To the south of the community of Madrid, in what once was in the 1960s a small agricultural town, today there is an industrial and services city, Fuenlabrada. It is in this city on the outskirts of Madrid (…) where in 2005 the CEART (Tomás y Valiente Art Center) was founded. Interested in developing among its neighbors the habit of enjoying music, literature and visual arts, the community put up a beautiful building in whose spaces the most diverse and highest quality artistic and cultural expressions are performed.
It is in CEART, the center specifically dedicated to the visual arts where its director with the years has become a figure of reference in the current Spanish artistic scene and where a continues work of promotion of Cuban art has been carried out. This interest for Cuban art is what has motivated us to make this interview, which we carry out after having witnessed his exceptional work in favor of the creators of our island.
Juan Carlos, since its foundation in 2005 the Tomás y Valiente Art Center of Fuenlabrada has become a referent in Spain. What influence do you consider the creation of this center has had in the region where it is located?
When in 2005 the CEART was born, the periphery was considered not suitable for the creation of a space of its characteristics. With effort and hard work we have been able to demonstrate that from the periphery different proposals can be made and contribute something new to those offered by that great monster that is Madrid. Under its umbrella other centers were born and that has produced a small decentralization, very healthy for the artists and also for the public.
How did you start being interested in Cuban art?
During my first trip to Cuba, around 1999, I discovered a series of artists who powerfully caught my attention and who since then I have followed; I have been expanding that list with more artists and knowledge about Cuban art and not just plastic arts. There is a surprising ratio of Cuban artists with an international projection whose presence in fairs, biennials, galleries, museums is absolutely unquestionable. (…)
Which artists have already presented their work in the Art Center?
Michel Pérez Pollo in 2010, Mabel Poblet in 2013, Ernesto Rancaño in 2015, Gabriel Sánchez Toledo in 2016, among others. (…)
How do you think the economic affluence derived from the price boom has had an influence on Cuban art?
In mi opinion (…) a great generational clash is perceived at present in which the market has deconstructed a model and structured another. In a few decades we have witnessed, when referring to the market, three processes. And as I understand, Cuban artists are well-defined as follows: A generation, made up by the artists who went through their process of formation and their passage to the market, without being aware of it. And, however, they are a group that has had a very relevant prestigious and commercial position. Another, that was aware, while being formed, of the existence of a market, but whose role was not decisive in their creative processes; the commercial phenomenon still wasn’t very potent and they joined the market in a more natural way. This generation was followed by this other one formed with the effervescence of the market, with success as the goal. This can be the great problem of the new generation of Cuban artists. If when the artists are creating and being formed they resort to Google, Instagram, Twitter…to see which are the parameters in which they have to move and create their referents instead of using the emotional, cultural, social and intellectual influences at their reach, I consider it makes them insignificant instead of making them grow.
Who would believe it….