Ongoing: Democracy + Communism: In Print - NYT :: Cuba: Communism Relived: Cuba_Paskova_035

(L-R) Artists Angel León, 24, and Victor Manuel Ojeda, 24, work on nuancing a painting done by painter Eduardo Abela, 52, in Havana, Cuba, that satirically references the cult of action heroes by replacing religious figures with Western cartoon characters in copies of theological paintings. Art during the Communist years in Eastern Europe was highly sanitized - and artists who chose not to show a utopian view of the country, censored and punished. Artists in state-run Cuba as well have felt pressure to sanitize political issues and any difficulties the Cuban people may face, or omit them altogether. While the more open era of Raúl Castro has made it easier to toe the line in these areas of self-expression, artists who cross it altogether risk losing the support of government-controlled galleries that display their works.

(L-R) Artists Angel León, 24, and Victor Manuel Ojeda, 24, work on nuancing a painting done by painter Eduardo Abela, 52, in Havana, Cuba, that satirically references the cult of action heroes by replacing religious figures with Western cartoon characters in copies of theological paintings.  

Art during the Communist years in Eastern Europe was highly sanitized - and artists who chose not to show a utopian view of the country, censored and punished. Artists in state-run Cuba as well have felt pressure to sanitize political issues and any difficulties the Cuban people may face, or omit them altogether. While the more open era of Raúl Castro has made it easier to toe the line in these areas of self-expression, artists who cross it altogether risk losing the support of government-controlled galleries that display their works.