Artists Supply is Short of Materials for Camaguey Salon / 14ymedio, Sol
14ymedio, Sol Garcia Basulto, Camaguey, 17 February 2017 – With a
predominance of mixed techniques and recycled materials, Camaguey
artists hide the shortage of raw materials in the City Salon show. The
art show opened on 2 February and will run until the first days of March
in the Provincial Fine Arts Center.
The event began with a contest in which 32 artists participated with
more than 40 works, among which the wide presence of younger artists
stands out. The members of the Camagüey Provincial Arts Center presented
the prizes a few days after the opening.
The winner of the Grand Prize was video artist Hamlet Armas Perez, 27,
who explained to 14ymedio the difficulty of “creating art right now in
Camagüey” because of the lack of materials.
Many of the works show a nonchalant character and the authors have had
to deploy greater imagination to supply the missing resources, since the
Cuban Cultural Property Fund, the largest supplier of materials in the
province, has stopped supplying art products.
This situation is suffered in particular by painters, says Armas Pérez,
although video art makers also have “difficulties in finding resources.”
Kevis, a young graduate of the School of Art Instructors who could not
finish his work in time for the exhibition, laments the high prices of
materials, as well as the complexity of finding them. “I’m paying for
a tube of white oil now 5 Cuban convertible pesos (roughly $5 US) on the
street,” he protests.
“Some of the education and culture warehouses keep materials for more
than 20 years.” Those are the resources that are circulating in the
province according to Kevis. “The tubes of oil are sometimes hard and
you have to put them in hot water to make them soft.”
Angel González Fariñas, director of the gallery, thinks that the
predominance of mixed techniques is more related to “the authors’
instinct for experimentation” and takes for granted the “lack of
materials especially in the prints and mountings.”
The artist Jorge Luis Pulido Álvarez, who won the Salon’s third prize
and three collateral prizes with the trilogy In the habitat of my art,
says that his work was done with mixed technique and that in spite of
the shortages “the artists overcome these difficulties with the passion
Lewis, an art instructor in the visual arts, said that he could not
present his work at the event because he could not get the mounting that
his work needed: a frame and glass. Lacking the necessary resources to
dedicate himself to painting has pushed him to dedicate himself to drawing.
Another artist who has abandoned painting, in his case for a better
remunerated technique — carpentry — is Pedro. This former professor
at the School of Art Instructors says that he has dedicated himself to
making coatracks and shoe racks because “you have to eat.”
However, despite the adversities, the organizers of the show have
managed to maintain a high standard.
The curator and critic Pavel Alejandro Barrios Sosa sums up his
perception of the work of the artists: “Art for art’s sake, the
amusement of the artist, quotes, versions, allusions, the relationship
between culture and popular expression, between the national and the
Source: Artists Supply is Short of Materials for Camaguey Salon /
14ymedio, Sol Garcia Basulto – Translating Cuba –