Before he fled Cuba, Novoa was a government-sponsored artist; he was given the freedom to travel and represent his country abroad. At the time, he says, "My work was very contextualized. I created a language to express my ideas against the whole institution of government, but in a way that they weren't able to censor my work. For instance, I created a specific alphabet that no one could read."
Novoa's émigré status may offer some indication of his attitude toward his homeland, but he chooses not to discuss his work specifically in terms of Cuba.
"When I left, I started changing my ideas," he continues. "Now my point of view is more open; it's not only about the Cuban phenomenon. In my drawings, I try to create a neutral language where all the languages of power meld together in one single style of architecture. So I combine North Korean architecture with a mosque from the Arab world, with a powerful building from the Western world, like a bank, and I mix in the style of the Catholic church."
For those who would like to see in Novoa's work a condemnation of socialism and communism, the implications are clear: The issue is not political ideology, but the ways in which that ideology is enforced.
from The Tennessean.