Fusterlandia takes place at Havana’s Jamainatas neighbourhood. Back in 1975 when the magic began, this area was a run-down fishing community. Today it’s a piece of art, created by the vision of Jose Fuster, and at 74 years of age he is not yet done!
Fusterlandia is an ever growing, mosaic wonderland. Fuster’s artwork covers the streets, casas, archways… You can see the flavour of Picasso, Brâncuși, and Antoni Gaudí as Fuster was inspired by these greats during his travels through Europe in the mid-1960’s.
The humble beginnings
It all started once Fuster returned to Cuba and purchase his small wooden home in the Jamainatas. He looked at this space, and later the walls and streets of his hometown as a canvas where his live’s work unfolds even today.
He began by covering his own casa with colourful tiles and broken pottery. Here you will find rich plant life taking shape, filling up the large courtyard. Across its walls, people dancing and wave their arms in the air, while mermaids, fishermen, and a giant octopus celebrate the ocean. These are surrounded by lush palms, colourful flowers, and fish, as well as more surreal details like massive floating eyes and swooping squiggles that climb into the air.
After covering his own home, Fuster moved onto the streets, buildings, bus stops, park benches and any other surface he could find, covering the neighbourhood in vibrant artwork. Today more than 80 homes – and anything in between – are covered with his creations.
Even tho you can clearly see the influence of Gaudi and Picasso on Fusterlandia, you can also notice bodies and faces being created in the spirit of Cubism, and an underlaying hint of Caribbean culture, history and people, creating a special style of Fuster himself.
There are references to daily life on this amazing island of Cuba through illustrations of people playing dominoes, dancing, the vibrant vintage cars, hint of Santeria with depictions of the Virgin Mary and evil eyes. You will also find many revolutionary phrases, like Viva Cuba stretching across a series of smokestacks, and No Guerra (No War) on a moving mural capturing the revolutionary history of Cuba – private tours cuba. You’ll find an expansive mural showing the Granma Yacht—a boat that transported 82 Cuban revolutionaries from Mexico to Cuba in 1956, who ended up overthrowing the authoritarian regime of Fulgencio Batista. You can clearly make out the faces of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos on the vessel, and of course the man who would ultimately assume power: Fidel Castro.
Even though Fuster is now at the ripe age of 74, he can still be found today in his studio, painting tiles, creating the next mosaic. His vision is to create the biggest mural in the world and hopes that others will carry on where he leaves off once he’s no longer of this earth.
Whether you are an art lover or not, Fusterlandia will leave a great impression on your mind!