The Cuban artist Marco Castillo, member of the extinct collective “Los Carpinteros”, manages with his work to cross the walls that the Administration of Donald Trump has put to the exchange of art with Cuba and exposes for the first time alone in the country.
In an interview with Efe in Beverly Hills, where today opens the exhibition “The Decorator’s Home”, Castillo said that this work tries to tell the public that “Cuba is a wonderful place, where fantastic things are done.”
“And that is not a demon to be pursued and annihilated” underlines.
The artist arrives with his work and his message just when the relations between the island and the Trump government have been frozen reducing the possibilities of a cultural exchange.
Castillo warns that political confrontations not only affect Cuban art and its artists, but that tension is felt everywhere.
“Everyone is very afraid, between the pressure of the United States and what is happening with Venezuela there is a sensation on the street of instability,” he explained.
That fear would be forcing hundreds to leave the island and undertake a trip to the country, where they do not want these immigrants.
Castillo feels “privileged” to be with his exhibition right in the place where many of his countrymen want to come.
“I’m here while my cousin is on the border,” he said in a clipped voice, as he ran his gaze over the exhibition to keep the tears from running down his cheeks.
Castillo said that his cousin with whom he grew up left the island a few months ago in search of a better future.
The trip took his relative to Ecuador, from where he began a long journey to get to Mexico, where he is trying to find a way to enter US soil.
The need on the island is great, warns the artist.
According to Castillo, the combination of pressures has Cuba at a time when the social, political and debate context “is tired” about a system that “has not worked”, not only because of its political orientation but “because the leaders serving”,
An example of this dynamic would be his work “Gabriel”, a system of weights that are suspended from the ceiling and that try to create a scale, which at the minimum pressure goes from one side to the other.
While he finished installing the impressive work, Castillo explained that he baptized this artistic proposal in honor of Gabriel, a Cuban who makes handmade measuring instruments.
“It’s that on the island you do not find things as simple as a scale, so you have to build it as much as possible, that’s our value, and our ingenuity,” he said.
This deep look and the need to tell the great ideas that are produced on the island was part of the engine that led Castillo to return after living a decade in Spain and participate in the moment when “Cuba has to be rebuilt.”
The strength of this objective is what does not stop the artist, who less than two months after participating in the XIII Biennial of Havana brought his work to the country.
The American public is no stranger to the talent of Castillo, since prestigious spaces such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Guggenheim and Modern Art museums of New York, have pieces of art from the collective “Los Carpinteros” , one of the main exponents of Cuban contemporary art that was dissolved last August.
Now with “The Decorator’s Home” an exhibition curated by Neville Wakefield and exhibited in the UTA Artist Space room in Beverly Hills, California, the artist tries to create awareness of the great pieces of art design and decoration that were created just after the revolution, in the decade of the 60 and 70, before the Government of Havana reduced those spaces.
The exhibition includes a 6-minute video, made by the author that reflects the crisis that the artists went through and went through at that time when they felt tied up.
“Somehow we have to say we’re stuck,” he warned.