“Archives of Consciousness: Six Cuban Artists,” an exhibition that captures the complexity of Cuba in the post-Soviet era, is a runaway hit at the Fairfield University Art Museum, and a must-see for people who’ve long been enthralled by the island’s mythology.
The 52 works on display have been lent by Old Greenwich attorneys Terri and Steven Certilman, who have built a large collection of Cuban art over the course of what has amounted to a near-40-year cultural love affair.
If state communism, backed by deep reserves of Soviet wealth and unconditional support, defined the first 30 years after the 1959 Revolution in Cuba, Lillian Guerra, PhD, a co-curator writes, in an accompanying bilingual catalog, “permanent crisis, penetrating poverty and public fear over what kind of future might lie ahead defined life in Cuba since 1991.”
Yet interestingly, massive reversals in in state policy have worked to the advantage of Cuban artists, enabling them to sell their art free of government intervention. Today, the country’s pre-eminent artists have galleries in their own homes, and many have been able to build upon their markets through travel. In this regard, their economic outlook has become brighter than that of the average Cuban.