Contemporary Cuban Art… Now on Sale

Daisy Valera

The Galiano St. Gallery
The Galiano St. Gallery

HAVANA TIMES — The visual arts produced in Cuba in the 1990s were characterized by their direct and unflinching messages – by multitudes of rafts, islands drifting aimlessly across the open ocean and bleeding hammer-and-sickles. These features are not common in contemporary Cuban art, making its conceptualization rather difficult.

This art world is marked not only by the coexistence of several generations of artists (from those trained in the sixties to those who have just stepped out of the art academy), but also by the medium used: here, we come across traditional art forms (paintings, engravings, sculptures) and so-called post-modern formats (installations, video-art, performances and others).

Post-It, Cuba’s first art exhibition and sale event, organized by the National Visual Arts Center and displaying the works of contemporary Cuban artists under the age of 35, began on November 1.

The Post-It art show in Havana.

A total of 56 pieces, selected from 106 submissions, were put on display for this first exhibition-sale. The works will remain on display, and in the competition, until January of 2014. A jury will then select the winning artists, who could be awarded as much as 3,000 Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC), art materials for a value of 1,500 CUC and support for the development of personal exhibitions. (1 USD = 0.87 CUC)

The declared aim of selling art pieces makes Post-It stand out among Cuban exhibitions.

The exhibition may also be an attempt at giving Cuban art greater visibility and overcome some of its difficulties in terms of entering the international market.

The event could well be the response of State visual arts institutions to criticisms regarding the legislative vacuum that appears to exist in connection with art collections and the promotion of art through private channels, as well as the limited number of art scholarships currently in existence.

Post-It, to be held annually, has opened its doors to the public at the Galiano and Collage galleries in Havana, inviting us to come into contact with a different, pluralistic and heterogeneous way of making art.

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Daisy Valera

Daisy Valera:Soil scientist and blogger. I write from Mexico City, where Havana sometimes becomes so small that it disappears. However in others, the Cuban capital is a city so past and present that it steals your breath.