Creole World

Richard Sexton Documents New Orleans and Other Creole Survivors

Renowned photographer Richard Sexton has traveled extensively across Latin America and the Caribbean, visiting and taking photographs in Argentina, Colombia, Ecuador, Cuba and Haiti where he has captured the architectural and urban similarities among these locales.  Sexton’s recent collection of photographs in Creole World:Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere, take readers on a mesmerizing journey through New Orleans and the evolving Creole world.

In his introductory essay, Sexton writes about the architecture, climate, and Creole culture and the connections that link New Orleans with its Latin American and Caribbean urban cousins: 

“New Orleans may be only subtropical, but because it summers can rival the intense heat and humidity of the tropics, is shares many climate-responsive architectural features in its historic buildings, from louvered shutters and tall ceilings to shading porches and balconies. In both locales a similar human response to climate plays out: if air conditioning is scare, or too expensive, much of the living happens outdoors—in the street, on the porch or stoop, through the open window, in the courtyard.”

Sexton photos serve as a tour guide to numerous cities in the Latin Caribbean sphere. Here we’re able to examine, compare and contrast the architectural and urban similarities of New Orleans and its Creole relatives. In Havana, he photographs an elegant, but dilapidated, facade on the Paseo de Prado juxtaposed with a French Quarter gallery adorned with the Cuban flag, tropical plants and an ode to Fats Domino. Madonnas with eye-popping robes in blue and red are seen in Haiti and in the Lower Ninth Ward in New Orleans, and shuttered facades ward off the sun in Buenos Aires and New Orleans. 

The colors of the tropics and intricate architectural details are proudly on display. We see houses painted turquoise with burgundy detailing, or a pale creamy yellow exterior with fire-engine red shutters  Numerous homes boast balconies with ornate wrought iron confections. 

Creole World: Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere offers readers endless variations of architecture—flamboyant and humble; old and new, serious and whimsical, and taking them on a magical journey through time and the ever-changing Creole World.

Creole World: Photographs of New Orleans and the Latin Caribbean Sphere (The Historic New Orleans Collection, 2014) 240 pages with 204 images. $49.95. For more information about the Historic New Orleans Collection, please visit www.hnoc.org. For more information about Richard Sexton, please visit www.richardsextonstudio.com.

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