Alexis Rodríguez-Duarte is a New York based art photographer born in Havana, Cuba and is the author of a book entitled, Presenting Celia Cruz. In 1968 he and his parents were among Cuban exiles who left the island aboard the humanitarian air lifts called the Freedom Flights. Rodriguez–Duarte’s family settled in Miami’s Little Havana community and at the age of 10, was given his first camera by his grandfather, which led to his love affair with photography. Today, he is a New York based, internationally renowned photographer known for his elegant fashion photographs and celebrity portraits. Rodriguez-Duarte in collaboration with his husband of 33 years, Tico Torres have photographed some of the world’s leading artists, celebrities and public figures such as Jeff Koons, Madonna, Maurizio Cattelan, Andy Garcia, Carolina Herrera, Gloria Vanderbilt and Enrique Iglesias among many others. His whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, Town & Country, and Harper’s Bazaar, among other major publications. His work has been exhibited at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami, Museum of the City of New York, the Bass Museum (Miami Beach), Museum of Fine Arts (Houston, Texas), Museum of Art & Design (Miami), Lehigh University Art Galleries, the Bronx Museum, the Coral Gables Museum and the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art (New York) among others. His work is in many private and public collections.
Rodriguez-Duarte and Torres have been documenting the Cuban diaspora since 1993 for a portrait series entitled, Cuba Out of Cuba. Torres, a fashion stylist who is a master of the mise-en-scene, helped create the scene with Rodriguez-Duarte the joyous image of Celia Cruz standing amid the towering palms of Fairchild Tropical Garden in a traditional ruffled Cuban “guarachera” gown which the National Portrait Gallery has called the iconic photograph of Celia. The Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery has a portfolio of 18 portraits from the Cuba Out of Cuba series in their permanent collection. Torres andhis family were also among Cuban exiles who left the island on the Freedom Flights and eventually settled in Miami’s Hialeah community.