- The fall of the Soviet Union exacerbated a period of unrest and dissent in the island of Cuba. A collective exodus of hundreds of artists left the Island seeking a brighter future abroad.
- In the 1990s Reynardus & Moya, an advertising agency in New York City, became a home for many of the artists visiting the city.
The Cuban Art Alliance (CAA) was founded in New York in 2011 and registered as a 501 (c) (3) corporation. CAA initial strategy includes the publication of a book titled Artists in Purgatory, the appointment of an Advisory Board to guide future efforts and a presentation to the media
Jorge Reynardus was born in 1944 in Panama, to a Panamanian father and a Cuban mother. He was raised and educated in Cuba; fleeing the country in 1961 bound for the United States. He studied at the Harvard Business School and is considered a pioneer in the world of Hispanic advertising. In 1991, he founded a leading advertising agency in New York and today he stands prominently among collectors of Cuban art.
The idea for this book originated from his relationship with the artist Carlos Cárdenas and hopes it becomes an essential instrument for the promotion of Cuban art created outside of the island.
In 2012, Reynardus founded the non-profit Cuban Art Alliance with the intent to highlight these artistic creators and their works.
His collection is one of the most representative of the work of Cuban artists who immigrated after 1989, or of the post Perestroika generation.
The collection is a work in progress that continues to grow , enrich and nurture Cuban Art. Because of the array of amazing artists that could not be included in this collection, a second volume may be necessary in the very near future.
Ruben Mendoza was born in 1967 in Havana, Cuba. Ruben studied Fine Arts and worked at the prestigious Taller René Portocarrero, founded by Also Menendez, for seven years. In 1991, Ruben left Cuba for Mexico and the same year decided to exile in the United States. In 1995, he started working at Reynardus & Moya as an art director.
After working for over 15 years under Reynardus's leadership, Ruben was a partner at Creative Bridge Advertising for seven years and then founded The Ingenio Marketing in 2015, specializing in multicultural marketing and advertising. In 2018, Ruben became the Executive Director of Brand Marketing at People en Español. Following the COVID-19 pandemic in mid-2020, Ruben left People en Español to reinvent The Ingenio.
Ruben is also an elected trustee for the Board of Education of West New York, New Jersey. Ruben has served his school district since 2017.
Ruben has been a collaborator in Jorge Reynardus' endeavors for decades. Ruben finds purpose in promoting the work of Cuban artists around the world who – as Reynardus says – were living in a purgatory for not playing by the rules of the Cuban government's institutions.
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