Karoll of Havana

Karoll of Havana, aka Karoll Studios, aka Luis Cuento, 1920s – 1979.

There is very little known or published about Karoll although, for the opening of the 3rd Latin American Photographic Conference in April 2012, the Hispanic Culture Center in Havana (Centro Cultural Hispano de La Habana) gave Luis Cuento (also known as Karoll) an exhibition with Joaquín Blez, calling both men pioneers of nude Cuban photography.

Luis Cuento worked mostly in the 1940s and 1950s producing mainly portrait work for business men. But recently his physique pictorials, working with musclemen and athletes, has surfaced and become quite collectible.

It is commonly reported on the internet that Karoll was arrested shortly after Castro took power in 1959 and that the photographer died in prison. However sources with the exhibition, and relatives of Karoll, report that he never had a prison record and that he died in 1979 after suffering many years with Alzheimer’s. 

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