The afternoon was spent in a riot of color and art. First up was “fursterville,” in the community of Jaimanitas, a fishing community of some 4,000 people a few blocks from the Caribbean.
Fuster, an artist in plaster and tiles, converted his neighborhood into an art project featuring murals, plastic art, and other designs. He transformed his own home in this way, and he and other artists then spread the concept to the surrounding streets.
Then it was on to the Merger Gallery, a collaborative project of three artists, Mario Gonzalez, Niels Moleiro, and Alain Pino. Each of the three contributes to each piece of art, which is signed by “The Merger” not by the individual artists. Many of the pieces include stainless steel, formed (like the Peter Pan producing the United States as Wonderland) by high pressure water hoses generating 6,000 pounds per square inch. The Pan piece fetched almost $35,000 at an auction at Sotheby’s.
Next stop: the home and studio of three emerging artists, Frank Mujica, Adrian Fernandez, and Alex Duenas, who work in different forms, including paper forms. They have converted their modern home into a gallery to display their work.
Finally, we stopped for tapas and cocktails at the home of art collector and art consignor Milagros Borges, where we were encouraged to wander freely through a treasure trove of impressive contemporary Cuban art.
Still not finished, we ended the day with a private performance by a renowned singer and songwriter, Frank Delgado at the Café Madrigal, owned and operated by film director Rafael Rosales. Delgado regaled us with stories of the development of “troub” music – troubador music that developed indigenously in Cuba in the 19th century and became the foundation of much of what we know as African-Cuban music and cha-cha, the bossa nova, and samba.