Landscapes and Landfills

I don’t know if it was the island hopping I’ve been doing this past week, or the podcast about Celia Cruz my girls were listening to, or it could have been  talking with my cousin’s bright and beautiful Cuban wife, but however it came about I was really wondering about Cuban painters today.

As usual, I didn’t know any of the names listed in the Pinterest board Google pulled up for me: 257 Best Cuban Painters (257!! How would you like to be number 258? Sad painter!) And, as usual, I was mesmerized and delighted and immediately vowed to own an original painting from each one. If you know me you might be thinking, “Her house is not large enough for 257 paintings!” Don’t worry! I’m moving to a castle on a cloud. It looks a lot like the Louvre.

We don’t have all day, so let me just randomly pick one of the artists I love. It has to be Tomas Sanchez.

“A veces la gracia parece una cascada.” 
I’m falling all over myself here. Isn’t it gorgeous?

“Los Cuatros Elementos”
Just give me some snacks and set me up in front of this for the rest of my life.

Sanchez met Fidel Castro a few times, and one of his paintings even hung in the Castro residence. But his relationship with the Castro regime was… not awesome. (Shocker, I know.) Many of his paintings were burned or given to budding (maybe more compliant) artists to paint over.

In addition to his amazing landscapes, Sanchez is also famous for painting bizarrely beautiful landfills. Not like, “Hey! That’s beautiful! Earth should have more landfills!” But beautiful like, “Ohmygosh, there is so much garbage and he somehow paints it beautifully. Ohmygosh, I should use a reusable straw and bring my own container to the restaurant for my leftovers.” Take a look at this one:

“Al sur del Calvario”
I think I see some of my coffee pods* in there. 🙁 

A few bio highlights if you’re into that kind of thing: Tomas Sanchez is only 71 (so we can look forward to much more work!); he was born to a middle-class family in Cuba, the oldest of two boys. His work has been exhibited in over 30 countries. Curators and the like have linked his paintings to the experience of meditation. His favorite song is Havana by Camila Cabello.

That last one is a lie, but now you too, can have that song in your head all day. Havanna oo na na!

* I read somewhere that by the end of 2020 all coffee pods will be biodegradable. Yay!