CUBA LIBRE project - street sequences

The CUBA LIBRE project is a long frieze of compositions set somewhere in the streets of the island. Street sequences, something like holography – each small part carries information about the whole. Plein air, drawings live among shrimps and coffees, a stolen backpack with painting sets, curious eyes wide open; broad staircases reminding of glamor gone long ago expose their armatures. A return to the sensory memories of my childhood. Cuba streamed on my canvases after a travel to that coveted place, painted after my impressions and drawings.

The skilled storyteller is like a shaman; without a real narrative you get the déjà-vu feeling that you have already been there, that you belong to bohemian Cuba. You can see it: tangible, frontal, close, colorful; before or after the siesta it is a place where life appears in all its possible hypostases - with no right to hierarchy, order (whatsoever); and even the right of choice may turn out to be an illusion.
Paintings are an entrance to and exit from reality in that country – a country which has experienced the longest embargo in the world and has retained its nuances,  those of the greenish-blue sea, super salty; the beaches, white as sugar, and their hammocks; the contemplation during a long drink; the cars of the 1950ies; the silhouettes of town in colonial style, the white costumes, the poverty, the queues in front of dark shops, the flying cucarachas, all this swarm of sniffling and propagating creatures; the red revolutions, the supple bodies of Cuban women and the legendary cigars, Tropicana, the music, the rhythm of slow cadence; the rum and the greaves of Hemingway in the humid heat reaching 40 degrees, the wise boat “Pilar”, Fidel and Che, Buena Vista Social Club - and its spirit, maybe due to the eternal „mañana”(no hurry, guys!).

A country with fluid glamor and decadent patina, passed through the Caribbean crisis and the end of the Cold War, but seductive in its promise for a real mirage. The faces of the people - are open, inviting, with not a single sign of alienation.

Cuba may change; no one knows when exactly the past will leave the scene. Maybe it is something the future generations will be faced with. No one can argue that there is no point in change, that it does not make any sense, but as K. Jung says, it is a matter of temperament for a man to choose what weighs more in life – sense or lack of sense.

And if temperament has a synonym, the one that comes first to my mind is surely a Cuban!
 

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ELITSA BARAMÓ

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