Cuba's digital destination

The Crab, crocodile & love (2009): A portrait of Jose Fuster

The Crab, crocodile & love (2009): A portrait of Jose Fuster

The 2010 Sylvie Collier film, The Crab, the Crocodile, and Love in?Cuba delivers an inside track to Cuba through the art of Jos? Fuster, one of Cuba?s best known and somewhat eccentric artists based in Jaminitas, Havana. Fuster?s style of working is unique. He sells his increasingly acclaimed paintings on international circuits and turns the income into works of art for neighbours

Mosaic palm trees sprout along walls, rooftops are sculpted into roosters. Fountains and fish, crocodiles and mermaids emerge in vibrant ceramic colours.

Independent filmmaker Sylvie Collier created a film based on the artwork of Cuban artist, Jos? Rodr?guez Fuster, entitled The Crab, the Crocodile, and Love in Cuba (2009). Her film, described as a ?highly visual, intimate, exuberant film,? captures the essence of Rodr?guez Fuster?s project as he transforms Havana?s neighborhood by crafting a magical world where ?mosaic palm trees sprout along walls, rooftops are sculpted into roosters, fountains, fish, crocodiles, and mermaids emerge in vibrant ceramic colors.? This is the fantastical world of an extraordinary artist, filmed in Cuba as he transforms his Havana neighbourhood. In spontaneous, candid interviews, Rodr?guez Fuster and his neighbors speak about the impact of this adventurous public art.

Interviewed at the Chichester Film Festival in the UK, Collier explains, ?As a youngster many years ago I blagged some 16 mm film, borrowed a Bolex and made my first documentary in Cuba. Now that the country is marking 50 years since the Revolution I took my (Sony HD) camera to Cuba in search of a fresh story. I found Jos? Rodr?guez Fuster, painter and ceramicist, transforming his house and neighbourhood outside Havana with his unique public art project. Neighbours? houses are his canvas for mosaics. Palm trees sprout along walls, rooftops are converted into roosters, boundaries become birds and fish, crocodiles and cows, doves and dolls. His fantastic creations are being made with delighted engagement of people living in this working-class neighbourhood with whom I chose to live and share experiences.?

Jos? Rodr?guez Fuster, one of Cuba?s most original ceramists and popular painters was born in Villa Clara in 1946 and is currently living in Jaimanitas.?He studied at the Art Instructors School and started working as a ceramist at the Cubanac?n Ceramics Workshop in Havana in 1966. In the past few years, he has extended his artwork from his home to entire streets and neighborhoods. A permanent ceramic chess table and chairs, filled day and night with local players, is a most recent addition.?
 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.