Our GPS is inclusive

For the title we borrowed an idea from one of our colleagues for his article in this edition of Art OnCuba, since we find it an excellent metaphor on the results we intend with our publication. It is not only making a new number each time, adding article after article to fill an amount of pages, calling those that are always called, talking only about what others talk, but to try to mark a difference, contributing coordinates that will allow us, and will allow the reader, to explore the vast universe of contemporary Cuban art.

Offering novel information, showing diverse perspectives, discovering different paths becomes our purpose. That is why we have, among others, Orlando Hernandez and his Missing, an idea nurtured for some time and finally realized in a valuable article with eyes on the art system and its diverse ways of including or disqualifying, accepting or forgetting. A name, a visual proposal will be familiar for some; others will be incited to self-reflection and, probably, to question their own precepts, or inherited ones, conceptions marked by a lack of vision or an unassuming nature. There will be no consensuses, of course. With luck, much reasoning and dialogue will emerge…

And talking about dreamed and finally fulfilled ideas, our thematic nucleus on Water, the “damned circumstance,” with excellent texts by Dr. Luz Merino Acosta and Anaeli Ibarra, was the ideal space to turn to a fundamental figure in Cuban visual arts, Luis Cruz Azaceta. Stunning images, harsh views of reality, of history, of the condition of the individual in contemporary society, and the meticulous prose by Janet Batet, will make the reader penetrate into the very essence of this indispensable artist on whom Havana and its institutions should consider holding an individual exhibition.

A review of Cuban art in the new millennium, or rather several perspectives on the same topic, floods the pages of this edition. Two texts deconstructing the panorama in an exquisite and categorical way, by Tonel and frency, allow us to initiate our look, which continues with recent exhibitions, like El Poder de tu Alma (The Power of Your Soul) by Roberto Diago in the Wifredo Lam Center. Reviews on other individual samples by youngsters who are establishing guidelines in the definition of Cuban art in this stage – a duet showing hilarious and intense drawings in the Center for the Development of Visual Arts, a Cuban living in the United States, a Cuban born in New York – complete the journey.

Almost at the end of the previous edition, we were very favorably surprised by the news of the handing of the 2013 National Plastic Arts Award to Eduardo Ponjuán González, and we did not want to let it go by unmentioned. Ponjuán, a painter, draftsman, sculptor, or simply the creator of visual forms, is one of the most interesting figures in his generation, an artist who has left the firm mark of his path, making it impossible to cover the history of Cuban art in the last thirty years without finding his name associated, one way or another, to the most outstanding events in this so restless and turbulent period.

We were also interested in going over the Award’s history, and especially in offering a list many are unaware of or have simply forgotten. In like manner, we retake the most recent events of two awarded artists: Pedro Pablo Oliva and Manuel Mendive.

Art OnCuba is undoubtedly a beautiful, inclusive project which, little by little, creates for Cuban art, and for itself, a privileged place in the global panorama, to which we would like to add the lovers and observers of our topics wherever they may be.


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