The National Museum of Fine Arts of Havana, which we won’t be seeing until the policies of the US government toward Cuba are relaxed, is hosting an exhibition of Cuban artists stressing the insularity (which we think can be here translated as “island-ness”) of Cuban art traditions. Certainly political conditions in the second half of the twentieth century have conspired to keep a certain Cuba relatively isolated from daily casual contact with much of the art world’s permutations and fashions. This, we feel, accounts for Cuban arts fresh appeal, as Cuba is allowed to emerge from its largely US-imposed isolation.
So we find ourselves wondering, will Cuban art maintain its character and charm once US collectors are unleashed upon it, or will market forces direct Cuban artists into the blander mainstream? Will commercial success, and it is coming, spoil Cuban art?