Frank Thiel’s photographs explore a ubiquitous rite of passage for women in Havana

Daniela Lucrecia Márquez Rivero, La Habana, Centro Habana, Colón, Tacón, 2015 framed chromogenic print mounted to Alu-Dibond paper: 70 7/8 x 91 5/16 inches (180 x 232 cm) framed: 72 7/16 x 92 15/16 x 2 3/16 inches (184 x 236 x 5.5 cm) edition of 5 with 2 APs © Frank Thiel / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York. All images courtesy of Sean Kelly, New York

Frank Thiel’s newest photography series 15 [Quince] was shot over a two-year period throughout the fifteen municipalities of Havana. In this body of work, the photographer focuses on the first generation of millennials born in 2000 to celebrate their Quince, a ubiquitous rite of passage for young women in Latin American cultures.

Across most Latin communities, the Quince tradition recognises a Quinceañera’s transition from childhood to adulthood and is considered among life’s most important events. An essential element of the celebration is having professional photographs taken of the Quinceañera often in elaborate dresses and in fantasy settings.

With this project, Thiel recontextualised his young subjects; eschewing these hyper-stylised scenarios in which they are often depicted. He photographed them in their own neighbourhoods, in locations and settings atypical to traditional Quinceañera photography. The series reflects Thiel’s extensive research conducted throughout Cuba over a number of years.

Thiel and his Cuban team worked closely with the young women and their families to create a complex visual journey through Havana’s urban landscape, providing an intimate depiction of a city that is often idealised and romanticised.

Frank Thiel: 15 [Quince] runs until 17 March 2018 at Sean Kelly, New York. Discover more at www.skny.com.

Arlett Acosta Fajardo, La Habana, Marianao, Santa Felicia, 2016 framed chromogenic print mounted to Alu-Dibond paper: 70 7/8 x 92 15/16 inches (180 x 236 cm) framed: 72 7/16 x 94 1/2 x 2 3/16 inches (184 x 240 x 5.5 cm) edition of 5 with 2 APs © Frank Thiel / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York

Arlett Acosta Fajardo, La Habana, Marianao, Santa Felicia, 2016 framed chromogenic print mounted to Alu-Dibond paper: 70 7/8 x 92 15/16 inches (180 x 236 cm) framed: 72 7/16 x 94 1/2 x 2 3/16 inches (184 x 240 x 5.5 cm) edition of 5 with 2 APs © Frank Thiel / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York

Aurora Lawton de la Caridad Tamayo Genes, La Habana, Centro Habana, Dragones, Monserrate, 2015 framed chromogenic print mounted to Alu-Dibond paper: 90 15/16 x 69 5/16 inches (231 x 176 cm) framed: 92 1/2 x 70 7/8 x 2 3/16 inches (235 x 180 x 5.5 cm) edition of 5 with 2 APs © Frank Thiel / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York

Aurora Lawton de la Caridad Tamayo Genes, La Habana, Centro Habana, Dragones, Monserrate, 2015 framed chromogenic print mounted to Alu-Dibond paper: 90 15/16 x 69 5/16 inches (231 x 176 cm) framed: 92 1/2 x 70 7/8 x 2 3/16 inches (235 x 180 x 5.5 cm) edition of 5 with 2 APs © Frank Thiel / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York

Melany Linares Díaz, La Habana, Playa, Miramar, La Puntilla, 2015 framed chromogenic print mounted to Alu-Dibond paper: 90 15/16 x 68 5/16 inches (231 x 173.5 cm) framed: 92 1/2 x 69 7/8 x 2 3/16 inches (235 x 177.5 x 5.5 cm) edition of 5 with 2 APs © Frank Thiel / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York

Melany Linares Díaz, La Habana, Playa, Miramar, La Puntilla, 2015 framed chromogenic print mounted to Alu-Dibond paper: 90 15/16 x 68 5/16 inches (231 x 173.5 cm) framed: 92 1/2 x 69 7/8 x 2 3/16 inches (235 x 177.5 x 5.5 cm) edition of 5 with 2 APs © Frank Thiel / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York

Damay y Yamay Gómez Hernández, La Habana, Plaza de la Revolución, Nuevo Vedado, 2015 framed chromogenic print paper: 90 15/16 x 130 1/8 inches (231 x 330.5 cm) framed: 92 7/8 x 132 1/8 x 2 3/8 inches (236 x 335.5 x 6 cm) edition of 5 with 2 APs © Frank Thiel / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York

Damay y Yamay Gómez Hernández, La Habana, Plaza de la Revolución, Nuevo Vedado, 2015 framed chromogenic print paper: 90 15/16 x 130 1/8 inches (231 x 330.5 cm) framed: 92 7/8 x 132 1/8 x 2 3/8 inches (236 x 335.5 x 6 cm) edition of 5 with 2 APs © Frank Thiel / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York

Maria Carla Hidalgo Fernández, La Habana, Playa, Cubanacán, 2015 framed chromogenic print mounted to Alu-Dibond paper: 90 15/16 x 69 11/16 inches (231 x 177 cm) framed: 92 1/2 x 71 1/4 x 2 3/16 inches (235 x 181 x 5.5 cm) edition of 5 with 2 APs © Frank Thiel / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York

Maria Carla Hidalgo Fernández, La Habana, Playa, Cubanacán, 2015 framed chromogenic print mounted to Alu-Dibond paper: 90 15/16 x 69 11/16 inches (231 x 177 cm) framed: 92 1/2 x 71 1/4 x 2 3/16 inches (235 x 181 x 5.5 cm) edition of 5 with 2 APs © Frank Thiel / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York

Gabriela León Greenup, La Habana, Cerro, Latinoamericano (Carraguao), 2016 framed chromogenic print mounted to Alu-Dibond paper: 90 15/16 x 69 11/16 inches (231 x 177 cm) framed: 92 1/2 x 71 1/4 x 2 3/16 inches (235 x 181 x 5.5 cm) edition of 5 with 2 APs © Frank Thiel / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York

Gabriela León Greenup, La Habana, Cerro, Latinoamericano (Carraguao), 2016 framed chromogenic print mounted to Alu-Dibond paper: 90 15/16 x 69 11/16 inches (231 x 177 cm) framed: 92 1/2 x 71 1/4 x 2 3/16 inches (235 x 181 x 5.5 cm) edition of 5 with 2 APs © Frank Thiel / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York

Lisandra de la Caridad Rodríguez Ramayo, La Habana, Arroyo Naranjo, Mantilla, 2016 framed chromogenic print mounted to Alu-Dibond paper: 79 1/8 x 70 1/2 inches (201 x 179 cm) framed: 80 11/16 x 72 1/16 x 2 3/16 inches (205 x 183 x 5.5 cm) edition of 5 with 2 APs © Frank Thiel / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York

Lisandra de la Caridad Rodríguez Ramayo, La Habana, Arroyo Naranjo, Mantilla, 2016 framed chromogenic print mounted to Alu-Dibond paper: 79 1/8 x 70 1/2 inches (201 x 179 cm) framed: 80 11/16 x 72 1/16 x 2 3/16 inches (205 x 183 x 5.5 cm) edition of 5 with 2 APs © Frank Thiel / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York

Donna Gladys Machado Sánchez, La Habana, Plaza de la Revolución, Rampa, 2016 framed chromogenic print mounted to Alu-Dibond paper: 70 7/8 x 93 1/2 inches (180 x 237.5 cm) framed: 72 7/16 x 95 1/16 x 2 3/16 inches (184 x 241.5 x 5.5 cm) edition of 5 with 2 APs © Frank Thiel / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York

Donna Gladys Machado Sánchez, La Habana, Plaza de la Revolución, Rampa, 2016 framed chromogenic print mounted to Alu-Dibond paper: 70 7/8 x 93 1/2 inches (180 x 237.5 cm) framed: 72 7/16 x 95 1/16 x 2 3/16 inches (184 x 241.5 x 5.5 cm) edition of 5 with 2 APs © Frank Thiel / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York

Claudia Sholans Peña Gonzáles, La Habana, La Lisa, Versalles - Coronela, La Corbata, 2016 framed chromogenic print mounted to Alu-Dibond paper: 90 15/16 x 67 7/8 inches (231 x 172.5 cm) framed: 92 1/2 x 69 1/2 x 2 3/16 inches (235 x 176.5 x 5.5 cm) edition of 5 with 2 APs © Frank Thiel / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York

Claudia Sholans Peña Gonzáles, La Habana, La Lisa, Versalles - Coronela, La Corbata, 2016 framed chromogenic print mounted to Alu-Dibond paper: 90 15/16 x 67 7/8 inches (231 x 172.5 cm) framed: 92 1/2 x 69 1/2 x 2 3/16 inches (235 x 176.5 x 5.5 cm) edition of 5 with 2 APs © Frank Thiel / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Courtesy: Sean Kelly, New York