Cuban street art - Murales Pintados
Posted: 21 July 2011 02:46 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I am a documentary photographer and have been working on a project in Havana with my partner, Kate Mack, since 2006, photographing community and street art and meeting with the artists.

On our last visit in April, we finally created a collective exposition with the Muraleando artists in Lawton, our photographs and their art work in response to the photographs.

As you can imagine,  it was a spectacular event as we were honored to open their new community center and art gallery, made from a 100-year-old water tank. 

You might be interested in the work of Charo, a very talented artist living in Miramar.

I am most interested in showing our collective exposition and I have a CD of this work that I can distribute.

Since we have documented so much Cuban art work, we are happy to make a presentation if we are available.

Our first American exhibit - Murales Pintados: painted walls & the painters - was in our own local government center at The Atrium Gallery at The Ventura County Government Center, Hall of Administration, Executive Level, sponsored by The Ventura County Arts Council.

We showed 47 photographs and Cuban art. This was a Collective Exposition with the Muraleando Project Havana and photographs of Havana street art by Morgan Alexander and Kate Mack, part of a group exhibit “Latin Quarter”.

This work first opened on April 11, 2011 in Lawton, Havana, Cuba in “El Tanque” a 100-year-old water storage tank that was refurbished by the Muraleando Art Collective for a new community center, workshop, office and Art Gallery.

Each artist was asked to create a piece of art in response to one of the photographs.

This exhibit is the result of our collaboration.

On these walls, you will see creative conversations between the photographs and the Cuban Artwork.

The project in Havana was sponsored by the Council of Municipal Administration, 10th of October, DMC, the Directorate of Municipal Culture, 10th of October, Paradiso: Turismo Cultural (Cultural Tourism) Cuba ARTEX and Aventura, Havana.

yemayaconcha-cuban-art.jpg

Morgan Alexander, digital photograph
Yemaya, goddess of the sea
Porvenir & Concha Streets, Lawton, Havana
Victor Mora, artist, 2006, Cubabrasil Project

I often describe Havana as an utterly gorgeous woman in a tattered dress. A Cuban friend of mine called her “una dama digna” –a dignified old woman.  She is visually fascinating; almost 5 centuries of colonial architecture are in all states of repair and disrepair & since the 1990’s many Cuban artists have been painting on walls everywhere. Extreme and often serendipitous restrictions, rules and controls are placed on ordinary citizens of Havana. All that squeezing has to come out somewhere and so, it manifests itself in every conceivable mode of expression—painting, dance, music, poetry, ceramics, sculpture, theatre, woodcarving, jewelry & mask making. Put them all together you get Street Art.

There are several neighborhoods where every wall is completely painted. Phone poles are decorated. Streets become outdoor art galleries of painted wood, bathtubs, metal sculptures made from old typewriters and car parts.

Public Art is not an easy subject and there has always been debate about its worth as an art form. I have found, however, that so many intriguing and exciting visual images exist at those edges of each culture where people do not or cannot look and much of my 30 years creating images reflects just that, in particular my work with land mine victims in El Salvador and photographing people with AIDS, in California, Cuba and Juarez, Mexico.

In her essay, Photography: A Little Summa , Susan Sontag says:

“Photography—the supreme form of travel, of tourism—is the principle modern means for enlarging the world. As a branch of art, photography’s enterprise of world-enlargement tends to specialize in the subjects felt to be challenging, transgressive. A photograph may be telling us: this too exists. And that.  And that.  (and it is all “human.”)  But what are we to do with this knowledge—if indeed it is knowledge, about, say, the self, about abnormality, about ostracized or clandestine worlds?

While a small group of Cuban artists exhibit in Europe, Latin America and The United States, most are unknown outside Cuba. For them, the walls of their city are simply an extension of the canvas and their work is a constant public reminder of Cuba’s cultural aesthetic, a silent but ever-present and constant teacher, especially for children and an expression of many different cultures joining together creatively—muralists, graphic designers and painters from Spain, Germany, France, Canada, Brazil and Venezuela, to name a few.

For the past year, we have been working with the Muraleando Collective to create a joint exhibit—our photographs of the community projects and street art in Havana since 2006 together with the Cuban artists response on canvas, hand-made paper, ceramics and sculpture.  The community discovered a 100-year-old water tank in the middle of their neighborhood and with the cooperation and support of the local municipal district, the !0th of October, they refurbished “El Tanque” into a community center, teaching facility and Art gallery. We asked the artists to create a piece of art in response to one of our photographs. This exhibit is the result of that collaboration.  On the walls, you will see creative conversations between the photographs and the Cuban artwork. The project in Havana was sponsored by the Council of Municipal Administration, 10th of October, DMC, the Directorate of Municipal Culture, 10th of October, Paradiso: Turismo Cultural with Cuba ARTEX and Aventura, Havana.

MORGAN ALEXANDER is a poet and documentary photographer.

From 1982-90, she was the staff photographer for The Ojai Foundation founded by Joan Halifax.  In 1988, she photographed in El Salvador with Medical Aid for El Salvador, a Los Angeles based Prosthetics Project, providing prosthesis to land Mine victims & returned again 1994 to monitor the elections.  In 1989-1994 she photographed at The Hartford Street Zen Center and The Maitri Hospice for People with AIDS in the heart of the Castro District in San Francisco and The Ambassador Hotel, a single-room occupancy hotel in the Tenderloin. In 2004, she traveled to Cuba with the Cuba AIDS Project and to Juarez, Mexico where she continued her AIDS photographic project. She has had 25 exhibitions of AIDS Affects U.$ All (1991-2007) in the United States and Mexico. Her website is http://www.aidsaffectsusall.com. Her new work, Murales Pintados: Community Projects and Street Art In Havana, Cuba has been exhibited at California Lutheran University (Thousand Oaks, CA) at The San Buenaventura Artists Union (Ventura, Ca), The Buenaventura Artists Association and The Ojai Community Bank. She is Photography consultant for the Muraleando Project in Havana, Cuba where in April 2011, she took part in a collective exposition with Kate Mack, documenting the street art with the Muraleando Collective.  This collaboration opened the new community center, called “El Tanque”, a 100-year-old water tank newly restored as the local art gallery and community center in the District, 10th de octobre, Lawton, Havana, Cuba.  She has one book of poetry -”Vanilla Custard” (Floating Island Press, 1988) and lives in Ojai, California.

KATE MACK is a student of video, photography, Russian Language and Chinese brush painting.  She is the Video Consultant for the Muraleando Project in Havana, Cuba and has traveled to Havana for the past four years making photographs and artwork for Murales Pintados: Community Projects and Street Art In Havana and the Muraleando Collective Exposition.  She lives in Ojai, California.

victormoraanswershimself-cuban-art.jpg

Victor Mora: his reply
mixed media with handmade paper
Muraleando Project, “Por Amor”
A Collective Exposition in “El Tanque”
April, 2011

For more information about Murales Pintados, contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

For more information about individual artists, contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

[ Edited: 23 July 2011 10:49 AM by publisher ]
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Posted: 21 July 2011 05:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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If you are in New England, be sure to come to Boston or Provincetown to see authentic, original Cuban art from real Cuban artists from Cuba at Galeria Cubana.

I know that sounds redundant but there are VERY few places in the entire United States that offer anything close to what Michelle Wojcik offers in her Cuban art gallery.

Galeria Cubana in Boston and Provincetown Massachusetts

In Provincetown until August 10, 2011.

357 Commercial Street

Daydreaming in Cuban:

Sandra Dooley & Eduardo Guerra

Opening Reception: 

Friday, July 22

6-9pm

We will introduce 30 new works by master printmaker Eduardo Guerra & self-taught artist Sandra Dooley.

In Boston

The Boston Globe calls the artwork of Isolina Limonta “lush and dreamy”!

Boston exhibition: July 1 - August 7, 2011

460 Harrison Avenue in Boston

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