As with many aspects of Cuban life, art is benefiting from a growth in interest from the outside world. With more visitors comes a greater appreciation for the history and culture of a country that has long been forbidden fruit for U.S. travelers, and that interest trickles down to the art world.
U.S.-based contemporary artists such as Alexandre Arrechea, Tania Bruguera and Carmen Herrera are receiving increased amounts of attention from art fans, while those that remain in Cuba are enjoying the spotlight for the first time. Top names include Kcho, Manuel Mendive and Roberto Fabelo – you’ll find their works at the Havana Biennial, the Fabrica de Arte Cubano (FAC) and other venues.
Cuba may be set to open up to more visitors and trade agreements in the next few years. If this happens, then interest in the country will continue to grow as it is welcomed from its status as an international pariah. Investing in Cuban art now means buyers will be able to ride this wave and sell on their works as a profit, or hold on to pieces by artists with burnished reputations for their own collections.
On your next trip to Cuba, be sure to check out the galleries of Havana and elsewhere. You’ll be able to see top works at the Wilfedo Lam Contemporary Art Centre, the National Fine Arts Museum and the Fabrica de Arte Cubano. Those on a tighter budget should look to buy original works at the Almacenes San Jose Artisans Market and the smaller workshops and galleries dotted around the Cuban capital.
You don’t have to be a collector to be interested in Cuban art, and there is no better time to start checking out the island.