Image Size 30" x 32 3/4"
A limited edition of 225 numbered impressions; 45AP, 6PP, signed by the artist
Adding the stamp of another exotic locale to his passport, LeRoy Neiman recently visited Cuba. Traveling a lengthy and circuitous route, the intrepid artist eventually arrived in the capital, Havana, and filed this report of his impressions:
"Havana (Habana). City of rhythm. A blistering fusion to a provocative beat. Salsa is its very heartbeat. The sultry sounds of Cuban jazz dance and weave in the streets and its dozens of playas, through the day, into the night, until dawn and on. The city is like a splendid theater stage set, sun-drenched, with wide boulevards coolly arcaded, and shady narrow streets protected from the heat. The visitor rides on the rhythms of street dancing. The bands that appear at any and every junction entice you and welcome you to join in the fun and dance to the heartbeat of Havana."
"Even after 40 years of harsh socialist austerity in a closed society, Cubanos respond to the African beat and Spanish guitar, finding a form of freedom in this expression. Lithe bodies move gracefully to the beat, forgetting the want and deprivation prevalent on their beautiful island. With flashes of beauty and grace of movement, sensuality pulsates as rhythmic couples join and connect. Havana is also a cultural mix of black and white, African, Spanish and Caribbean, all spinning, twirling, clinging together, heads thrown back in joy or nuzzled together in slow and romantic dance."
Putting his impressions to paper, the artist creates a visual metaphor for the Cuban condition. The citizenry's lively splashes of color and voluptuous, agile dancing forms are superimposed on the background of a flat gray cobblestone street. "Havana Rhythm" is Neiman's tribute to the indomitable spirit of the Cuban people.