We found this article about Cuba’s art scene’s newfound popularity in the WSJ a little while back. Did you know that it is absolutely legal to buy Cuban art in the U.S.? While sugar and cigars remain restricted, Cuba’s art and culture are fair game for collectors, and always have been. Que Viva!
We found this bit particularly interesting:
Works by Cuban artists aren’t necessarily less expensive in Havana than in New York or London. With international interest in Cuban art on the rise, Cuban galleries now charge international prices, and many insist on payment in euros.
Below is a little bit more of the article; read the whole piece by Kelly Crow of the Wall Street Journal *here*.
The Cuban Art Revolution
Collectors are betting the next hot art hub will be an island most Americans still can’t visit. Now, some U.S. art lovers are finding legal ways into Cuba to shop for works — before the market gets too crowded.
By KELLY CROW
March 22, 2008; Page W1
John Crago, an agricultural exporter from Colorado, took a business trip to Cuba last spring. He came back with 60 paintings, from island landscapes to abstract works, rolled up in his carry-on luggage.
With art from Asia and Russia in demand, some in the art world are betting on Cuba to be the next hot corner of the market. Prices for Cuban art are climbing at galleries and auction houses, and major museums are adding to their Cuban collections. In May, Sotheby’s broke the auction record for a Cuban work when it sold Mario Carreño’s modernist painting “Danza Afro-Cubana” for $2.6 million, triple its high estimate.
Now, with a new Cuban president in power and some hope emerging for looser travel and trade restrictions between the U.S. and Cuba, American collectors and art investors are moving quickly to tap into the market. Some are getting into Cuba by setting up humanitarian missions and scouting art while they’re there. Others are ordering works from Cuba based on email images and having them shipped.