The number 49 of the magazine Arte por Excelencias was presented at the stand of serial publications of the Morro-Cabaña complex as part of the 29th Havana International Book Fair, which this year pays tribute to Ana Cairo Ballester and Eugenio Hernández Espinosa, in addition of having Vietnam as a guest country.
Before a large audience, Alexis Triana, editor in chief of this publication of the Excelencias Group, chaired by José Carlos de Santiago, highlighted how important it is for all those who make the magazine to be able to present it in the most important event of Cuban culture. "We're getting closer," he said, "to the fiftieth edition. You can imagine what that means in this century and in this world, in which art magazines disappear every day, in which the paper becomes more expensive, in a country where a real blockade must be challenged. That is why it is a tremendous enjoyment for us to make it ».
The number 49 of Arte por Excelencias has as leitmotiv the controversy unleashed by the exhibition in Art Basel Miami of a work (Comedian) by the artist Maurizio Cattelan consisting of a banana attached to a wall with an adhesive tape. In the words of Miguel Ángel García Piñero in an article included in this edition, the media scandal generated by this provocation has "poured pure nitroglycerin over the capitalist order. Its procedures are symptomatic of contemporary art, where cynicism has become a double-edged sword ».
Isel Pérez, who is in charge of the digital edition of Arte por Excelencias, explained how the magazine has been moving with the new times and, without giving up the print edition, gives more importance to its version for new media that prevail today. "Its permanent update on social networks," she said, "has allowed us to even be able to approach the organizers of fairs and every first level event is taking place in the world. In principle we were the ones who asked to go, today they are the ones who call us to be there. It is easy to say, the articles appear, it is a long-time job, with many previous efforts, but it is a great joy to see our effort reflected in other latitudes».
Two special guests to the presentation were Erián Peña Pupo and Álvaro Castillo Granada. The first is one of the most active collaborators of the magazine from the Cuban east, specifically from the city of Holguín, and at number 49 you can read his work A bookseller: Álvaro Castillo Granada, that he made on the work of Álvaro (Bucaramanga, Colombia, 1969) in the promotion of literature, and its close relationship with Cuba.
Erián explained that he has always tried to find «interesting and curious subjects that open the fingerboard to artists and personalities from other countries. I do not remember when Álvaro and I met or when our friendship was born, but he is a "Cuban-philosopher" one hundred percent and has a bookstore in Bogotá where he maintains the trade of bookseller, something so difficult in the 21st century ». Álvaro "defended himself" with the following arguments: "I had no plans to be at this table. If you don't send me a message telling me that the magazine was being presented, I would be looking for it everywhere, asking where I could get a copy. I am 50 years old, and of those fifty I have spent twenty-five coming and going from Cuba, I spend the third part of the year here. I have been a bookseller since I was 19, and one of the things I like most in life is to visit bookstores and meet booksellers. In Cuba I have had the immense honor and privilege of visiting it to meet wonderful people who have given me their friendship, their knowledge, their love and their generosity ».
On the cover: (From right to left) Isel Pérez, Alexis Triana, Álvaro Castillo and Erián Peña