The 8th Floor is pleased to present Stealing Base: Cuba at Bat, a visual exploration of baseball through the varied perspectives of Cuban-born artists. The exhibition includes installation, video, and painting by established and emerging artists Jeosviel Abstengo-Chaviano, Alejandro Aguilera, Carlos Cárdenas, Arístedes Hernández (ARES), Yunier Hernández Figueroa, Rafael Lopez-Ramos, Duniesky Martín, Alfredo Manzo, Frank Martínez, Bernardo Navarro, Reynier Leyva Novo, Juan Padrón, Douglas Pérez, Arles del Río, Antuan Rodriguez, Perfecto Romero, Reynerio Tamayo, José Toirac, Harold Vázquez Ley, and Villalvilla. The exhibition features work by artists never before seen in the New York.
“Baseball is today, without distinction of classes, age and sex, the preferred diversion of all [Cubans].” - El Sport (Havana), Sept. 2, 1886
The arrival of baseball in Cuba coincided with the emergence of the independence movement in 1868. The sport quickly became a collective emblem of national identity. A love for baseball connects Cubans across race, religion, politics and geography. Pop-flys, stolen bases, and home runs provide meaningful and accessible imagery for Cuban artists. Responding not only to the sport as national pastime, their work has further sought to convey larger complexities within Cuban society. Stealing Base presents the work of a diverse range of contemporary artists, living in Cuba and in the US, who have found potency in the imagery of the sport.
Stealing Base: Cuba at Bat is a result of a continued collaboration between Orlando Hernández, Havana-based curator, and Rachel Weingeist, Director and Curator of The 8th Floor, accompanied by an exhibition essay from Hernández. A series of events celebrating baseball and Cuban culture will take place throughout the summer, including film screenings and artists’ talks. To inaugurate the exhibition, an artists’ reception will be held on Thursday, June 6th from 6-8pm.