Art is like the sun in Cuba – you couldn’t get away from it even if you tried. There are layers on layers on layers of art around every corner: The buildings themselves. The graffiti on those buildings. The musicians playing in front of them, the cars driving by them, and performances inspired by it all. We didn’t need a guide to find art. But, we had one anyway.
Sol brought us to the Museo de Bellas Artes to check out the 4-story collection of Cuban art. We saw the evolution of art from pieces that first mimicked European art to works that slowly incorporated Cuban subjects and colors to more recent ones that are Cuban through and through. We toured the studio of a young conceptual artist and Sol brought us to a friend’s home that she had curated with pieces from her artist friends. I fell in love with a collage made from chipped paint of the buildings in Havana. It was more than a little out of our price range.
Luckily, there is art for every budget in Cuba. We had better luck at the Almacenes de San José on the Port of Havana, where you can wander down aisle after aisle and haggle with artists for paintings, wooden sculptures and other handmade items. We walked out with some paintings, some wooden instruments for Sam and a set of handmade wooden dominoes.
Art is everywhere in Cuba, even after the sun goes down. The capstone to our Cuban art experience was our trip to the Fábrica de Arte Cubano, a combination night club and gallery space in an old cooking oil factory unlike any place we’d ever been. Within the course of an hour, we sipped mojitos, saw paintings and photographs, heard a DJ perform and watched modern dance performances. It is a living, breathing art project and not to be missed.
Until We Eat Again,
Two Happy Cooks