Photographed: Exploring Fusterlandia,<br> a poor neighborhood transformed with art

Photographed: Exploring Fusterlandia,
a poor neighborhood transformed with art

Cuban artist José Fuster transformed his rundown neighborhood outside of Havana after returning from a successful gallery tour of Europe in 1975.

Inspired by Gaudi’s public mosaic work in Barcelona he started decorating his modest home and studio with colorful crude tiles. When he was finished there, he asked his neighbors if he could transform their homes with mosaic artwork. And now many homes, small businesses, and public spaces — including bus stops, fountains, and benches — are covered with the artist’s childlike imagination.

(Above Photo: Fuster painted the gate in front of his home. His style is often compared to Picasso’s. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©))


Aerial view of Fuster's front yard covered in mosaic tiles.
FRONT YARD VIEW: The view of the front yard from Fuster’s studio/home in the Jaimanitas neighborhood outside of Havana. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©)


Street view of homes covered in mosaic tiles.
NEIGHBORS: A view of the street in front of Fuster’s home. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©)


Close up of a home with a mosaic bird.
TRANSFORMATION: Fuster transformed his neighborhood. Tourists arrive by bus and taxi to visit it. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©)


Three people wait outside a home decorated in mosaic tiles.
NEXT DOOR: Residents seem used to their colorful neighborhood and the tourists it attracts. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©)


Close up of a mosaic sculpture.
LIFELONG PROJECT: Fuster spent 10 years transforming his neighborhood and the work continues today. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©)


A woman and a man on the mosaic sculptures.
FREE ROAMING: Visitors are free to roam around Fuster’s yard and get up close to the artwork. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©)


Swimming pool with art painted on the bottom.
OFF THE DEEP END: Even the swimming pool at Fuster’s home is covered with his artwork.


A sculpture that looks like a court jester.

ARTISTIC VIEW: Fuster is said to have decorated more than 80 homes in his neighborhood. (Photo by Mark Micheli ©)



More From His Front Yard

Mosaic covered sculptures.

(Photo by Mark Micheli ©)


Close up of a mosaic face.

(Photo by Mark Micheli ©)



(Photo by Mark Micheli ©)


(Photo by Mark Micheli ©)


A small Fuster sculpture.
GIFT SHOP: There is no charge to visit Fuster’s home and studio but you can buy sculptures, like this one, to take home.(Photo by Mark Micheli ©)