Through the Eyes of Salvador: Afro-Cuban Public Art

Tapp’s Arts Center and Palmetto Luna Arts are pleased to present: Through The Eyes of Salvador: Afro-Cuban Public Art.

Salvador– as he is affectionately known in the Cuban art world – is best known for his public art works which have transformed  the Callejón de Hamel, an area located in the working-class Havana neighborhood of Cayo Hueso, into an explosion of color, story-telling, community pride, and inclusivity.

Salvador began this work in 1990 when he created a living temple to the Orishas of Yoruba tradition. Significantly, this was two years prior to the historic lifting of restrictions on public expressions of popular religiosity in Havana.

His work can be described as a mix of surrealism, cubism and abstract art. His practice immerses every facet, crevice, and bend of the neighborhood. It covers each corner of the winding streets in poetry, murals, sculpture, motion and spirituality, scaling four-plus stories of the surrounding apartment buildings. Popular local history and religious traditions are echoed in his creation, from the toques de tambores (drumbeats) and rumbas that are the soul of the neighborhood, to Abakuá initiation rituals, manifestations of spiritism, and the everyday practice of Santería and Palo Monte.

The colors, sounds, and living consecrated instruments of ancient Yoruba ritual, combined with the hybrid cultural identities of popular Afro-Cuban society, inspire Salvador’s multidimensional creation of poetic conviviality, as well as his intentional staging of popular memory, pedagogy, performance and play.

Salvador will bring a piece of this magic to Tapp’s Arts Center through his paintings, murals and community development and will present a talk on First Thursday (January 4th, 2018) on his practice, his neighborhood and his experiences as an artist in Havana.

Please follow this link to more images of his work >>>

Tapp’s Arts Center is giant artistic laboratory focused on community engagement. We encourage artistic agency through exhibitions, cultural events, workshops, classes, and studios to help Columbia create, learn and grow.

Palmetto Luna's mission is to create awareness of Hispanic/Latino arts and culture in South Carolina; Expand the scope of art exhibitions and art education in South Carolina to include Hispanic/Latino artists in order to present more diverse insights and inspiration; help to integrate the rapidly growing Hispanic/Latino population into the mainstream arts community. Promote emerging Hispanic/Latino artists in South Carolina; and empower the Hispanic/Latino community through collaborative public art programs.