Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Greetings from Northern Havana

Hello from the land of exiles, still buzzing over Art Basel. Three of our represented artists, Sandra Ramos and Tania Brugera and Marta Maria Perez Bravo did exceptionally well during Art Basel.

Today I received a wonderful tour of the public art collection of the Federal Reserve Bank - Miami Branch. A beautiful building with a predictable collection of forgetable abstract paintings (lest we insult anyone with a representational painting that someone might actually understand visually).

It is astounding to me the buzz and interest and support that this area gives to the visual arts. I am jealous (and fired up).

Anyway... Another painter mocking Bush is getting publicity over idiots censoring his painting. Read the story here.

On the flight here, I began to read Louis Perez voluminous On Becoming Cuban (what an appropriate book to read before heading to Miami, uh?).

I discovered quite an interesting fact.

The father of the modern Irish republic was Eamon de Valera, who was born in New York in 1882. His father, Juan de Valera, although technically a Spaniard, was really a Cuban, born in Cuba (which was part of Spain back then), the son of a Cuban sugar planter and escaped to New York during the Independence Wars with Spain. There he earned his living as a piano teacher. He met and married Irish immigrant Catherine Coll. Juan died shortly after the birth of their son Eduardo. After Juan's death, his wife sent Eduardo to Ireland, where her family changed his name to the Gaelic version of Eduardo: Eamon.

Whodda thunk it?