A few weeks ago I attended a class talking about contemporary art in Cuba, I was so surprised when I learned that art in Cuba is very important, the country will support artist and the art scene is pretty big. When a gallery here in Brussels has a new exhibition interested people will come and see but it is definitely not for everyone, this is something that does not apply to Cuba. When an art gallery in Havana exhibits a certain artist, all kinds of people will come to the opening, taxi drivers, shopkeepers and doctors. Havana also has the oldest Art Academy of Latin America “Escuela Nacional de Bellas Artes ‘San Alejandro’”. This class really opened my eyes about Cuban Art and most of all the quality of this art. So first off I’d like to show you, some artist I highly appreciate.
Ruben Torres Llorca, the Annunciation
Rigoberto Mena, Untitled
Yoan Capote, Democracia
Yoan Capote, Isla (distante)
Another great artist is Ricardo Brey, when 20 years ago he got the chance to move to Belgium when he was invited by Jan Hoet he immediately took this chance and settled in Ghent. I went to his Exhibition in Antwerps contemporary art museum MUHKA (you should totally go check it out too! It lasts until the 10th May and is only 1euro when you’re less than 26y/o). the exhibition was called “Fuel to the Fire”.
The first installation that hit me was his “untitled” installation that he also made during Documenta IX the first exhibition in Ghent he collaborated in. it is a very impressive installation.
Ricardo Brey, view of “untitled”
What I really like about Ricardo Brey is his different types of artwork, while this was a very big, monumental work, he also has a lot of very detailed and fine drawings that are so beautiful to look at.
Last but not least there is a Ricardo Brey installation displayed in the Paul’s Church in Antwerp. It was amazing, I’ve always loved churches and the mystical sometimes almost eerie atmosphere. So church + contemporary art = perfect combo, if you ask me.
I briefly talked with someone of the church who gave me a bit of explanation about Ricardo Brey his installation, it was all very complex! So the small ball in the middle symbolizes earth, Brey put the ball near the edge of the stair because of the earth being on the edge of collapsing because of all the problems there are. All the different balls symbolize all the different theories philosophers and scientists had about god back in the middle ages (when it was thought earth was the centre, just like in the installation) and when they tried to find one definition about what god is. Some of the balls are made of eggshell, which symbolizes beginnings and creation. Another ball on the left side is made of fabric, Brey asked his friends and other important people in his life to give something they own to make this ball, it represents memories.
Ricardo Brey, Every Life is a Fire
It is the kind of artwork you can’t really photograph because when you stand in front of it, it is so much different in the best way. I personally love that it was set up in this very impressive church, I adore the outcome. If you happen to be in Antwerp you go visit!
(Yesterday was the best weather, I wasn’t able to take a picture of the whole thing without any tourists )