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Mario de Varona, Andrés

“I was born into two Cuban families and grew up in Miami as a first generation Cuban-American. The majority of my teenage years were spent running cross-country while attending high-school.

Being interested in images and writing, and pressured to take a more practical approach, I pursued a degree in journalism. However, I realized that I did not want to take pictures, but instead create them. Little by little I learned to speak a language true to myself. The death of my mother helped me discover this, and it galvanized my need to know more about myself and what I am capable of expressing. After graduating, I moved to New Mexico. Since living in the desert, my obsession with death morphed into an obsession for life, and I became eager to learn what it truly means to connect with others.

I’ve had to ask myself why I am attracted to illness, and intensity. I believe my own sense of loss and unfairness has made me want to see other people who have experienced profound loss, or that are going through a painful change in themselves.

Art is my tool to measure cycles of indignation and of healing, our growth as human beings, and as a way to record victories. What I create is an attempt to enter the collective human experience, as well as an access point into myself.”

Episode: Life and Death in Photography, Andrés Mario de Varona