says Cubans tend to keep appliances for a long time. “They’re adapting, they’re improvising, and they’re doing what they have to do.” Isn’t that, after all, what all the great chefs do?