In his latest series of watercolour paintings, The Lingering Revolution, American artist Rance Jones explores the children, farmers, workers, shoppers and tradespeople of Cuba against its remarkable backdrop of history.
Jones first visited Cuba in 2018 and was immediately inspired to begin his paintings of the current reality of life there. Making more visits from his native Texas, he fixed his eye on its local people and the music and culture that informs their daily lives.
Focusing on Havana, Jones explores the homes, workplaces and vistas that play such a large part in defining Cuba. But his subject is human life, and the persistent hope, ambition and devotion that inspire the lives of the Cuban people. A child walking through the vegetable market has the bright gleam of anticipation in her eye; a labourer hauls his shouldered burden with strength and resolve; a woman reads the newspaper and is absorbed. All are painted with meticulous detail and vibrant colour, revealing a deep sense of human emotion.
“A world apart, Cuba is a vibrant and visceral country on the edge of great change,” Jones tells us. “The people who live here are survivors and dreamers in a land where nothing goes to waste, and everything is celebrated. This series of watercolour paintings explores the interlocking fibres that weave Cubans into their social, political and physical environment.”
“In these paintings, I wanted to depict this range of attitudes and emotions through the expressions, body language and surroundings of these remarkable people,” he adds.
Born in Lubbock, Texas, Rance Jones moved to New York City in 1991 to attend the School of Visual Arts and pursue an MFA degree in Illustration. After a decade of work for publications, including The New York Times and National Review, Jones moved back to Texas to concentrate on his own artistic endeavours.
The Lingering Revolution by Rance Jones runs from 1 October until 7 November 2020 at the Forum Gallery on Park Avenue at 57th Street, New York.
Anthem, 2018 © Rance Jones, Courtesy of Forum Gallery, New York, NY
At the Edge, 2018 © Rance Jones, Courtesy of Forum Gallery, New York, NY
Fall Forward, 2020 © Rance Jones, Courtesy of Forum Gallery, New York, NY