The first thing you notice slipping inside the doors of this small gallery and studio is what’s not there: Che Guevara is nowhere to be seen. Every other gallery in Cuba feels compelled to offer Che immortalized in oil, acrylic, charcoal, or pen and ink. Not Martha Jimenez. She offers images of strong, whimsical, and mysterious women: sipping tea, dancing, pondering the fish or clown imagery that infiltrates much of the artwork, or perhaps quietly contemplating a revolution of their own. Although her work is award-winning and has been featured in exhibitions around the world, there is something here for every budget including photographs, numbered prints and original paintings, and small and large works in clay. It is difficult to leave without tucking something into your pocket with the help of gallery staff or Martha herself. The gallery is not hard to find; head for Plaza del Carmen and when you see the seven life-size bronze figures of ordinary people gathered in the street your visit to Martha’s fanciful world has begun, the gallery/studio is right across the street.
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