Coronavirus in Cuba. An artists creative response to the coronavirus crisis

I loved it when Augustin sent me his recent work, the Olympics poster particularly moved me. This is a unique time  in our history, we are living it. 

My enthusiasm for selling Agustin’s work is even greater than before. For many of us comfortable enough to get through lock down in homes with running water and other resources that we take for granted remember that not everyone in our world has this luxury.

I know that in our own country things are less than perfect and to be honest sales are not important but if we can loosen our grip of resistance, (lock down in mind as well as our reality)  during  this time we will feel more movement and the ebb and flow and rhythm of being will keep its dance. Therefore my invitation is to look outwards and know that you are  part of a story that will be looked back on. We are creating history, at sometime in the future this artwork may have some meaning for you and be relevant, if not today.

I am taking orders for Agustin’s work, he cannot print them just yet, lock down and social distancing apples there as it does here. But by ordering and pre paying, even a small deposit for the posters you are enabling them to be printed and sent over here. It will take time but we are all in the together. 

Augustin receives 80% of our payment direct into his bank account, the remainder goes towards the costs of getting them here and then out to you. 

I would love to hear from gallery’s who are interested in showing his work.

Follow your dreams and live by your passion.

WHY AM I DOING THIS? Why am I trying to support an Artist in Cuba? Random, right? It’s just how I am, If I see something that I like I want to share it and if I see an opportunity to help someone I take it.

I think Augustins work will appeal in our culture, it’s very cool it’s political, it’s post castro, its relevant and beautifully executed. 

My aim is to raise awareness of Augustins work out side of Cuba so he can be showing his work all over the world. 

There really is very little chance of his work being seen out side of Cuba and for all Cubans are generally looked after they by their government, they lack opportunity for private enterprise and cash. They have a government  income of $25 per month and that dent go far.Most Cubans will never be able to afford any thing like a car, most will struggle to buy new shoes.

I was drawn to Augustins work at an collectors fair by the port in Havana. I posted his and other artists work on my FB page and offered to buy them for friends back home. Whist on that previous trip I met Augustin and he showed me his catalogue of work. Without tourists going to Cuba, post Trump travel restrictions for Americans and now Coronavirus sales have gone from down to non existent. 

It would bring me enormous pleasure not just to send cash which I know will have a real and positive impact of Augustins life and for his family but also I think people here will enjoy his art and start a conversations about social injustice and inequality. 

This is a non profit venture 80% of each sale goes direct to Augustin and 20% goes towards shipping and postage and packaging.

Art tells a story and informs us of our world. Augustins work goes beyond Cuban charm, it’s not music and dance and old cars. It tells a real story of what we take with ease and enjoy for fun has a dark side, one of corruption and power, that those who are rich can do what they like.

We think that big corporations have power, they do, they are rich. But they are one rich because we buy their products. This artist is asking us what a sweet drink does for our world

Adds life, creates and illusion of fun loving and living, we take it and enjoy it. We all know that this drink is bad for us, but we still buy it, but do we know what they do with their profits. 

I invite you to look beyond the brand, beyond the glossy adverts, beyond the smile, the song and the hand holding. Look at the art and then do a google search. You can form your own opinion and you can share this with others.

Owning this art means that you care about socialism. Sadly Cuba though supports artists offers limited freedom for them. Also the artists have very little resources therefore by owning this art you have provided 4 months income to the artis and his family. By owning this art you are taking courage to talk about difficult subjects,

I give my time freely for this part of my business and I fund my travel myself. It is my love of travel that brings me in contact wit the most interesting people. My entrapenurial spirit sees opportunity everywhere, helping others is easy for me. It is my aim through my work and creativity to take people to inspire and motivate people to live their best life possible. This business is a by product of my own lifestyle choices, to live how I love to be, in inspiring company with people all over the world.

I find ethical ways to off set my flights and take every opportunity to be sensitive to environmental choice in my everyday life. 

On my last trip to Havana, in November 2019 Augustin took me a new private gallery, http://www.maximacubart.com.

They were preparation a state of for opening and it was exciting meet the business owners and view their collection of art by Cuban Artist, an un taped market waiting to be explored. The gallery represent Augustin and you can read more about him and see more of his work here. 

http://www.maximacubart.com/autor/agust-n-hern-ndez

The gallery represents change in Cuba, galleries of this stature are not normal and this one has positioned itself across the road from the national gallery of Cuban Art. This is the like a Bond street gallery in London. Except Havana has no equivalent of Bond street, so this is an interesting time that I am observing on my trips to Cuba. Despite the challenges that they face there is growth and diversity taking place. This is also seen in a lot of new restaurants which have a more european feel and not at all authentic Cuban. Is this wrong? People often comment on the changes taking place, and that Cuban will loose its authenticity. I doubt that very much and voice what A cuban said to me, is why can they not have choice, why can they not have the experience of different food, in the same way that I remember when new trends and styles come into our society. 

Change is everywhere, our past, present and future are a tapestry of life, interwoven threads of experience, rich in love and compassion for others. Our relationship with each other and the rest of the world hold potential for sustainable and shared richness in the joy of being part of our whole world. I invite you to engage, support and share.