Cañibano (as he is commonly referred to) spent his early career working as a welding technician in civil aviation. In 1990, he visited his childhood hometown of Cienfuegos on vacation, where he met Cuban photographer Alfredo Sarabia. Sarabia’s work inspired him to enter the world of photography and he soon taught himself how to experiment with the medium, eventually finding work at national magazines.
Attracted to the work of photographers Henri Cartier-Bresson and Sebastián Salgado, and the paintings of Salvador Dalí, he formed his own surrealistic style, shooting mainly in black and white.
In 1998, Cañibano received the Cuba’s Photography Salon’s National Prize for his series Tierra Guajira (Countryside Soil)." The photographs pay tribute to the Cuban peasant, recalling his own childhood experience living in the eastern, rural area of Cuba. Among others of his ongoing projects are: City, Faith for Saint Lazarus, and Ending, though Countryside Soil continues to be one of his favorite series and photographic themes. Cañibano’s photographs are included in the publication CUBA: 100 years of Cuban Photography, as well as numerous international magazines.
His work has been exhibited worldwide, at Fototeca de Cuba, Casa de las Americas in Madrid, the Royal National Theater in London, the ICP in New York, the Arles Festival in France, the Nordic Light International Festival of Photography in Norway and the Frankston Arts Centre in Australia, plus New York’s Robert Mann and Throckmorton Fine Art galleries, and the Annenberg Space of Photography in Los Angeles. His photographs are also part of important international private collections.
Among Cañibano’s awards are the Gold Medal of the Spanish Photographic Confederation, and a dozen more in Cuba and other countries. He has taught workshops both in Cuba and abroad, in Spain, Mexico, France, and Belgium.
Cañibano is also a documentary photographer for the newspaper Juventud Rebelde in Cuba and CNN Digital in the United States. He is a member of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC), where his work is part of the Cuban Image Fund.
Cañibano has collaborated as an assistant with Santa Fe Photographic Workshops in Cuba since 2010. His website is www.raulfoto.visura.co