As a tourist destination, Havana is one of the hottest destinations now. Everybody is going there or is about to go. Even the Americans, once denied the right to visit Cuba are coming in droves. The Russians, (no longer Communists but rich capitalists), the Eastern Europeans, the Canadians, the British, the Spanish, the Indians, the Chinese, the South Americans – everybody is coming to Havana. For the art connoisseur, there’s much to see in the way of art in Havana. Art is everywhere in the streets of Havana.
From the open air exhibits along the glorious Paseo del Prado, once a fine avenue of some of the wealthiest residencies of Havana, to the walls of crumbling buildings in Vedado, one is always aware of art. One finds too, many galleries. From the National Museum of Fine Arts (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes) with the national art collection, to the small intimate galleries throughout the city, there’s the chance to view the paintings and meet the artists. Art is a cultural industry strongly supported by the government. Just walk through the streets of old Havana. It’s everywhere.
The graffiti art scene in Havana is alive and well. There’s Cuba’s beloved “el Che”, Ernesto Che Guevara and other Cuban heroes, painted on the walls of buildings throughout Cuba. On the side streets and on the main streets of the city you can see the art of the street artists of Havana. Make no mistake, the anonymous street artists make it overtly or subtly political. From the faces of the revolutionary heroes of Cuba to social criticism, it’s vibrant, like the city: it’s alive.
It would be difficult to find a city as culturally alive as this one in the western hemisphere. Canada doesn’t quite cut it and neither do most places in the U.S.A. Ask anyone who’s visited Havana. They’ll rave on about the art scene, the music scene, the architecture, the classical and modern dance scene and much more. Art in Cuba is not only mainstream, it ‘pops out at ya’ on its walls and grabs your attention.