Cuba Figurative Arts

Cuba Figurative Arts

The need to use artistic expressions as a tool for analyzing and transmitting socio-political cultural contents makes art today in Cuba an integrated and ever-present activity as a necessary qualification of the environment, workplaces, free time, study time, etc. The interest in the problem of mass communication has led the interested circles not only to favor certain sectors of art (poster graphics, audiovisuals, cinema), more responsive to the needs of maximum reproducibility and distribution, but also to reinvent the models themselves places traditionally used for the transmission of culture (museums, exhibition pavilions).

As for the places, the composite use of different techniques (verbal, graphic, photographic, pictorial, musical) is interesting in museums, which makes them particularly lively and immediate in communication; but an even more important feature is the abandonment of the museums themselves as preferential places for the transmission of cultural events and their replacement with exhibitions, which are numerous both in schools (from kindergartens to universities), and in factories and in any other social meeting place, from workplaces, to city streets, to the countryside. This articulated form of “exhibition” it is particularly congenial to the new Cuban expressiveness and has also been adopted in international comparisons (Cuban Pavilion in Montréal or Exhibition of Cuban culture in Grenoble). It is worth mentioning the Cuba Pavilion called “The ramp” built by the architect. J. Campos in 1963 in Havana where exhibitions of international interest take place continuously (exhibition on Cuban culture, exhibition on information techniques, etc.).

According to indexdotcom, a very broad research concerns the relationship between artistic production and use of the work of art. The application of a “socially functional” art leads on the one hand to less individualization of the entire research sector, and on the other to an immediate possibility of applying the theoretical lines.

Particularly interesting are some experiments of commemorative and at the same time creative events, conceived as spectacular forms of direct participation in which the commemoration of a historical event becomes the starting point for assembling a “collective action” in which different techniques of representation are used simultaneously: pictorial, musical, cinematographic, theatrical. Moments of mixing between a design technique and a spontaneous artistic production (arch. F. Perez o ‘Reilly, E. Fuentes, H. Veitía, A. Diaz, MR Martinez: Commemoration of the centenary of the independence struggles in the national park of Demayagua, Province of Oriente 1968; audiovisual show in S. Clara: Derailment of the armored train by the forces led by Che Guevara, etc.).

The best known expression of visual communication, the manifesto, is produced by numerous centralized and non-centralized institutions (COR, ICAIC, OSPAAL, Casa de las Americas, Consejo Nacional de Cultura, etc.). Among the most gifted authors stand out: Beltran, Péna, Rostgaard, Reboiro, Azcuy, Martinez, Bachs. Generally their culture and the desire to adhere to the theme (from the political poster to the poster for the cinema, etc.) leads them to welcome different influences (the Americans S. Bass and M. Glazer, the Czechs J. Flejar and Z. Chotenovskj, Posada and the Imagerie d’Epinal ; Japanese woodcuts; Liberty in the stylized versions of Fielmore and Avalon, pop-art) and yet their creations remain unmistakably Cuban.

Spontaneous popular graphics also exist in large quantities and constitute one of the strongest creative stimuli for “cultured graphics”. This both at the level of publications, in which graphic inventiveness redeems the poverty of materials (paper, ink, photographs), and at that of graffiti and mural paintings, in which cultured interventions and spontaneous manifestations coexist in a characteristic whole and constitute an effective takeover by the population of the traditionally closed and differentiated Cuban environment. In this, Cuban streetart differs clearly from North American mural advertising, while it presents many points of contact with the most cultured Californian protests.

Even on the artistic theme par excellence in architecture, that is the monument, Cuban culture has responded to the commemorative need, as R. Segre (see bibl.) Noted, with “the idea of ​​an environmental transformation accompanied by simple signals “. In the city, this means designing places that can still be used as gardens or squares (for example the monument of Playa Giròn, of V. Garatti and S. Baroni) and in the countryside, as in the beautiful example of the martyrs’ road of the Moncada barracks, a delicate rhythm of a historical journey.

Cuba Figurative Arts

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