Sunday, April 24, 2016

Havana Taxi Stand

Paint Cuba, Plein air painter, KSchifano

"Did you see old cars?" is the first question regarding a trip to Cuba. 

Yes. Most of the cars are old and most of them are taxis. Carefully hobbled from existing parts after the Cuban Revolution and the American embargo, a look at the streets is a step back in time. 

Other than the exteriors, the bulk of this treasure trove of classic cars have been replaced. Many have diesel engines now, and a look inside shows polka dot upholstery, broken levers and hanging wiring. Often they need to be push started and a ride, or even a walk, along a road involves seeing newly broken down vehicles being tended to by a bevy of muscular Cubans. A drivers license in Cuba requires a test in car repair.

A row of cars waits near the tourist bus stops and this painting was made from Gail Sauter's photo in that area. Painting it, I learned a lot about painting chrome and had a great time searching for photos of various details as well as the date and model of each car. It's big and it will be mounted in the new Latin Restaurant, Pasion, on Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo NY.

Right to Left, 1957 Ford Fairlane, 1950 Chevrolet, 1952 Buick

Havana Taxi Stand, oil 24x48 on canvas, c. 2016