African Spirituality in Cuban Art

This groundbreaking exhibit highlights African spirituality in Cuban art. Maferefún means "praises to the spiritual energy of" in Yoruba. Afro-Cuban culture represents one of the richest manifestations of African traditions in contemporary Latino society, and its influence reaches well beyond the borders of Cuba to the rest of the Americas, especially New York. As home to hundreds of thousands of practitioners of Afro-Cuban and other African-based spiritual traditions, New York was the ideal inaugural city for this unique exhibit.

Puerto Rican artist Manuel Vega, who recently won acclaim for his murals for "The Capeman," said that "As an artist who works with the themes of African religions in the Diaspora, I can say that the Maferefún Cuba exhibition is a truly historic event. Some of these artists are `demi-gods' to me and it is a rare treat to have them and their work right here in New York."

The traveling exhibit consists of approximately 75 paintings, drawings, sculpture, photographs, installations and textiles. Among the artists featured are photographers Juan Carlos Alom, René Peña and Roberto Salas; painters Belkis Ayón, Choco (Eduardo Roca), Zaida del Rio, Erik Díaz Castillo, Joel Jover, Alejandro Lazo, Alicia Leal, José Mederos, Manuel Mendive, José García Montebravo, Jorge Rivera, Salvador González, Julia Valdés, Elio Vilva,  Wayacón, and Lawrence Zúñiga; drawings and sculpture from Carlos Estévez, Fermín Fleites and William Pérez are included, as are fabrics from Mendive and Zaida del Rio and beadwork and drums.

This exhibit was conceived and curated by Sandra Levinson in New York and Erena Hernández in Cuba. A catalog for the exhibit is now being prepared with an introductory essay by Cuban critic Gerardo Mosquera, biographies of the artists, reproductions of several of the works, and artists' commentaries on their works.

The exhibit may be rented for a period of one to two months for $5,000 (one month), $6,500 (six weeks) or $7,500 (two months). For further information, e-mail us at or call Sandra Levinson, (212) 242-0559.