Artist Spotlight: Kevin Slack
BY Albert Smith
February 13 2010 6:00 AM ET
Raised on a farm in small town Ontario, Kevin Slack received his degree in Visual Arts and English at the University of Western Ontario where he studied painting, film photography, and eventually education. After, Kevin painted murals, travelled, and taught English, living first in Korea and then Ecuador where he really should have learned how to salsa.
Now based in Toronto, Kevin has been visiting his favorite exile, Cuba, since 2000, documenting the country and especially the men, while building an extensive portfolio. While that country is tilted on the edge of change, Kevin continues to return, trying to uncover the restless and vital spirit of Cuba and Cuban men. While he focuses mainly on Havana, Kevin has traveled the island from Pinar del Rio to Holguin. Kevin continues to try to resolve a plan for living and working in Cuba if he could and if he could take his dog.
Why are you a photographer?
I am a photographer by accident mainly. And then maintained through a single-minded doggedness. In art school, I was categorically a painter. I took one film photography course and while I loved the alchemy of the process, I produced nothing of any value. My second time to Havana, much later, I happened upon some handball players and asked to take some photographs. After we dispensed with all the posing and thumbs-upping, I photographed them at their sport and I was so enamored of that moment, of that experience, that I kept at it. I still have trouble separating the product, the photograph, from the process, the process of finding my models and putting together a shoot in Cuba.