Honorable Mention / 2018 / Fine Art / Abstract


  • Photographer
    Manuel Gatell-González

Banana leaves from the "Musa Paradisiaca" are iconic of the Caribbean history and embedded with vernacular references to race, class and national roots and identity. Within the context of Puerto Rico, a country formed in a colonial framework of over 400 years, the construction and affirmation of a national identity is fraught with multiple interpretations and debates. In this series, manipulated banana leaves suggest three dimensional objects, transmuting their traditional symbolism to unravel identity as a social construction in flux.

Born and raised in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Mostly self-taught through the adquisition of books on photography, photography history, art and various courses in photography (digital and analog).