A Temple for the Arts in Cuba
The Gallery Avistamientos is a sui generis space within the insular artistic-cultural panorama. Among many reasons, this is due to the special emphasis that amid its devices is devoted to art collecting, a group of abilities and tools that have historically favored the value of art. This is essential and distinctive for Avistamientos, and it is just the strategy Cuban art needs for its total establishment and commercialization. We are talking about a professional practice of excellence, with a staff that is highly qualified in topics related to cultural promotion and sales management. In the end, favoring the private colleting of art, which is concomitant to the state one, will have a bearing in the protection of the tangible and intangible national heritage.
The founder of this gallery, José Busto, took his first steps in the world of artistic creation due to the collection of European art and antiques that he started to create at the beginning of the 90’s. At the end of the last century, he started to feel seduced by Cuban avant-garde art, which made possible a radical opening to the universe of contemporary art in the Island. It is said that the first artwork he bought was Jorge López Pardo’s Autorretrato VI (Self-portrait VI), in 2004, and that such a personal event suddenly brought about, not only a bunch of individual preferences, but a solid and certain goal: to found a temple for the arts in the Island. In keeping with the vertiginous rhythms of immediate future, with the intense use of technologies and Internet as communication tools, he designed a space and its website, which is nowadays a piece of excellence on the web. Through it, he made possible the existence and operation of a portal to access to the top-quality Cuban artistic production. Amid reviews, last-minute news about Cuban culture and society, and a rich registry both bibliographic and virtual about the artworks that integrate the collection, Busto has founded a dynamic and efficient device, a reliable and sustainable platform that protects the immanent values of Cuban art.
As for the treasures Avistamientos keeps with such a determination, it is worth mentioning the presence of names of great prestige within the national visual arts, such as Antonia Eiriz, Pedro Pablo Oliva (Visual Arts National Award), José Manuel Fors, Agustín Bejarano, Carlos Quintana, Moisés Finalé, Jorge López Pardo, Reynerio Tamayo, Ernesto M. Rancaño, Iván and Yoan Capote; as well as young artists of unquestionable talent. That is the case of Aluan Argüelles, Jorge Rodríguez Diez (R10), Rafael Villares, Elizabet Cerviño, Dania González, Mari Claudia García, Donis D. Llago, Víctor Piverno, Gabriela García…There is no doubt this is a varied collection; heterogeneous as for styles, genres and artistic procedures, and a true representation of the ways contemporary Cuban art follows.
Not only do we find Avistamientos’ determination focused in the management of cultural goods and the direct relation with the market and its tricks; a considerable part of its funds and efforts are also devoted to the production and sponsorship of emerging art. Since the beginning of his work as a gallery owner in 2011, José Busto has sponsored around twenty artistic projects. Among them, nine were part of the 11th Biennale of Havana: La voluntad de los huéspedes (The guest’s will), by Aluan Argüelles; Capital, by Reinaldo Cid; Con todo el gusto del mundo (With all the pleasure of the world), by Grethell Rasúa; Paisaje itinerante (Travelling landscape), by Rafael Villares; Fango (Mud), by Elizabet Cerviño; Inmersión (Immersion), by Gabriela García; and three architectural interventions that were part of the project Cuidad Generosa (Generous City), by the group of creators 4ta Pragmática: PREié, by Victor Piverno; Humus, by Dania González; and Un hexágono (An hexagon), by Fidel Yordán Castro.
Avistamientos has also made possible the execution of four curatorial projects entirely produced by José Busto. From November 22nd to December 20th, 2012, a series of personal exhibitions gathered the artistic proposals of three young creators from the Superior Institute of Arts (ISA). Under the title El zorro, el hueco y la disyunción hipotérmica del amante (The fox, the hole and the lover’s hypothermic disjunction), the exhibitions came one after the other: Los zorros mudan el pelo (Foxes Change their Fur), by Leonardo Luis Roque, La casa que no existía (The house that did not exist), by Jorge Pablo Lima and Seducción del oído (Seduction to the ear), by Víctor Piverno. In May, 2013, young artist Fidel Yordán Castro presented his personal exhibition Trance, a project that would have been hardly assumed by any state gallery.
In 2014, Avistamientos also contributed to the production of the collective exhibition Encomienda (Commission), by the artists Yornel Martínez, Irving Vera, Orestes Hernández and José Eduardo Yaque, at the House of Culture of Playa (7th St. and 60 St., Miramar). The gallery also sponsored the personal exhibition El molde de las nubes (The mold of clouds), by Víctor Piverno at Luz y Oficios Gallery, and besides it helped artists Dayana Trigo Ramos, Joaquín Cabrera Liza, Jorge Pablo Lima, Leonardo Luis Roque and Víctor Piverno to found LeVril Estudio (a community of contemporary artists devoted to the study of mysterious issues), which was inaugurated in November 20th, 2014.
From the informative point of view, Avistamientos is also an advanced platform, since it offers in the section of news an immediate review about the artistic-cultural latest events both in the national and international panorama, and always with a genuine and constructive look. Due to the effort, quality, excellence and elegance of our website, Avistamientos recently deserved the International Quality Crown (IQC) Golden Award, which is given by the Business International Development (BID). This is an award that certainly gives prestige and authority to our enterprise.
In the search for a dream this project came up, a space that not only contributes to the safeguard and fair valuation of the contemporary national artistic production, but encourages the advent of the future and acts as the driving force of more than one surprise in the framework of art. Today, its existence is peremptory, its effort is commendable, and its excellence is imitable. Avistamientos is nowadays a decisive option when talking about Cuba and its art.
3 Johnson Street, between Mayía Rodríguez and La Sola
Santos Suárez, 10 de Octubre
Tel: +53 52956342
José Busto | Gallery Director