I sit on a “dog” and my friend snaps a photo. I am at the home and studio of Cuban artist Jose Fuster. This prolific artist takes a little from Gaudi a little from Picasso, mixes it with Cuban color and the result is a home, studio and half the neighborhood covered in mosaic tiled sculptures.
Jose Fuster’s pool in front of his home. His assistant who is busy selling tiles and paintings to members of our group proudly states that Jose does not work for the government.
I climb to the top of the studio to get a photo of the entire complex and the art that spills out into the neighborhood. Some of his neighbors like his work and have invited him to create his whimsical sculptures in their yards too. I think I would like to have this guy as my neighbor.
I spend time after dinner trying to capture the whimsy of this artist’s work in my sketch book.
The Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Museum of Fine Arts) has a comprehensive Coleccion de Arte Cubano on three floors. The lobby shows off this mural, installations and sculpture by contemporary Cuban artists which I photograph and explore while we wait for our Museum guide to find us. I know I will not be able to photograph the exhibits inside the museum.
This is my favorite of all the art in the lobby. Look closely, this is a little “fort” built of coffee pots. The Cubans love their coffee and it is really good!
Coffee pot close up.
A big bug sculpture climbs the lobby wall.
I am sad that we have only a short amount of time here and hope that our guide will concentrate our time in the 20th century art. He does. And he really knows his stuff! Very funny and flamboyant he brings the art to life and tells the stories of the artists that created it. Most of the art that I love was created pre-revolution, in the 1910 – 1950 era. I am happy to see women artists well represented.
Love this very contemporary bronze sculpture in Old Havana central square.
Then of course there is this portrait of Che on the side of a government building. It lights up at night.
Tradition has it that if you rub the finger of this bronze statue you will have good luck, see how shiny it is.
Walking done the street we hear beautiful music coming from the doorway of an old hotel, we peak in and spy this fabulous example of art deco over the reception desk.
This painting was in a hotel lobby, no idea who the artist was.
Cuba has been a communist country for so long that you just do not see commercial art anywhere. This poster was on the wall in the historic bar where Benny More and the Buena Vista Social Club performed. Probably due to its historical value it survives today.
This sculpture hangs on the wall of the same bar it is very similar to the huge one of Che on the multi-story government building mentioned earlier.
Jolynn and the wonderful example of street mural art we found.
This wonderful bronze sculpture of a naked lady riding a rooster and carrying a large fork must have a fun story behind it…but I have no idea what the story is. If you know, please add a comment to this post and let us all in on the secret.
A Cuban Artist at his studio in Trinadad. Love his choice of colors for the building, I bet his paintings are colorful too.
This show of wonderful photography was hung in a very creative way. I assume there was no money for framing so the photos were simply printed on paper that is 3” wider on all sides making it appear as if they were matted and then hung with clothes pins on clothes lines that were strong across the large room in the Cienfuegos Museum.
Bronze sculpture seem to be very popular in Cuba, I wonder if the artists work directly for the state as employees or if these works are commissioned by the state and the artists work on their own in between commissions.
This lovely piece was on the corner of a nicely restored building in the center of the pretty little town of Sancti Spiritus where we stayed in a lovely small hotel called “Hotel Plaza”.
I plan to return to Cuba in December on a photography workshop led by well known travel photographer Lorne Resnick. I hope to have more time to seek out Cuban art on that trip.