The exception is Magdalena Campos-Pons (born in Matanzas province, 1959), a Cuban artist living in the US. A graduate of the Cuban Higher Institute of Art and the Massachusetts College of Arts, Campos-Pons has worked in many different mediums, from painting and photography to video and installation art. In her work, she explores her experiences as an Afro-Cuban woman, as well as her family history and memories. A traveling retrospective of her art premiered at the Indianapolis Museum of Art in 2007.
In Hope, Yes We Can, her recent exhibition at the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery in Miami, Campos-Pons gives warm affirmation to the new president. Taken on the morning of election day (November 4, 2008), Prayer for Obama, a series of large-scale Polaroid photographs, records Campos-Pons in a performance on behalf of the then-hopeful candidate, in movements that recall African dances and the rituals of Santería. Other large-scale Polaroid images explore the Chinese roots of her family (My Mother Told Me I Am Chinese: Painting Lesson) and reflect on soldiers killed in the US war in Iraq (Mourning Bouquet).
Undoubtedly, Campos-Pons’s creativity feeds the political scope of the current Cuban art. Obama´s evocation by Campos has so far received no public objection in Miami, where the Cuban group Charanga Habanera will soon appear to sing its latest record, “Yo gozando en La Habana, tu llorando en Miami” (I am enjoying here in Havana and you are crying in Miami).