I stumbled upon an exhibition of contemporary Cuban art, almost by chance, and it turned out to be an eye-opening experience. As I walked through the gallery's modern glass doors, I was immediately struck by the vibrant energy that seemed to radiate from the walls.

The space was vast, with high ceilings that must have been at least 20 feet tall, and the white walls served as a blank canvas for the explosion of colors and emotions that the art conveyed. The first piece that caught my eye was a large canvas, easily six by eight feet, splashed with a kaleidoscope of colors that depicted the streets of Havana. The artist had captured the city's rhythm, its pulsating life, and the resilience of its people in a way that was almost palpable.

As I moved through the gallery, each piece offered a unique window into the Cuban experience. There was a series of smaller mixed-media works, no larger than 12 by 12 inches each, that combined photography with layers of paint and textured paper. They told stories of tradition and change, a reflection of the island's complex history and the indomitable spirit of its inhabitants.

One installation particularly captivated me. It was an interactive piece where viewers were encouraged to walk through a reconstructed Cuban home, the rooms filled with everyday objects that were transformed into art through the addition of multimedia elements. Televisions played old family videos, while radios emitted a blend of salsa music and historic speeches. The scent of Cuban coffee wafted through the air, completing the multisensory experience.

I was also drawn to a striking sculpture that stood in the center of the room, a life-sized figure made from reclaimed metal and car parts. It was both a homage to the ingenuity required by the embargo's restrictions and a commentary on the resourcefulness of the Cuban people.

The art was not just visual; it was a dialogue, a series of questions and answers about identity, freedom, and expression. Each artist offered a distinct voice, yet there was a harmony in their collective narrative that resonated deeply with me.

After spending hours immersed in the exhibition, I left with a profound sense of admiration for the resilience and creativity of the Cuban art community. The experience wasn't just about seeing art; it was about feeling it, understanding it, and letting it challenge my perceptions. The contemporary Cuban art I saw that day was a testament to the human spirit's ability to flourish under any circumstances, and it's an encounter that continues to inspire me in ways I never expected.

Some of the art had images of fish and it made me want to try fishing on the ocean for something big, fishingforbig.