By Andrea O'Reilly Herrera
As an island—a geographical area with mutable and porous borders—Cuba hasn't ever been a set cultural, political, or geographical entity. Migration and exile have constantly trained the Cuban event, and loss and displacement have figured as important preoccupations between Cuban artists and intellectuals. a tremendous expression of this adventure is the novel, multi-generational, itinerant, and ongoing paintings express CAFÉ: The trips of Cuban Artists. In Cuban Artists around the Diaspora, Andrea O'Reilly Herrera specializes in the CAFÉ undertaking to discover Cuba's lengthy and turbulent heritage of circulate and rupture from the viewpoint of its visible arts and to meditate upon the way within which one reconstitutes and reinvents the self within the context of diaspora.
Approaching the Cafeteros' paintings from a cultural reviews viewpoint, O'Reilly Herrera examines how the background of Cuba informs their paintings and establishes their connections to previous generations of Cuban artists. In interviews with greater than thirty artists, together with José Bedia, María Brito, Leandro Soto, Glexis Novoa, Baruj Salinas, and Ana Albertina Delgado, O'Reilly Herrera additionally increases severe questions in regards to the many and infrequently paradoxical methods diasporic matters self-affiliate or situate themselves within the narratives of scattering and displacement. She demonstrates how the Cafeteros' artmaking comprises a technique of re-rooting, absorption, translation, and synthesis that at the same time conserves a sequence of identifiable Cuban cultural parts whereas re-inscribing and reworking them in new contexts.
An very important contribution to either diasporic and transnational stories and discussions of up to date Cuban paintings, Cuban Artists around the Diaspora eventually testifies to the truth that a protracted culture of Cuban paintings is certainly flourishing outdoors the island.
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Extra resources for Cuban Artists Across the Diaspora: Setting the Tent Against the House
11 17 Cu b an Art i s ts Acr o s s th e D i a s po r a Th e Soviet Socialist Art Moveme nt The “epic past” to which Camnitzer refers included the tradition of abstract expressionist and geometric art exemplified in the work of the artists in Los Once and Grupo de los Diez (Group of Ten), as well as the Soviet Socialist art movement, or “Socrealism,” which was promoted by the government throughout the 1970s. The former movement focused on socially committed or Socialist Realist art as opposed to what Camnitzer terms “bourgeois humanist” art, which was closer to northern trends.
We were sitting beneath the trees in Mérida’s central park,” Soto recollects: reminiscing about our experiences in postrevolutionary Cuba. In terms of its architecture, the park was similar to squares in Havana. As we recalled our past lives, the emotional intensity of these memories became obvious. 2 As the evening wore on, Soto, Bauta, and León Viera—all of whom received their art training on the island and had forged their friendships in Cuba—began talking about how they had managed to preserve their Cuban “artistic identities” in exile while at the same time enunciating a radicant aesthetic by incorporating new cultural elements into their art.
Although they had established their reputations in Cuba, they told me, in exile they “ceased to exist” as artists in the minds of some academics, curators, and art collectors. ” Commenting on his Cafetera series, Yovani Bauta observes, “My goal during the 1990s was to create an homage to this most fragrant emblem as well as to fill the void in my life after leaving Cuba and consequently sustaining several personal losses” (see frontispiece, Cafetera hembra ). Bauta continues: “The cafetera is at once a familiar object in every Cuban kitchen as well as a kind of heraldic totem of nostalgia.