Maestro Collective Brings Cuba to Amsterdam

Maestro Collective Brings Cuba to Amsterdam

May 4, 2011 |  by  |  Art, Event
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I’ve been fascinated by the beauty and mystery of Cuba ever since I can remember. Think of the free brave people, the authentic cars and the mesmerizing landscapes. Since I haven’t yet had the chance of visiting the country myself, I decided to go with the next best thing: an Amsterdam exhibition dedicated to the Cuban way of living.

Life in Cuba, a photographic story

In January 2011 Aslan and Sharon Killinger (founders of Maestro gallery) went to Cuba and captured this great country through their camera lenses. The concept behind Maestro collective is simple: several artists work at the art pieces that hang in this gallery at the same time. For the Cuban expo, this meant that back in the studio they mixed photography with graphic design and travel drawings, resulting in fantastic colorful artworks. While I was walking through the gallery, I truly felt like I could breathe in the life and mood of Cuba.

Meeting Sharon Killinger, the lady behind the photographs

I also took a moment to speak with Sharon herself and ask her why she chose Cuba in particular. “Cuba is changing in such a vast way that I felt now was the perfect and only time to be able to do what we’d envisioned,” Sharon told me. “Besides, Cuba is such a photogenic country. The people are very warm and they love to be photographed. They weren’t shy at all.”

Sharon explained that the aim of the Cuban expo was to look into people’s lives from an outsider point of view. Adding graphic designs to the photos makes them more interesting and unique, Sharon says: “I looked online for inspirational poems, lyrics and texts and tried to match those with the perfect photograph. I hope I captured the real and urban life of the Cuban people, their spirit and their view on the world.”

New York versus Amsterdam

When I asked Sharon about their future plans, she said they’re already working on the next expo, which will be a comparison of New York and Amsterdam lifestyles. In Sharon’s words: “Amsterdam is such a special place for me, it just feels like home. And we notice that people always ask us when we will do an exhibition on our own city. So we came up with the idea of photographing those daily moments. Imagine a mother walking her child to school or an old man sitting in a park, and then imagine comparing the Amsterdam images with those from New York to see if and how they differ.” Now there is an art fair I’d like to see.

We still have to wait until September for the New York versus Amsterdam view of Maestro Collective. But if you’ve always wanted to know what the Cuban lifestyle is like, you have until August to visit the Amsterdam gallery, enjoy the artwork and take in the Cuban air. Esperamos lo disfrute!

Life in Cuba, A photographic story

Now until August 2011
Maestro Collective gallery, Tweede Helmersstraat 17-19 (open every Friday or through appointment)
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