A "Privileged" Artist / Fernando Dámaso

Fernando Damaso, 15 January 2016 — Personally, I have nothing against the plastic artist known as “Kcho,” be it against his values or his work–a task I leave for specialists–aside from the fact that his recurring little boats and oars leave me cold.

The reason for these lines is that “Kcho” seems to have become the “preferred artist of the kingdom”: his paintings, installations and other works are regularly presented as gifts from the authorities to foreign and national personalities, as if there were no other national plastic artists whose works would merit this special treatment.

The fair thing would be for these “official gifts” to be chosen from among proposals presented for this purpose by different creators, or as a result of competitions convoked for it–in the latter case, provided there were enough time and the decision were not made at the last minute.

In any event, it is worrisome that, in the face of this discrimination against the rest of the plastic artists, neither those affected, nor the National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba (UNEAC), to which they belong, nor their syndicate, nor the Ministry of Culture, make any pronouncements on the matter.

Given what has been going on for some time, it would seem that the only important work being done in Cuba in the plastic arts, and which meets all the requirements to qualify as an official gift from the authorities, is that of “Kcho,” when in fact the reality is totally different.

Translated by: Alicia Barraqué Ellison