Cuba immediately evokes rum and cigars, but the real wealth of Cuba lies in its culture or rather in its cultures: Spanish, French, American and of course Caribbean. The island has become a crossroads for literature, dance, music and cinema. The exhibition “Buena Vista, Contemporary Art in Cuba” presents the vitality of the visual arts since 1959. With the revolution, culture, already very developed on the island but reserved for a bourgeois elite, has experienced a fantastic democratization. Over 1000 kilometers between Havana in the west and the island’s second city, Santiago, art schools were created in the nine provinces, allowing children of mainly peasant origin, who would never had the opportunity to open up to music, painting, sculpture or dance, to learn these disciplines from the primary and secondary cycles. This system also allowed these young artists, of course, to live in their village, until a final selection to enter the university of the ISA (Higher Institute of Art) of Havana.
We will understand better then, appreciating the importance that Cuba has given to the learning of art how a whole generation of remarkable artists has emerged. Until recently, artists dealt with very specific aspects of Cuba. Starting with the insularity of boats, sails and oars of Kcho, then religion, Santeria and African cult living in Cuba, which feed the work of Mendive and, in another form, that of Belkis Ayon. The politics of the island and the historical events inspire the sharp wit of artists like Toirac, René Francisco or Tamayo, in some of their works or the affirmation of the negritude, in the paintings of Diago and Esquivel. Through all these works, we are in Cuba and nowhere else. For a decade, art has become universal in Cuba, we will discover the recent works of artists such as Campins, Yaque or Humberto Diaz, asking the question of the implementation of the principle of responsibility of the international community, l the advent of a world of ecological, political, economic and social interdependencies. This exhibition of the works of eighteen Cuban artists offers a panorama of creativity in Cuba.
Belkis Ayón, Abel Barroso, Alejandro Campins, Roberto Diago, Humberto Diaz, Alexis Esquivel, Diana Fonseca, René Francisco, Alexis Leyva Machado dit Kcho, Manuel Mendive, Michel Pérez Pollo, Mabel Poblet, Eduardo Ponjuàn, Sandra Ramos, Lazaro Saavedra, Reynerio Tamayo, José Angel Toirac, José Yaque