Born in Havana in 1957, René Peña took his first pictures with his family camera at the age of eight years old but has never had any formal training. His photography is characterized by stark contrasts, between black and white, subject and background, subject and object.
“My work is basically about the relationship between individuals and a particular social group – how the individual keeps trying to have his own identity even though he can’t escape his social group and society in general,” Peña says. “We all have our institutions – family, religious, athletic, whatever – and they carry their own ideologies with them. We can’t escape them. We’re all institutionalised but we all think we’re individuals. This duality is what motivates my work.” Read more.