25 de abril de 2019
ÚLTIMAS NOTICIAS:
Hispanic World

The Cuban Gaudi transforms a neighborhood

Havana, Mar 15 (efe-epa).- Surrealist figures, inspiring phrases, colors and infinite curves created in rich mosaics have invaded Havana's once run-down Jaimanitas neighborhood to the point it has become an important tourist attraction. It is all the work of Jose Antonio Rodriguez Fuster, the Cuban Gaudi.

Havana, Mar 15 (efe-epa).- Surrealist figures, inspiring phrases, colors and infinite curves created in rich mosaics have invaded Havana's once run-down Jaimanitas neighborhood to the point it has become an important tourist attraction. It is all the work of Jose Antonio Rodriguez Fuster, the Cuban Gaudi.

"Gaudi was a genius and he got that little piece of Spain to create his art, while I got this little piece of Cuba," the 72-year-old Fuster said when compared with the famous Catalan modernist architect who died in 1926.

Located on the extreme west side of Havana, the Jaimanitas neighborhood gradually became Fusterland, a name given it years later by a US journalist and which today has international fame.

In a process begun in 1994, the formerly dull houses are now aglow with colorful tile mosaics and decorated with sculptures, while their entrances exhibit poetic phrases and the names of their owners, beautified by Fuster.

It all began, the artist told EFE, about 25 years ago: "Everything I did was coming out insignificant so I started using the neighbors' houses to develop my art."

"A neighbor came over and said, your house is so pretty. I'm poor but I wish my house showed the words 'Doña Iris,' so at the door of her house I put 'Doña Iris,' he recalled.

"Doña Iris" was followed by the names of another two neighbors: "Princesa Diana" and "Maria Bonita," and so "it all began to grow at people's request, and I started decorating houses according to what the people wanted, as has been the case to this day," he said.

Fusterland, whose streets are visited by hundreds of tourists every day, has as its chief temple the home of the patriarch, a four-story building covered with murals and sculptures of every kind, from virgins to Cuban flags, palm trees, animals and human figures, like the man with a Picasso-style face who embraces the rooftop terrace with open arms.

The Cuban artist said Picasso influenced his life, as did Gaudi, though his principal reference was the Romanian sculptor, painter and photographer Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957), creator of "The Gate of the Kiss," a work that inspired the entrance to the Jaimanitas temple.

At the main door to his mansion, Fuster said he was also inspired by Jose Marti, from whom comes the phrase "Amor con amor se paga" (Love with love is repaid), written on the bench next to the entrance. "I believe this is the place I like best. I come at night and nobody's here, and I sit on the bench and talk to the neighbors," he said.

While Fusterland keeps growing with new mosaics on homes ond walls, the artist dreams of an arena of the people, a kind of stadium with multiple uses, and said "it already has the entrance and the name - it's called 'Alegria de Vivir' (Joy of Life)."

The presence in the mosaics of Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and other leaders of the Cuban Revolution, plus the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, makes one ask about the influence of politics on his work.

"Here in Cuba I don't belong to any political organization or party. Neither left nor right nor centrist, neither here nor there, nor am I an environmentalist or religious. I'm just an ordinary Cuban, but I like to reflect on those historical moments," he said.

Fuster trusts that his descendents will preserve and expand his legacy, specifically his grandson Iker Fuster, whose name is a combination of Spanish soccer great Iker Casillas and his grandfather's second surname.

"He shows an interest in art, he is 6 years old. I think that in 10 or 15 years when he's a young guy, he may be a painter, and I will be close to my 90s," he said.

Histórico de noticias
Hundreds of Indians set up camp in Brasilia to protest against Bolsonaro

Brasilia, Apr 24 (efe-epa).- Hundreds of Brazilian Indians from assorted tribes arrived in Brasilia on Wednesday where they are intending to set up camp for...

Spread of vogue dancing unites Mexico's LGTB community

Mexico City, Apr 24 (epa-efe).- A decade ago, the vogue dancing scene was unknown in Mexico, but it has become a true cultural phenomenon spreading bonds of...

Trump: WH is fighting all subpoenas for advisers to testify before Congress

Washington, Apr 24 (efe-epa).- President Donald Trump said Wednesday that he will oppose any attempt to subpoena his advisers to testify before the House of...

Gov't won't negotiate with organized crime groups, Mexico's president says

Mexico City, Apr 24 (efe-epa).- The Mexican government will not negotiate with organized crime groups under any circumstances, President Andres Manuel Lopez...

AMLO: Informal vote could be held on whether to probe Mexican ex-presidents

Mexico City, Apr 24 (efe-epa).- Mexico's head of state said here Wednesday that an informal referendum may be held to allow voters to weigh in on whether...

Bogota book fair celebrates 200 years of creativity

Bogota, Apr 24 (epa-efe).- The 32nd Bogota International Book Fair (Filbo), which opens its doors to the public on Wednesday and runs until May 6, is...

Nun: Women in Central America will always be those hardest hit by migration

Sara Acosta

Trump reiterates threat to close US-Mexico border, send more troops

Washington, Apr 24 (efe-epa).- The president of the United States on Wednesday threatened once again to send more troops to the US-Mexico border and shut...

Venezuela asks Interpol to arrest 3 for attack on electricity grid

Caracas, Apr 23 (efe-epa).- The government of Nicolas Maduro on Tuesday asked Interpol to capture three Venezuelan citizens it says are in the United...

President: Mexico stopping migrants for their own safety

Mexico City, Apr 23 (efe-epa).- President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador acknowledged Tuesday that the Mexican government is blocking Central American caravans...

Supreme Court analyzing Census citizenship question

Laura Barros

Maracaibo, Venezuela's 2nd largest city, feels the heat of the blackouts

By Hector Pereira

Shantytowns mushroom in Mexican border metropolis

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, Apr 23 (epa-efe).- A stairway of tires leads to a pair of small, improvised houses made from wood, cardboard and plastics: a common...

Mayor kidnapped and murdered in southwestern Mexico

Morelia, Mexico, Apr 23 (efe-epa).- The mayor of Nahuatzen, a city in the southwestern Mexican state of Michoacan, was kidnapped and murdered by gunmen on...

Google completes undersea cable linking Chile to California

Valparaiso, Chile, Apr 23 (efe-epa).- The last link of Google's Curie undersea cable, connecting California to Chile, was installed Tuesday in this Pacific...

Public archaeology in El Salvador essential for protecting heritage

Sara Acosta

Fuel theft crisis is over, Mexican president says

Mexico City, Apr 23 (efe-epa).- President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Tuesday that the crisis over fuel theft from pipelines belonging to state-owned...

Sao Paulo Fashion Week opens with styles inspired by Miami Beach

By Laura Lopez

Talent Land starts in Mexico to promote innovation among young people and children

Guadalajara, Mexico, Apr 23 (EFE).- Talent Land, a gathering aimed at inspiring innovation and entrepreneurship among young people, is being held this week...

Bus crash in Bolivia leaves 25 dead

La Paz, Apr 22 (efe-epa).- A bus ran off the road and plunged 350 meters (about 1,150 ft.) to the bottom of a ravine near the Bolivian capital, resulting in...

Colombians resume search for missing after mudslide

Rosas, Colombia, Apr 22 (efe-epa).- Colombian authorities on Monday resumed their search for more than a dozen people listed as missing after a mudslide...

Trumps host 30,000 at White House for Easter egg hunt

By Javier Romualdo

Peruvian minister: No police negligence or abuse in Garcia case

Lima, Apr 22 (efe-epa).- Peruvian Interior Minister Carlos Moran on Monday rejected questions about the way in which police tried to arrest late President...

California residents battle pollution on Ormond Beach

By Ivan Mejia