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Popularidad Cuba

Changing Cuba's “Art” Institutions for Art Experiences‎

Popularidad Cuba, I like 82%


It was back in the ‘90s, in a passageway in Old Havana, where I first met visual artist Angel Alonso.  He was among a group of painters and artisans trying to sell their works.   I myself was selling some clay necklaces, and when I crossed the cobblestone street I recall catching people’s attention because of the clicking of my high heels.  From this I remember his smile from among an amalgam of faces that have long since faded into oblivion.  A few weeks ago we ran into each other in Fraternity Park and I proposed interviewing this engaging character for Havana Times.

Since it turned out to be too difficult for me to pin down a time and place to meet, he agreed to respond to my questions by e-mail.

HT:  Tell me about your childhood, your family environment.   

Angel Alonso:  My childhood went by in a flurry of motion and activity, relocating from house to house and changing schools; my parents were always moving with the aim of finally becoming independent from the rest of the family.  It was a supportive environment and I received lots of affection, but the changes in schools — with me always being the new kid — created some problems for me.  By the time I arrived, the others had already formed into groups of friends and I felt like the lone cowboy from the movies, when he drifts into a new town and asks for a glass of milk at the bar.  Then, as soon as I’d start identifying with a neighborhood or with a group of students, I had to leave again.  This became a pattern that repeated itself all my life.

HT:  When and how did your encounter with art occur?  

AA:  I think my encounter with art was natural.  All children like to draw or make play-doh figures.  What happens is that later, when they grow up, they become involved in other things.  I just decided to continue, so after elementary school I registered at the provincial School of Visual Arts on 23rd and C streets.  Subsequently I continued at San Alejandro and graduated from there.

HT:  When I met you in that passageway in Old Havana it was during the years of the Special Period crisis, a situation which did so much to transform practical life, ideology and the hopes of Cubans.  Your painting back then was an expression of that convulsion, that general sense of loss, with those rfts that launched into the abyss of the sea seeking escape?  



By Amrit 



October 2, 2011

Read full article: www.havanatimes.org


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