The sun was high that day. I was walking around the messy and wrecked streets of Havana. But there was something special about one street. This street was special. Maybe the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life. Made by people, that is. The colours, shapes, materials… intertwined so delicately. Art everywhere. On every corner. A well of creativity…sunlit by the hot Cuban sun.
We, humans, we have a lot of flaws. But also many virtues and talents. Which are, when used correctly, immortal in inspiring. We are capable of such greatness and incredible baseness. But still there are places where you feel that everything is possible in this world. That street was so peaceful in the late morning sunlight. It impressed me on every step, every corner. Making me smile. Seducing me.
it was my shelter. A place of colours. Of the dramatic dance of the sun and the shadows. The colours, the shapes, the materials. A place where you forget that the time and place exist. And nothing else matters – except for the surprise the art has in store for you. That awaits around the next corner.
Cuba is a lot more than just the Revolution, the rhum, cigars and old cars. it’s an oasis of art, defying the narrow mindness and smallness of men. It opens new horizons and inspires. With art.
What impressed me the most about Havana? The art, for sure. It’s everywhere – on every step, in every pore of its streets. Before I came here, I expected to be full of music and dancing. And it was… and so much more. It’s the art that impressed me the most. Street artists. Acrobats, dancers, singers, mimes. Living statues. That came alive when you came close to them.
Havana is so much more than just a bunch of colonial ruins. It’s more than the Revolution, the rum and the cigars. And they are exquisite, by the way. The cigars and the rum, I mean.
It is the place where you get inspired by art. That you discover where you least expect it. The streets painted with crazy colours, shapes and materials. The statues that move you with their expressiveness, creativity and amazing aesthetics. And I faced a great challenge: how to capture all of this on my photographs. Only time will tell, if I succeeded. I think.
Maybe it is true. That the rebellion fuels art. Pushes its boundaries, forces it to progress and evolve. Because often art is rebellion. Revolt against the system, the time we are living in, the superficiality of people. And it’s a sweet shelter. From the madness of the word. And the people.
Walking down the streets of Havana, I felt like I was in a different, parallel world. There are beautiful buildings from colonial era, but they are slowly on the verge of destruction. Sometimes they are already in ruins. I felt like everything was taken from them. All they had left was: their pride. Their stoical and aristocratical posture amazed me every time and got me thinking. Maybe they can take away everything, break everything, destroy everything. But they can never take away who you really are, they can never take away your pride. And force you to bow your head forever. These buildings are a sign of resistance against, sometimes unbearable, need of humans to destroy. A resistance against vanity of people.
And then, Havana surprises you. With its rich, inspiring, beautiful art. That grows and evolves no matter what. It surprises with its creativity, colourfulness and playfulness. With the eclectic mixture of colours, styles and materials. It is oh so inspiring. Forcing you to go deep down, deep into your soul. It forces you to look for it. Because sometimes great artworks hide in plain sight. In patios or in the middle of vibrant city squares. They invite you to try, to catch their beauty in this moment in time. Before it’s gone forever.
And this too is Havana.