Ewa WroĊ„ska, dealer of Cuban art

Romance linguist by education, art dealer by passion. She discovered her zest for Cuban art while living on Cuba. At present she runs the cubaart.pl website, promoting Cuban art in Poland.

I have been wondering what art is nowadays? Is contemporary art free? After all, freedom is a prerequisite of true art... Is today's art manipulated, or rather is it a tool of manipulation? Where to find genuine art? And finally, what is true art after all?

Art will mean different things to different people, but in each case it will evoke specific spontaneous,  unreserved feelings – especially those of sensibility, sublimity and beauty. They come straight from the heart and soul, but only when true art is in question. 

I decided to collect "my art" here, at cubaart.pl (for the time being). I should probably explain what I mean by "my art". The works are by no means my property. I am not the author either (let's be honest – I am quite the opposite of a gifted artist)... The thing is that this art has become a part of me: first - a part of my work and then - a part of my day-to-day existence. It captured my soul and took me on a journey into the Caribbean realm of Cuba's origins. In no time I have become very fond of "my art", which primarily stands for paintings by talented Cuban artists. 

Since you already know what "my art" is, do I need to explain what it is like? What makes it so different from art created in other parts of the world, or perhaps what does Cuban art lack, according to the international criteria of good art (if anything like it has actually ever existed)? For me, art is difficult to define. True art must possess "something" extending beyond the reality that surrounds us; "something" stretching between the past, the present, and the future; "something" that reflects the artist's internal life as if in a crystal mirror. I will do my best to explain – at least partially – the phenomenon of Cuban art.

Firstly: art is not isolated from life, which means that it is affected by many different factors. While creating, artists refer to real places and things around them. An artist is deeply rooted in the tradition and reality of his/her country, feeling the need to identify with the surrounding. At the same time, he/she always tries to speak (or create) an international language that will be understandable to everyone. This means especially relating to contemporary global trends, movements, etc. 

Secondly: unfortunately I have to mention Cuba's political system (although I believe it is not the most important aspect of artistic creation). Cuba's socialist system has existed on the island for over 50 year, and is no longer impressive or surprising: it has become a part of daily routine, and a part of Cubans' reality and lives. In my opinion, nowadays it has a rather negligible influence on art.

Thirdly: art can be inspired by nature. Encounters with Cuban nature truly encourage the use of colours. They are an indispensable element of expression, similarly to sounds in music.  Thanks to colours art – especially painting – becomes dynamic and vibrant. Colours spur emotions, evoke affection, turn into symbols and stimulate the senses. 

Art has always been and will be elitist. In my opinion, people who like to surround themselves with art can be divided into three categories. Some buy art because it arouses strong emotions and is their "driving force". Art "runs in their blood", which means that it has been passed down from one generation to another. Others enjoy art for purely aesthetic reasons. They treat paintings as beautiful elements of the surroundings; they do not need to analyse the works, assuming that art does not always have to be understood. What counts is its effect on the senses, and the ability to create a relevant atmosphere in a given space. The third group of people regard art as an investment. What must be remembered, however, is that in addition to material value art has the added value that is simply priceless.