The long awaited book Artists in Purgatory has gone to print and we should have the book available in just a few weeks.

Our editor Aldo Menendez feels that this book fills an editorial gap regarding the analysis and story of an important chapter in Cuban art since the publication of Outside Cuba in 1987.

Artists in Purgatory narrates a period that starts after 1990 with the individual and collective exodus of hundreds of Cuban artists who left the island of Cuba to live abroad. While this is not the exclusive province of the generation of the 1980s, the story touches upon the protagonists from 1975 on and even past the 1990s.

The format consists of individual chapters by leading historians, critics, gallery principals, and academics. It starts with an introduction by William Kennedy, a Pulitzer prize winner, followed by my own personal statement and Aldo Menendez’ account of this unique story.

Artists in Purgatory also includes chapters by Ricardo Pau Llosa, Gerardo Mozquera, Nina Menocal, Janet Batet, Dennys Matos, and Silvia Pedraza. Dr. Pedraza, a sociologist from the University of Michigan, conducted in-depth interviews of a dozen artists.

In addition to more than seventy images of art in the Reynardus art collection, Artists in Purgatory includes hundreds of photographs never published of the artists and the events from the 1980s in Cuba and later.

To pre-order your copy click on the bottom below

Artists in the Book

(in alphabetical order)

Gustavo Acosta

Alejandro Aguilera

Mario Algaze

Mario Almaguer

Tanya Angulo

Julio Antonio

Néstor Arenas

(also the official photographer of the collection)

Pedro Alvarez

Juan Pablo Ballester

Jose Bedia

Adriano Buergo

Luis Cabrera

María Magdalena Campos Pons

Ivan Cañas

Carlos R. Cardenas

Consuelo Castañeda

Humberto Castro

Willie Castellano

Luis Cruz Azaceta

Arturo Cuenca

Ana Albertina Delgado

Ángel Delgado

Ofill Echevarria     

Antonia Eires

Tomas Esson

Carlos Estevez

Agustin Fernandez

Ivonne Ferrer

Jose Franco

Fernando Garcia

Mario Garcia Joya (Mayito)

Flavio Garciandia

Ismael Gomez Peralta

Armando Guiller

Frank Guiller

José Ángel Herrera

Nicolas Lara

Israel Leon

Guido Llinas

Katia Garcia Fayat

Rogelio Lopez (Gory)

Rafael Lopez Ramos

Carlos Luna

Luis Mallo

Renelio Marin

Armando Mariño

Alonso Mateo

Rubén Mendoza

Aldo Damián (Maldito) Menéndez     

Aldo Menéndez

(also the book editor)

Elsa Mora

Heriberto Mora

Eduardo Muñoz Ordoquis     

Glexis Novoa     

Orlando Pantojas

Geandy Pavon

Sergio Payares

Yoel Perez Rojas

Carlos Perez Vidal

Marta María Pérez

Manuel Piña

Segundo Planes

Guillermo Portieles

Ciro Quintana

Angel Ramirez (Vapor)

Sandra Ramos

Jesus Rivera

Robaldo Rodriguez

Juan-Si González     

Leandro Soto

Ramon Suarez

Antonio Eligio Fernández (Tonel)

Ruben Torres Llorca     

Nelson Villalobo

Ileana Villazon

Pedro Vizcaino

Yovani Bauta

The Writers

Expert writers will each provide an essay based on material never before published depicting the story and/or the work of selected artists.

William Kennedy

Mr. kennedy, a Pulitzer prize winner in 1984 and frequent participant on issues relating to Cuba, will add his words and views on the book jacket. Kennedy is the author of several well-known novels such as Seix Barral, Roscoe and Cotton Club (later made into a Richard Gere movie). He also wrote the screen play for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest for which Jack Nicholson won an Oscar.

This globally recognized and honored writer, known for his love of Cuban art, has written a thoughtful and critical foreword of the book.

Jorge Reynardus

Chapter One is titled: Different Destinies: Cuban Artists Émigrés after the fall of the Soviet Union.  It will cover when, why and how he left Cuba, his immigrant experience, education, professional life and his connection to the artists.

Reynardus is a board member of the Hispanic Federation and a Commissioner for New York City’s Media and Entertainment Commission. He holds a MBA degree from the Harvard Business School and a law degree from the University of Puerto Rico.

Aldo Menendez (the book editor)

Chapter Two is titled: Boxing, Suicidal, and Malleable.

Aldo is a well-known Cuban artist who played a prominent role in the artistic movement of the 1980s in Cuba, he established a printing space titled “Taller Portocarrero” that became a home for most of the artists as well as a place for innovation in the Cuban art scene. Aldo’s essay will cover the story of the various important groups of the era. He will also frame the historical and socio political context of the period.

Chapter Two starts with an introduction written by Norberto Fuentes. Fuentes is the author of Hemingway in Cuba and The Autobiography of Fidel Castro.

Ricardo Pau-Llosa

Chapter Three is titled: Diaspora, Metonymy, and The Cuban Imagination 

Poet, writer, critic, art lecturer and curator, Ricardo wrote Outside of Cuba which covers the earlier immigrant artists from Cuba. His essay will discuss the most recent work of the artists in the book and his projection for the future

Gerardo Mosquera

Chapter Four is titled: The New Cuban Art

Gerardo Mosquera, a curator and art critic based in Havana, Cuba. Mosquera was curator at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. His publications include several books on art and art theory. He is the current artistic director (2011–2013) of PhotoEspaña, Madrid. His essay is an edited version of a chapter in the book Postmodernism and the Postsocialist Condition University of California Press

Nina Menocal

Chapter Five is titled: Recollections…Ninart: The Early Years

Nina is featured in Claudia Herstatt’s, Women Gallerists of the 20th and 21st Centuries as one of the 30 most important gallerists in the world.

Nina is a great granddaughter of a former Cuban president and resides in Mexico City. Nina’s essay will cover the Cuban artists living in Mexico and how Mexican culture has influenced their work.

Dennys Matos

Chapter Six is titled: Between Cuba and Spain: Art beyond the Marginsdeals with those Cuban artists who migrated to Europe, and particularly Spain. 

Dennys Matos, a highly respected Cuban author and critic residing in Spain, will write about this group. Dennys’s most recent book, Paisajes-Metaforas de Nuestro Tiempo, studies contemporary art and culture post communism.

Janet Batet

Chapter Seven is titled: Salpeter. Some notes on Cuban art outside of Cuba

Janet Batet, a prominent art critic living in Miami. Batet writes for the Miami Herald and contributes work for Art Nexus, Art Pulse, Arte al Día, Art Experience NYC and Art District. She will contribute an essay narrating many of the incredible efforts carried out by some of these artists to leave Cuba

Silvia Pedraza

Chapter Eight is titled: Art, Politics, Exile: The Generation of the ‘80s in Cuba

Silvia Pedraza, PhD, a sociologist from the University of Michigan. Her most recent book is Political Disaffection in Cuba’s Revolution and Exodus. Dr. Pedraza is an expert on the subject of Cuban immigrants; she will contribute an essay based on interviews of selected artists

 Book Structure

• The title: “Artists in Purgatory” Cuban Artists in the Reynardus Collection

• The book will be in English with a Spanish edition to follow

• Artwork from artists will be featured

• Some of the artists in this book have achieved wide recognition by international critics and subject experts. The work by the majority took place in the 1980s

• A total of 72 artists are mentioned. Nine of the artists presented are women. The last count includes 34 paintings on canvas. The oldest painting is dated 1984 and the most recent 2011

• 12 pieces have themes based on Cuba. There are 6 artists who work on sculptures and ceramics and 6 photographers

• Body art and conceptual artists are also well represented

• The vast majority now lives in the USA. Initially 23 went to Mexico, 13 went to Spain, 2 went to France, 1 lives in Argentina and 11 came directly to the US and 2 came to the US by way of Canada

 Relevance of the Story

• The historical importance of the artists in this story is unprecedented. Since World War II, there hasn’t been an exodus of artists from a single country with so much to say about art

• Many of these artists became known in Cuba for the irreverent and defiant nature of their art. They are considered incredibly talented

• The narrative of this book will share with the reader the journey of the Cuban artists who left the island-why, when, how they came to America or other destinations, and how the journey influenced their artistic vision


• The fall of the Soviet Union exacerbated a period of unrest and dissent on the island of Cuba. Hundreds of artists left the Island seeking a brighter future abroad

• In the early 1990s my place of business, an advertising agency in New York City, became a destination for many of the Cuban artists relocating or visiting the city

• This experience allowed me to form a most unique bond with many of these artists, a bond that is reminiscent of my own early years as an immigrant

• I had the vision to start a collection of contemporary Cuban art and the inspiration to write a book