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Caught Up in History and Captured on Film

On display in the Balcony Gallery for Florida Artists, this solo exhibition highlights the Gainesville-based artist’s journeys through his lenses following graduation from the University of Florida.

On view in the Balcony Gallery for Florida Artists, see Gainesville-based photographer Randy Batista’s solo exhibition, “Caught Up in History and Captured on Film.” Through his camera lens, Batista documented his life and travel adventures. Comprised of silver-gelatin prints developed from film, the images in this show focus on Florida and Cuba — two places that have had a profound impact on the artist. Having lived in both locations, the artist’s awareness of place, time and cultural heritage are evident in his quiet but alluring street photography, landscapes and portraits.

With a Leica 24 mm lens, Batista captured club members of El Centro Español de Tampa (The Spanish Center of Tampa) and their daily lives that he says “highlights communal times together smoking, drinking, newspaper reading, enjoying ice cream and socializing via dominoes and card games.” Batista intentionally shot many of the photos at a low angle, so the viewer feels as if they are sitting at the table with the subjects. While some of the men did not react to their photo being taken, others did quick poses or held newspapers up to cover their faces.

Batista’s photographs in Cuba were taken during various trips to places including Havana and the ancestral countryside of his youth. During these travels, Batista explained, he was a street photographer either walking about or riding his bicycle while shooting. He would stop and chat with people while taking their portraits, capturing images of cityscapes and rural landscapes, as well.

(pictured) Randy Batista, “Helado con Barquillo [Ice Cream in a Cone],” Havana, 1996, Gelatin silver print. Courtesy of the artist.

Upcoming Exhibition Event

Artist Meet-and-Greet + Cuban Art Presentation
Thursday, October 5
5-7:30 p.m.

A meet-and-greet with artist Randy Batista, followed by a presentation on Cuban art in the 90s by Gabriela “Gaby” Azcuy. Learn more

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