palm tree with text 'Loscar Numael Feature Article for Puerto Rican photographer'



THE Good Of The Earth



Now based in Atlanta, Puerto Rican-born landscape photographer Loscar Numael has made his homeland central to his artistic journey. Numael’s photographs of Puerto Rico’s wild landscapes and historical locations expressively animate the appeal of this fragile island which is often the subject of storms and other hardships. In working with Loscar to bring structure to his portfolio and message, I was fascinated to learn all the cultural lore that makes Puerto Rico such a storied place. It’s a land rich in history and national pride. 


painting of man writing with text Pull Quote

 “In their use of amorphous shapes, elongated fields of colour and vertical, jagged and sinuous lines, Burdeny’s images suggest the painterly expressiveness of Rothko, Still, Newman, Diebenkorn and late career Willem de Kooning. The effect is less intentional than it is available – Modernism’s abstracted reordering of the visual landscape (which essentially got going in pre-WWI Paris with Robert Delaunay and his aerial scenes of the Eiffel Tower) permits a non-objective reading of these compositions.” 

Barry Dumka 



The Good of the Earth

Don`t worry about the noise
Don`t worry about the water
Don`t worry about the wind –
If you are going out
Beware of mangoes
And all such beautiful
sweet things

– Victor Hernandez Cruz, The Problem With Hurricanes (1949)


The great Puerto Rican poet Victor Hernandez Cruz knew intimately that the tropical beauty of his birthplace was a double-edged sword. Storm-ravaged, rain-soaked, conquered and capriciously ruled, pulled in one direction by Spain, yanked in another by the US – the island has suffered its sorrows. With dignity. When the Roosevelt-era documentary photographer Jack Delano – kin to the social realism photography of Walker Evans and Dorothea Lange – arrived on assignment in Puerto Rico in the early 1940s, he found a country almost beaten by its plight. In the Foreword to Puerto Rico Mio, his seminal book published by the Smithsonian, he wrote: “I’d seen plenty of poverty before but never anything like this.” Still Delano ended up making San Juan his home. Even in hard times, Puerto Rico had its charms. The lure of the island has never been denied.


Fine art photographer Loscar Numael cuts to the core of what makes Puerto Rico – or anywhere else he shoots – alluring. He has a sharp eye for when beauty becomes compelling. When it commands attention. His series of photographs – both black-and-white long exposure and lush color – shot around Puerto Rico are marked by a native son’s appreciation for his heritage. And a sensitivity to the lush details of sub-tropical life.



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