The Fridges
50 cuban artists turn refrigerators into artworks


Courtesy of the H Magazine

Curator Mario González (Mayito) came up with this idea one day when he and painter Roberto Fabelo started to dab paint on the door of an old 1950s American fridge. Soon, other artists joined in the initiative of recycling household electric products that had been discontinued because of the Energy Revolution's anti-waste offensive. When the decorated fridges didn't fit into Mayito's house and garden any more, they moved to the convent of Santa Clara.

The fridge exhibition was first called Instruction manual. Jorge Luis Montesinos, exhibition curator and creator of one of the fridges, considers them to be key industrial objects converted into works of art by the ingenuity of national artists and so become icons not only of Cuba's history but also its cultural and anthropological past.

Kcho put oars across his and called it Objeto soñado (Dream object). The actor Jorge Perugorría turned the framework of Rocco, the fridge that belonged to Diego who he played in the movie "Fresa y Chocolate" (Strawberry and Chocolate) which received an Oscar nomination, into a funerary monument dedicated to a whole generation of household domestic products by writing a eulogy. Abel Barroso stuffed his full of black and white xylographs of bombs, aircraft carriers, tanks and satellites and called it "Se acabó la guerra fría, a gozar con la globalización" (The cold war is over, nowto enjoy globalisation). Alejandro and Esteban Leyva decorated their `General' Electric with brass medals. Eduardo Ponjuán found one bearing the Coca-Cola label so he filled it with Tropicola, the Cuban equivalent. Martínez put a chimney on his and barbecued meat for the public.

This exhibition demonstrated that concept art is still very popular. The 50 fridges not only took the CENCREM (Centro Nacional de Conservación, Restauración y Musicología) by storm but was loved by all those who visited the biennale (27 March-27 April 2006). They were the sensation of the year. Even children loved them and we know children are never wrong.

Guest artists:

Abel Barroso, Aguedo Alonso, Agustin Bejarano, Alain Pino, Alicia Leal, Alejandro Leyva, Esteban Leyva, Angel Ramirez, Antonio Espinosa, Aziyade Ruiz, Carlos Omar Estrada, David Rodriguez, Douglas Peres, Eduardo Abela, Eduardo Ponjuan, Eduardo Roca (Choco), Ernesto Garcia Pena, Ernesto Rancano, Eulises Niebla, Ever Fonseca, Flavio Garciandia, Flora Fong, Franck Martinez, Irene Sierra Carreno, Javier Guerra, Jose A. Hechavarria, Jose A. Vincench, Jorge Luis Ballart, Jorge Perugorria, Jose Franco, Jose Fuster, Juan Suarez Blanco, Li Dominguez Fong, Liang Dominguez Fong, Luis E. Camejo, Mario M. Gonzalez (Mayito), Miguel A. Leiva, Nelson Dominguez, Niels Moleiro, Osneldo Garcia, Rafael Perez Alonso, Reinerio Tamayo, Ruben Alpizar, René Pena, Rigoberto Mena, Roberto Chile, Roberto Diago, Roberto Fabelo, Ulises Bretana, Vicente Rodriguez Bonachea, Zaida del Rio, Cristian Gonzalez, Alexis Leyva (Kcho), Ramon Alejandro.

The exhibition has already been invited to travel in several countries :

- Spain, Madrid, Casa de América, 1 February - 8 April 2007

- Italy, Milano, Triennale di Bovisa, 21 June - 12 July 2007

- France, Paris, Le Grand Palais, 17 July - 3 August 2007

and should be travelling again soon.
Havana Club International SA. supported the exhibition in Italy and France.