In the summer of 2014 another milestone will be established when Arles del Rio (1975), a Cuban born artist working in the island, shows his installation Cercanía, a 17-billboard sculpture made out of chain-link, at the heart of Times Square, New York City. In addition, Cuban-descended New Yorker, Andres Serrano (1950), will have his Residents of New York project, an intervention around Washington Square Park, the Judson Memorial Church, the West 4th Street subway station and La Guardia Place in Greenwich Village.
These projects are just two of the latest examples of a long historical presence of artists with a Cuban background in public spaces throughout the United States that reaches back more than five decades. Channeling various avenues, these creators have been articulating a public artistic dialogue around diverse communities.
The presence of the work of these artists in the United States public realm is a sign of integration and assimilation, showing how grounded their artistic dialogue has become. Geographically this presence has two main axes, Miami and New York, which are linked to a combination of the concentration of a Cuban exile/migrant population and the interests those cities have in public art. However, some remarkable examples also can be found in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.