Two Sides on View in ‘Cuban America’ Exhibit

In the exhibit “Cuban America: An Empire State of Mind” at the Lehman College Art Gallery in the Bronx, curators Susan Hoeltzel and Yuneikys Villalonga are trying something different – they’re displaying artwork of impressions of the United States from both Cubans raised on the island and Cuban Americans. Reports Maya Rajamani for The Riverdale Press:

Ms. Villalonga, who moved to the U.S. from Cuba three years ago, said the works in the exhibit speak about America as a land of immigrants instead of dwelling on typical themes like Cuban prejudices toward American capitalism and politics.

“We wanted to give it a turn and consider Cuban American artists – to say these artists can also be called Cuban,” said Ms. Villalonga. The exhibit features 35 artists of Cuban descent, but instead of the typical divide between artists raised in Cuba and artists raised in the States, Ms. Villalonga and Ms. Hoeltzel have chosen to display them together.

One of the artists featured in the exhibit is New York-born Andres Serrano, who for his series, “America,” documented over 100 people in the U.S.

"Wunmi Fadipe, Sales Assistant at Investment Bank" by Andres Serrano

“Wunmi Fadipe, Sales Assistant at Investment Bank” by Andres Serrano

The half Honduran and half Afro-Cuban artist gained notoriety for one of his most famous works, “Piss Christ,” a photo of a plastic crucifix submerged in his urine. His piece in this exhibit, “Wunmi Fadipe, Sales Assistant at Investment Bank,” is a bit more subdued.

According to Villalonga, American-born artists like Serrano would not usually be found in a Cuban-themed art exhibit.

“It’s presenting a different image of Cuban art,” Ms. Villalonga said. “Before, you never had [Cuban and Cuban American art] dialogue, because they excluded one another,” she said.

A reception will be held on March 17 for this exhibit, which ends on May 14. For more on other works of art on display, read the full article at The Riverdale Press.

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