Citizens of the World: Cuba in Queens.

Queens Museum of Art, 2014

“Citizens of the World: Cuba in Queens” explores how Cuban visual artists, living both on island and in diaspora, grapple with the profound complexities between identity and place. Simultaneously a collective sentiment and a uniquely individual notion, lo cubano extends beyond geographic and existential boundaries. Exploring personal motivations and experiences, this exhibition presents varied expressions of spirituality, humor, isolation, and discovery surrounding the immigrant experience and the intangible connections between where one lives and one’s sense of self.

As the theme suggests, the tone and perspective of the work is widely diverse. While some artists convey a sense of celebration, others focus on the disconnect between the promises of the revolution and the realities of contemporary life. Domestic spaces, grand and decimated, imaginary and real, are prominent. Intertwined cultural icons from the island and adopted homelands emblemize the complexity of the immigrant experience. Historical archetypes are reinterpreted, prompting viewers to question preconceived notions of Cuba. Works focused on the individual provide insight to the intangible connections between a home and sense of self.”

The exhibition marks the opening of the QMA’s Shelley and Donald Rubin Gallery, a new space within the museum. It’s the first of three exhibitions, drawn largely from the Rubins’ private collection, scheduled for the space. (The other two will focus on contemporary Tibetan and contemporary Indian art.) Curated by Rachel Perera Weingeist, senior advisor to the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation and director of The 8th Floor art space, Citizens of the World features over two dozen paintings, sculptures, installation works, and videos by more than 20 artists including : Alejandro Aguilera, Analía Amaya, Alexandre Arrechea, Abel Barroso, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Carlos Rodríguez Cárdenas, Javier Castro, Ángel Delgado, Roberto Diago, Guillermo Estrada-Viera, Luis Gárciga, Liudmila + Nelson, Armando Mariño, Frank Martínez, Clara Morera, Bernardo Navarro Tomas, Douglas Pérez Castro, Elio Rodríguez, Lázaro Saavedra, Esterio Segura, Yoxi Velázquez, and Jorge Wellesley.