DAY 3 PART DEUX OUR TIME WITH ARTISTS AT FUSTERLANDIA & FABRICA

There is so much art in Cuba from music everywhere to beautiful artists to meet one that we met was at Fusterlandia – according to my fave Lonely Planet : Where does art go after Gaudí? For a hint, head west from central Havana to the seemingly low-key district of Jaimanitas, where Cuban artist José Fuster has turned his home neighborhood into a masterpiece of intricate tilework and kaleidoscopic colors – a street-art extravaganza that makes Barcelona’s Park Güell look positively sedate. Imagine Gaudí on steroids relocated to a tropical setting. The result is what is unofficially known as Fusterlandia, an ongoing project first hatched around 20 years ago that has covered several suburban blocks with whimsical but highly stylized public art. The centerpiece is Fuster’s own house, Taller-Estudio José Fuster, a sizable residence decorated from roof to foundations by art, sculpture and – above all – mosaic tiles of every color and description. The overall impression defies written description (just go!), a fantastical mishmash of spiraling walkways, rippling pools and sunburst fountains. The work mixes homages to Picasso and Gaudí with snippets of Gauguin and Wifredo Lam, elements of magic realism, strong maritime influences, Santería, the curvaceous lines of modernisme, plus a large dose of Fuster’s own Cubanness, which runs through almost everything. Look for the Cuban flags, a mural of the Granma yacht, and the words ‘Viva Cuba’ emblazoned across eight chimney pots. Fusterlandia stretches way beyond Fuster’s own residence. Over half the neighborhood has been given similar artistic treatment, from street signs to bus stops to the local doctor’s house. Wandering around its quiet streets is a surreal and psychedelic experience.

We had the opp to meet Jose and it was so great to meet the artist behind this beautiful place with so much heart – I wish I had more time to spend here because I would have loved it but this is outside the city a bit so we drove here on way back to our casa so we didn’t want to leave anyone waiting to long but it was so wonderful to see – if you have a car or a way to go and spend at least a few hours you can really discover all the intricate details – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jos%C3%A9_Rodr%C3%ADguez_Fuster

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Later that night we went off to http://www.lahabana.com/content/fabrica-de-arte-cubano-f-a-c/ Fabrica de Arte Cubano – you can eat here, see art here, dance here and just meet tons of people it is a great place in an incredible setting.  You can spend hours here. It is a bit of a trip from Old Havana so would be best to figure out a good way to take a bus here. The price to get in is not much but the taxi charged us a bit to get back and forth from Old Havana so that made it a more expensive night. We walked around a bit – we were photographed for an upcoming piece of art by https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enrique_Rottenberg

We ate ice cream ! It was a great night.

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