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Havana Corona

In the late sixties I was thinking about the triumph of the Cuban people over imperialism and U.S. dominance—the effort is here "crowned" (Corona). But Corona is also a famous cigar from Havana that is desired (and now missed) by affluent Yankees—so struggle, victory, and contradictions are part of the idea. I was working my way out of a more lyrical and abstract view of figuration at the time, toward a more socially-politically oriented idiom, hoping to find a way to maintain a formally strong image....This painting is in transition....The form is evolving toward artistic and social relevancy. The painting has particular interest to me since it straddles these objectives and balances precariously, one foot in each world. —Robert Colescott (1992)

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