Dallas-based photographer Richard Sharum (richardsharum.com) offers a peek inside his debut monograph, Campesino Cuba.
Sharum spent four years in the most isolated parts of Cuba in search of the national character.
Where did your passion for sharing your creative vision and finding that voice begin? I have always been entranced by time and its ability to bridge divides. Photography is a very personal thing in that it uses the capture of light, at a very particular moment, to communicate in a universal language, without saying a word. It does all this without recognizing physical or personal borders of any kind, which I find fascinating.
You have an incredible eye for capturing a glimpse into different worlds. Where has been your favorite place? I have traveled and photographed on five continents, but I was most affected by what I saw, for different reasons, in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Kyoto, Japan; and, of course, the Sierra Maestra mountains in Cuba.
Tell us more about your debut monograph. I spent four years in the most isolated parts of Cuba, in search of the national character. That work is what is now published in Campesino Cuba (Gost).
What’s on the horizon for you? I am now embarking on this same journey into the unknown, but for my own country. The project is titled Spina Americana (American Spine), and I am traveling within a 100-mile-wide corridor, or “spine” if you will, between the U.S.-Mexico border and the U.S.-Canadian border. The ultimate goal of Spina is to highlight the unique and individual aspects of one of the most overlooked geographical areas in the country and in the end publish a book to add to the overall discussion of American cultural landscapes and contemporary American history.