As you stroll through the streets of Havana, keep your eyes open and you will stumble upon art galleries, both large and small, some well known and others seemingly undiscovered. This is the magic of Havana, where there is always something new to be found. Walking along a sidewalk under the arches of a most glorious historical building along the Paseo de Marti, we stopped at number 458, to find an art exhibition on the first floor of the Gran Teatro.
Whilst in Havana, we saw many examples of collage as a contemporary form of art. Three examples caught our attention. Beautiful women, Havana Club rum, perfect mojitos, music everywhere and text from newspapers and magazines. It reminds us of a Cuban singer we once heard sing. He called himself the Cuban Johnny Cash. His voice was deep and rich and powerful when he spoke and when he sung those lovely old Cuban songs. He said his voice came from years of Cuban rum and cigars. Old world Cuba and Juventud Rebelde – Rebellious Youth – this is the Cuba of today, a mix of the past entwined the the present..
Alicia Perera is an artist from Havana. She also owns an art gallery which she shares with a couple of other artists in Cojimar, a small coastal town, about an hour outside of Havana. Cojimar is the seaside town where American writer Ernest Hemingway bought a farmhouse and lived with one of his wives.
Juan Lázaro Gutiérrez Momblas is one of the Cuban artists we met by chance one afternoon wandering along the interesting streets of Havana. In Havana, it doesn’t matter if you lose your way because you will always find your destination in the end and then you will find your way back home again. And while you are lost, you will be surrounded by the constant rhythm of the city, it’s music, its art, its crumbling beauty, its hustle, its charming people. This the thing I love about Havana. There is always something new to discover in this historical city.
The art world is looking forward to the opening of the Havana Art Biennial in 2012 because this is one way to experience the thriving arts and culture scene in Cuba. Opening on the 11th of May 2012 and lasting a month until the 11th of June, this exciting event is a great opportunity for artists based in Cuba to showcase their creations to the rest of the world. Since the 1st Havana Art Biennial in 1984, (Cuba was one of the first Biennial internationally), this has become an internationally important event in the arts world, celebrating Cuban art, art from Latin America and beyond. Its primary goal is to expose art from the “South” as opposed to the “North” and its shared themes and conflicts.