About the Photographer
García Joya, Mario (Mayito)
Cuban, b. 1938
During Cuba's Revolution in 1959 the heroic personas of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara were established in part thanks to epic-feeling, and now iconic, images made by three photographers: Raúl Corrales, Osvaldo Salas, and Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez (also known as Korda). These men are often viewed as the cornerstones of Cuban photography, although subsequent generations of photographers have made significant contributions as well. As curator Tim Wride describes in the catalogue for the exhibition Shifting Tides: Cuban Photography after the Revolution, which toured to the Museum of Contemporary Photography in 2002, Cuban photographers in the years following the overthrow of the Batista regime effectively shifted the focus away from the Revolution's charismatic leaders, instead situating their work within the context of everday life.
Mario García Joya was among a rising wave of photographers who helped to shape a new iconography in this regard, and his photographs reflected––and arguably bolstered––the new social order after the revolution. His images center on ordinary people, such as farm workers, laborers, or men and women in Havana's dancehalls, rather than a few heroic figures.
During a period of notable activity in photojournalism in the 1960s and 1970s, Mayito was a significant figure in the field, contributing frequently to major publications such as Cuba, INRA, and Cuba Internacional, which were modeled in many respects after Life and Look magazines.