Jan 16, 2015
Timing is everything – but not, until recently, if you were a Cuban fine artist.
As displayed in Bruce Donnelly’s new documentary, Alumbrones, the Cuban art scene is a vibrant, enthusiastic national affair, tempered only by its lack of supplies.
Like pencils and pens.
BRUCE DONNELLY podcast excerpt: "Over the course of making the documentary Alumbrones we noticed how much people are fascinated by Cuba and want to know more... In the wake of what Obama said (about lifting trade restrictions) in the last few weeks, that's drawn a lot more attention to our subject."
The artists presented herein speak the same language as their counterparts in the free world, but they find that the tools of the trade that craftsmen around the world take for granted can be extremely hard to come by.
But put proper paint and canvas in the hands of these spirited men and women and you’ll see eye-popping results, as fine as can be found in any American or European modern gallery.
BRUCE DONNELLY podcast excerpt: "Havana was so captivating, so diverse from one Cuban artist to the next. There was so much humor and life and spirit in their work. I recognized so many stories and lives and characters."
Alumbrones comes on the scene in January 2015 on the unexpected wings of Barack Obama’s historic decision to begin reopening trade and and diplomatic relations with the island nation for the first time in more than 50 years. It is an opportunity that director Donnelly could not have seen coming while in production but I have to imagine the prospects for it have only redoubled his enthusiasm for the project.