In an environment where many artists alienate their truth to pay attention to the art market, working on their individual branding which makes the attention of collectors, directors of art galleries, events and—just not being so obvious—more accessible to the art critics; some continue believing in the original meaning of art, its symbolic potential, its capacity to spark off various dynamics, to impel a change, even in a social scale. Of course, some combine both projections—whether in a serious work in their studios as with curators and galleries—but, unfortunately, perhaps because of a basic issue of invested energies on thoughts or fixed ideas and concrete actions, these are the exceptions and not the rule.

A selection of those who commit themselves, who experience creation as an intense process beginning with the idea and going along by multiple stages: finding the ideal media, exploring hundreds of times the original premise, accepting or discarding formal solutions, are today in the pages of Art OnCuba.

Beginning with Jorge Pardo who, in his eagerness of definitively integrating art and life, works sculptural and public art proposals that perhaps some would define as design or architecture, ineffective splits in our opinion in these times of transdisciplinarity. Or the cases of Alejandro Aguilera, with his recent exhibition of drawings Seriously Funny: Political Cartoons and Illustrations, and Lázaro Saavedra, who comment on the surrounding reality as feature writers from the high perspective their intellectual level and expressive subtlety allows them. They both have also devoted themselves to reflect from various viewpoints on the particularities of the world of art: Saavedra with incisive statements on the relationship of art-market, art-craftsmanship, among others; while Aguilera has portrayed the intellectuals and artists he admires, briefly summarizing what each represents from the historical and stylistic points of view without abandoning his individual mark.

René Francisco Rodríguez, this time on the cover, offered in his most recent solo exhibition an acute and complete look on the phenomenon of the book in the present context where, in an increasing way, the printed letter seems to be displaced by the digital file.

Past and present are the obsessions of two youngsters, José Manuel Mesías and Alejandro Gómez Cangas. The first one has recently worked in a series of pieces with diverse morphology (painting, object…) alluding at the historiography of the Cuban 19th century, particularly what is related with the Wars of Independence, although proposing tangential looks, based on apocryphal or “lateral” histories, in a really remarkable expression in Cuban young art. Cangas is obsessed by the present psychology of a people, the Cuban one, based on the representation of crowds of persons who go, or return, at times in circles; and from this reflection on the present he suggests an anxiety about the future.

We are also publishing in this issue reviews on several collective exhibitions that called our attention in the last months, as the show in Sarasota of part of the Jorge Reynardus Collection and a polemic selection of drawings exhibited in Galería La Acacia, Havana. We also offer the reader a first approach on two events that took place last month in Miami—one called by CIFO on the mythic Volumen Uno, and another thought by curator and critic Elizabeth Cerejido—which were space for dialogue among Cuban artists living in the United States and in the island, who presented their experiences having to do with the new dynamics of art, signed by the recently initiated changes in the relationship between both countries.


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