Cuba occupies a place of undisputed fascination in the American psyche. Despite its proximity to America, this island nation remains a mystery to most Americans. Few Americans have traveled to Havana, and still fewer have traveled deeper into this isolated country.
Chris Messner, photographer, is one of the few Americans who have been able to travel extensively throughout this island. In his book, Cuba Open from the Inside, Messner documents the character of Cuba's people, its rich history, and the vast culture of the country.
Through multiple journeys, Messner has covered more than 4,000 miles on the back roads of the island nation of Cuba. Through his words and pictures, he provides a snapshot of Cuba of today—the 1950s time-capsule country 90 miles from the US coast.
"Messner's personal journey as told through his travel logs and photographs of Cuba and its people is inspiring."
Charles Regan, Vice President, National Geographic Maps
"Messner takes you into the island on a rare, intimate journey through the eyes of a detailed photographer. This book will expose you to Cuba's rich history, intertwined with a touching, personal narrative."
Stephanie Chen, Former Travel Writer, CNN.com
From early in his life, fine art photographer Chris Messner has had a strong visual relationship with the world around him.
His artistic curiosity led him to Cuba, an unlikely destination, where he has traveled extensively. He was struck by the raw reality of Cuba, and its unique beauty was an unexpected surprise. Looking through his lens with a human eye rather than a political one, Messner found Cuba to be different from what he originally expected. Messner encountered centuries of Cuban history, its artistic culture, unpretentious people, and the daunting grandeur of the human environment on full display. These multi-faceted elements presented him with a visual experience that he found artistically stimulating and inspired him to capture the grace and mystery of the Cuban nation with his first nonfiction book, Cuba Open from the Inside.
Messner currently resides in Santa Barbara, California, with his wife and children. His website is CMPictures.com.