Academic journal article Cuban Studies

On the Cover

Academic journal article Cuban Studies

On the Cover

Article excerpt

Douglas Pérez Castro, Vedado 14 (from the Vedado series), 2009, watercolor on cardboard, 27.5'' × 19.6''.

Born in 1972 in Santo Domingo, in central Cuba, Douglas Pérez graduated from the Instituto Superior de Arte in 1996 and quickly established himself as one of the leading figures in a new generation of artists who came of age during the so-called Special Period. This was not only a time of economic crisis but also a period in which Cubans were forced to contend with the uncertainties of a future that to many looked like a renewed past of inequality, global capitalism, and consumerism. As critic Abelardo Mena has remarked, "For Cubans, 'the end of the History' did not come according to Fukuyama's neoconservative rhetoric, but in the form of an island that had broken its links with the 'true' socialism of Eastern Europe and had gone adrift in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico."

In this context, artists such as Douglas Pérez recycled images and techniques of Cuban nineteenth-century costumbrista paintings (borrowing freely from the iconographies of Federico Mialhe, Eduardo Laplante, and Víctor Patricio Landaluze) and of graphic design techniques used in advertising. These visual cues were used to question official representations of the revolution as the culmination, the apex, of the process of national construction. …

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