I feel like because black Cuban artists don’t have the kind of pressure to thematize race in the way that African-American artists do, there’s more space for them to do their art without having to discuss it in terms of racial identity.
US policy toward Cuba [at the time] had two tracks. Track 1 was to assassinate Fidel Castro. Track 2 was to subvert the regime through people-to-people contact.
I’m incredibly enthusiastic about the normalization, I think it’s very promising. But I do think there are some worrisome aspects.
I feel like Havana has always been such an amazing, cosmopolitan city that it makes sense that a lot of galleries will want to be present.
Cuban artists had, for a while, a privileged position within Cuba that is probably going to become slightly less restricted to them. I think they’ll continue to join the international art world, so those people who are extremely successful will become even more so and those who are struggling will continue to struggle.
I think the art world will continue to be a place where people have a certain freedom and creativity to think about what’s happening in Cuba.
The really great gallerists have always been interested in imagery that is not that imagery.
There aren’t that many galleries in Havana. There are a few state galleries and an ever-increasing but still limited number of independent galleries; there’s no comparison with the number in New York.
Because there’s such a long tradition of the arts being very prominent and very varied in Cuban culture and society, people do use the art world as a space for critical reflection and people look to it for that.