Tres mujeres chismeando (Three Gossiping Ladies)Cuba Series - Painting #9
Acrylic on canvas - 36" x 48"
Since Cuba is essentially a communist country and all news is strictly controlled by the state, Cubans really only trust the news they get from the street and word of mouth from their fellow compatriots. Because of the tight control on political dissidents, Cubans have developed a series of hand signals and other physical and verbal cues to talk about things without expressing them outright. It is a very specific and unmistakable characteristic of Cuban communication since the rise of the revolution.
Politics aside, Cubans nonetheless tend to have the gift of gab and no residential street scene is complete without a few women congregating to discuss the days events. Even though the term "chismeando" technically means to "gossip", I use it here in a playful way owing more to the specific mannerisms and body language these women are displaying. I wanted to capture the kind of ordinary scene that might take place a million times on any street throughout the island on any given day. There is something inherently Cuban about it to me.