A 20-Year Cuban Art Collection
by brett sokol
Art enthusiasts Arturo and Liza Mosquera at their Coral Gables home
"We're sitting in a renaissance!” Ricardo Pau-Llosa happily thundered to the crowd seated before him, gesturing to the artwork hanging inside downtown Miami’s Freedom Tower. “What more proof do you need?” It was hard to argue with Pau-Llosa’s evidence. This past October’s “Ways of Worldmaking: Notes on a Passion for Collecting” exhibition featured highlights from the art collection assembled by Dr. Arturo Mosquera and his wife, Liza, over the past two decades.
Curators Cristina and Vivian Nosti mined the Mosquera Collection to focus solely on Cubans and Cuban-Americans in South Florida—and the Freedom Tower’s status as a processing center for an initial ’60s generation of Cuban exiles gave the show a particularly poignant air. Plumbing the artistic course of el exilio, there was a movingly bleak 1990 painting from Carlos Alfonzo, as well as a 2005 canvas by Hernan Bas, in which even a seemingly chaste tableau of kite-fliers became invested with Bas’ signature sensuality.
A futuristic 1994 landscape by Glexis Novoa contrasted with Black Galleon, a sprawling new work by George Sánchez-Calderón whose ominous glitter-infused image of a vintage pirate ship seemed to portend a brave new world of an entirely different sort.
From the Collection
Photographs by pedro portal (the mosqueras); Courtesy of the mosquera collection (Delgado, Novoa, Canas)
Cover shoot: Behind the scenes with Pitbull for the October 2014 issue of Ocean Drive magazine.