José, or Martí (as he is usually called), is a self-taught documentary and fine art photographer. In 1968 he took his first steps in photographic study under the tutelage of the master photographer Alberto Korda, who introduced him to underwater photography.
In his initial work in the field, Martí first mastered photojournalism, as a way to chronicle, question, and provide an insight of politics and the culture of Cuba. Throughout the 1970s, he extensively documented sugar cane fields and Cuban efforts to achieve the “Ten Millions [tons of sugar] Zafra”. Also, he is one of the few Cuban photographers who lived through the events of the massive “Mariel” emigration of Cubans to Miami in the early 80’s. Martí created many photos—often from a news boat—of those who left, and those who returned after an unsuccessful trip.
In 1999, Martí became an independent freelance photographer and began documenting the idiosyncrasy and culture of the Cuban people, not only in Havana, where he lives, but also deep in countryside communities. During his almost half a century behind the lens, he has also exploited commercial, landscape and portrait photography. In keeping with one of his first photographic interests, he has juried several Cuba and International underwater photography contests over the last 7 years. His black and white fine art photos (film and digital) are recognizable because of his high-contrast style.
Martí’s photographs have been included in 63 collective and 11 solo exhibitions and he has been the recipient of 14 national and international awards. His work is represented in public and private collections in the USA, Great Britain, France, Malaysia, Italy, Mexico, South Africa and Cuba.
Martí is a member of the Cuban Association of Writers and Artists, and the Fototeca de Cuba. He has collaborated with the Santa Fe Photographic programs in Cuba since 2011.