Old Havana: Spirit of the Living City artistically captures the architecture, people, and daily life of La Habana Vieja (Old Havana) through the lenses of two visionary photographers and colleagues, one American and the other Cuban. Chip Cooper and Nestor Marti began collaborating in 2008, documenting the picturesque features of the oldest and most historically rich quarter in Cuba's capital city at the behest of Eusebio Leal Spengler, the historian of the city of Havana and the director of the Habana Vieja restoration project. Cooper's and Marti's images highlight the spirit of change and renewal underlying the restoration of this international treasure and its revival as a vibrant business and residential area. Inspired by the work of twentieth century American photographer Walker Evans, Cooper and Marti, through perspectives both unique and deeply entwined, capture the humanity of the city, in a language at once universal and transcendent.
Nestor Marti has a degree in art history. He also studied documentary, advertising, and fashion photography. As photographer of the Havana Historian's Office for more than ten years, he has developed an extensive portfolio that includes documentary and press photography as well as patrimonial photography, urban landscapes, and portraiture. He has published his work in a wide range of books, magazines, and websites. Chip Cooper was director of photography for The University of Alabama for thirty-three years and is now artist-in-residence in the Honors College and a faculty member in Arts and Sciences. While working for the university, he has published the following books: Hunting: The Southern Tradition, Alabama Memories, Silent in the Land, Common Threads, Crimson: The University of Alabama, and recently Tin Man. He has shown his work nationally and internationally, and his photographs are in many museums, as well as private and corporate collections.