The work of a young Cuban artist named Mabel Poblet will be shown at a New York City gallery through mid-October. The artist was not able to attend the opening of her show in September, American Sandra Levinson says.
"...the State Department seems to think that Cuban artists represent a threat to our national security."Levinson runs the Center for Cuban Studies' Cuban Art Space. The center led a 1991 lawsuit against the U.S. Treasury Department that legalized the sale of Cuban art.
Levinson says that one of Poblet's pieces shown in New York in 2006 "consisted of 3,136 tiny screen prints of herself as a baby, and when viewed from a distance a current portrait of herself emerges. It was put together with 12,544 nails on canvas nearly eight feet by six feet. (The fact that she KNOWS how many prints and nails is telling.)"
Levinson writes of Poblet, pictured above in a photo that is not mine:
In her earliest works on paper, starting when she was 16, she used family photographs and collages with her drawings to tell the story of a divided family, one she brought together in her art. Her parents’ divorce disappears in these works, mother and father surround their daughter in a loving relationship. Her own beautiful face and body, vulnerable, even modest while naked (sometimes age three, sometimes 20) seems to float through an uncertain world.The next exhibit at the Cuban Art Space gallery will feature Alejandro Lazo, who began painting at age 16. He will be able to attend showings, Levinson says, because "although he is Cuban, he is currently living in Spain, and is therefore allowed into the United States."
His work explores Palo Monte or Palo Mayombe, sometimes called "the dark side of Santeria," which Levinson says is "in fact a quite different religious/spiritual/mystical experience."