Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Landscape of Cuba

Cuba is BIG NEWS as the American Embassy opened with a flag ceremony in Havana only hours ago. I was blessed to attend the inaugural week of the 12th Havana Biennial in late May with a group of U.S. artists, gallery owners, and art administrators. I plan to create paintings of the people I saw. As anybody who has ever visited Havana knows, Cubans are as much of the landscape as the ancient fortresses, the Malecón (the main thoroughfare that butts against the fortress wall), and the Art Deco buildings.

Originally a showcase for Caribbean artists, the show now has a strong showing from emerging third world artists as well. Particularly heavy in conceptual art, the city was literally covered with artworks, particularly striking along the Malecón. I look forward to capturing what I considered works of art, on canvas (#CubaToArkansasCon). Until I can share my interpretations, here are a few pieces I enjoyed that also showcased the city.

Plenty of conceptual art that stabbed at imperialism. This cash icon with an Apple "i" sits next to an ancient cannon on the roof of La Cabana Fortress facing in the direction of the U.S.

Yes, an artist imported a beach much to the delight of the locals.

The landscape of The Point on the Malecón where a contemporary mirrored art piece stands against the backdrop of patriot Francisco de Miranda, ancient La Cabana and El Morro forts, and the Venezuelan Navy sails into Havana Bay.

Hundreds of forks stuck in the sides of this impenetrable iron pot; a symbol of the hordes of people hungry for what they cannot have.

Because of cramped quarters, and for dozens of other reasons, Cubans take to the streets for entertainment and to work, as this industrious gentleman shows. 

A friend and I in The Blue Cube where everything we could see became an altered landscape.

This large sculpture presented the viewer with art candy when the visual distractions were the blue Caribbean Sea and  the Havana skyline.

Using space as a medium, this simple facebook "like" symbol is spreading love toward Cuba and eminating from the direction indicating the U.S.

<br> #CubaToArkansasCon  #Conceptual Art  #Cuba  #Havana  #Hispanic Art  #Havana Bienenial  #Arkansas

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