How did Ramón Cernuda become a collector and a promoter of Cuban art?
We bought our first work in 1973. From that time on we were already collecting Cuban art. The fifteen years I spent in the direction of the Cuban Museum of Art and Culture, the first institution here in Miami which presented works by Cuban artists living in Cuba, also influenced in a given way. This gave rise to critic and violent attacks against my wife and I from intolerant sectors in Miami. (…)
The first step was working with the Cuban community in Miami. It was the first contact: a natural relationship. The rest has not been that easy, but it could be done. I consider it important to internationalize the interest in Cuban art, because of its collecting. (…)
And, taking into account that, although fundamentally working with historic art, you also do it with many contemporaries, how do you gain access to the art being produced in Cuba today?
Unfortunately we have been unable to do a better work with more contemporary art, but we acknowledge there is an extraordinary talent in the young generations. We see that, in the Island, the situation of artist studios selling works is presented as problematic.
When the artist becomes his own broker, or does it indirectly through his wife or some other relative, when the artist is in a given way involved in this process, he becomes a being not sufficiently apart from the consumer. Artistic creation should be moved away from consumption and there should be an intermediary for that purpose: a gallery owner, an actual representative who works as an art dealer. (…)
Do you think Cuban art is acknowledged enough in an international level?
I think the international public does know Cuban art and, particularly, that related with the 20th century modernists. With CernudaArte we are gaining much ground in this sense. The excellence of our avantgardists, who already integrate collections on the same level of European painters—French, German, North American—is becoming increasingly evident… And the contemporaries we promote are also well known and very well accepted. What we lack in Cuban art is galleries doing well their work. (…)