/ 8 March, 2014

Historiography, criticism and theorization on contemporary Cuban art have been chiefly immersed in a conflict of synchronization of their tools. Thanks to certain voices, they enjoy an analytical power, but they lack an effectively valorizing, judging discourse on an art that is the result of symbolic, linguistic and morphologic experiments not exempt of conflicts, tensions, negotiations, dichotomies and readjustments of their strategies, whether for the inside of a specific society or for art trends on the international level. As a last resort, much criticism on Cuban contemporary art has rather been a translator, narrator, or legitimator of the artistic event, with few examples of an axiological criticism. This has been the cause of the hierarchization of some productions, the proscription of others, and the ignorance of several. This issue, delicate and even discussed in critical spaces and among artists, is the origin of another shortsightedness having to do with turns that have taken place from the end of the 20th century to today. Without intending to focus on all of them, I would like to highlight some:

-The recovery of sensitivity with creators who turned their intellect and passion to the sociological, anthropological and critical vocation of a large part of Cuban art in the eighties. (…)

-The mobility of various artists into diverse media. (…) This gave way to a larger diversity comprising environment, intervening and procedural action art, video and Emerging Media. (…)

-A minimizing process from the second half of the 90s, which functions like a critical and expressive answer to some of our cultural bases because of being the reverse of the social eclectic baroque style and the visual excess of our ontological nature. Also, it is a consequence of international assimilations.

-A displacement of the teleological substratum inherent to visual art. This is related to the death throes of a real identity model, as well as with processes of the same kind in behavioral, ethic, social, economic fields, in the ideological and vital praxis of the nutrient society (…) The most outstanding visual practice has focused on a dissension of what is “Cuban” to favor what is universal (…).

(…) Contemporary visual creators bolt down too much. They prime this need with their individual problems so as to reproduce from them, as sensitive beings, other levels transcending individual “tales” and reflecting on diverse lines of social, political, ethnological, metaphorical, linguistic, and aesthetic interest, among others. The symbolic world is central for them and, more than reproducing it, they create it in a different way. These new areas explored today in the Emerging Media become inheritors of what is extensively and inclusively understood as contemporary art: a symbiosis of conceptualism, minimalism, process and action art, with the extension, experimentation and inclusion of techniques and procedures of diverse origin, in which new technologies are included.



  • Editor in Chief / Publisher

  • Executive Director

  • Executive Managing Editor

  • Art Director

  • Editorial Director / Editor

  • Design & Layout

  • Translation and English copyediting

  • Spanish copyediting

  • Commercial director & Public Relations / Cuba

  • Web Editor


Art OnCuba Newsletter

* This field is required