Nov 302011



Manuel A Alvarez “Lolo,” painting in his studio on the Obispo in Havana.

Strolling along the Obispo in Old Havana, one finds many artists’ workshops and galleries.  If you are in search of Cuban art, you must talk a walk on this very famous street called the  Obispo.  Many of the little shops along Obispo sell what can be labelled as “tourist art” or what we have fondly nicknamed “Bodeguita” art.  It’s “cute,” produced for the masses, but not what we are in search of.  Tourist art or “Bodeguita”art is what the artists of Havana paint for tourist souvenirs for a quick profit for survival in Cuba.  It is mass produced and features time and time again the quickly painted images of Cuban cars, sexy Cuban nudes – like “velvet paintings” or the street where you’ll find one of the most famous tourist hangouts – a very lively bar in Havana called La Bodeguita del Medio.  The sign for La Bodeguita del Medio dominates the paintings and everyone seems to want one as a souvenir of their Cuban holiday. Continue reading »