A few years ago I traveled to Cuba for the first time, fueled by intense curiosity and a deep passion for travel. Like many Americans, I had grown up with the myth of Cuba, our isolated neighbor to the South with whom strong geopolitical tensions exist to this day. Hence, the opportunity to visit this country has been a deeply enriching experience.
From the moment I disembarked on Cuban soil I quickly identified a very real, thriving culture. Everything is decidedly Cuban - the food, sights, sounds and art. There is honestly no place like it. The soft humming of the vintage 1949 Cadillac Devilles, the explosion of music and lively rhythm parading through the dimly lit streets, the colorful facades, and the joyful and kind demeanor of the Cuban people - they all weave together to create a truly striking, captivating place.
The nation’s isolation from many of its neighbors has fueled Cubans’ need for developing a strong self-identity. The artifacts of the island have been created by hands of local artists who have worked to preserve their national and personal history. Sadly, most of these artists have never been able to leave their country - let alone exhibit their work overseas. Some of them have had the opportunity to show it in other countries, but it has always been through the help of a foreigner.
As I have continued to travel to Cuba over the past several years, immersing myself into its vibrant community, I have collected a variety of local artpieces. My love for these artists’ work, combined with my desire to help share their vision and beauty with a larger audience, has motivated me to put this collection together.
These art pieces tell the story of Cuba, cultivated over the last 60 years in a variety of stunning iterations; they create a snapshot of Cuba’s people, emotions, and soul.
I hope you enjoy it.
- Bryant A. Toth