Contemporary Art

Contemporary Art and Anthropology

Unveiling the World of Contemporary Art and Anthropology Through the Eyes of FermĂ­n Fleites

In a captivating journey through time and culture, FermĂ­n Fleites, a distinguished contemporary artist, delves into the intricate realms of art and anthropology, bridging the gap between tradition and modernity. His works, particularly those from the series “Camino de las velas,” created between 1998 and 2003, encapsulate a profound exploration deeply intertwined with cultural anthropology.

Of the journey of the Sails Path

Based on an interview conducted for the channel "Arte Mundo Latino" in 2008

Art Miami

Contemporary Art Miami

Exploring Cultural Anthropology Through Art

Fleites’ artistic endeavors were not merely creations but a profound reflection of his research journey, closely entwined with cultural anthropology. His experiences in Peru, traversing the Andes, the jungle, and urban landscapes, unveiled a tapestry of influences shaping human groups. Delving into the mechanisms of folklorization in response to external cultural influences like music and Hollywood cinema, Fleites encountered a diverse array of individuals – from artists to practitioners of ancient cults in regions like Cusco.

Fermin fleites
Shaman Quispe Tito, Cusco

Art and Anthropology

Art and Anthropology

Artistic Narratives and Human Connections

Within Fleites’ narratives lie the stories of shamans in Cusco, babalaos in the Caribbean, and voodoo practitioners in Haiti – each embodying a unique connection with nature and tradition despite the modern era’s cosmopolitan influences. These encounters highlighted the enduring strength of cultural practices and social praxis rooted in their respective realities.

Interview conducted for the channel "Arte Mundo Latino" in 2008


Anthropology and Identity

Artistic Vision and Material Realities

Fleites’ artistic vision transcends mere representation; it embodies a profound connection with reality. His works capture the essence of cultural exchange through materials obtained via barter in communities like Cusco. Elements like the chicha cannon symbolize not just objects but cultural reservoirs passed down through generations, carrying profound meanings tied to adolescence and cultural sustenance.

Art and Anthropology
Noveno Viaje
Chronicles of the Ninth Voyage - Private collection Museum of the Nation. Peru
Contemporary drawing
Chronicles of the Fifth Voyage - IPNA Private Collection
Chronicles of the Fourth Voyage - PRM International Private Collection

Interweaving Art, Anthropology, and Identity

As Fleites’ artistic journey evolved post-2000 towards scenography and art direction, his focus shifted towards childhood nostalgia and introspection. Works like “Mataperros” delve into wisdom embedded in Ifá traditions while pieces like “The Bird that Sings” reflect on participant observation in reality. These artworks echo a deep connection with Yoruba deities like Echu and Eleguá, intertwining Latin American mythologies with Mesoamerican entities.

Fermín Fleites' artistic odyssey serves as a testament to the profound interplay between artistry, anthropology, and cultural identity – a tapestry woven with threads of tradition, modernity, and human connections that transcend geographical boundaries.

The journey of Fermin Fleites into the heart of Contemporary Art

The journey of Fermin Fleites into the heart of Contemporary Art Miami offers a unique insight into the blend of contemporary art trends, artists and their stories, and the deep connection between art and anthropology. Fleites’ exploration, encapsulated in his series “Camino de las velas,” spans from 1998 to 2003 and delves into cultural anthropology, inspired by his research and thesis work that took him from the Andes to the jungles and cities of Peru. This period was marked by a quest to understand the folklorization of human groups amidst the cultural influences of global cinema and music, revealing patterns of cultural resilience and the magical realism that permeates everyday life in these communities.

Fleites’ work is a testament to the enduring power of contemporary artists to navigate and document the complexities of cultural identity and influence. His interactions with practitioners of cults and shamans in Cusco, for example, underscore the universal themes that connect disparate cultures—themes such as the relationship with nature and the spiritual, which remain vibrant even in the cosmopolitan settings of the 21st century. This cross-cultural dialogue is not only a hallmark of contemporary art trends but also a bridge that connects the ancient to the modern, the local to the global.

Fermin Fleites' artistic journey
Altahar domesticated ancestral entities
The journey of Fermin Fleites
Little Cuban boy, what are you thinking of doing?

Fleites' approach to his materials and the stories

In the realm of art and anthropology, Fleites’ approach to his materials and the stories behind his works encapsulate the essence of exchange and memory. The tradition of barter in communities he visited, and the symbolic exchange of items that carry with them the essence of the giver, are reflective of a deeper anthropological understanding of how cultures preserve their identity and narratives through art. His series “Mataperros” and explorations into the wisdom of Ifá, as well as his depictions of entities from the Yoruba pantheon, further illustrate the syncretism and the rich tapestry of beliefs that inform his work.


Fermin Fleites’ artistic journey through “Of the journey of the Sails Path” offers a profound reflection on contemporary art trends, highlighting the role of contemporary artists as storytellers and anthropologists. His work, deeply rooted in the exploration of cultural identity and the narrative power of art, continues to resonate within the vibrant context of Contemporary Art Miami, offering a window into the soul of communities and the enduring magic of their stories.

Fermin Fleites, scenography and art direction for theater and television.

Fermin Fleites Scenography
Supper Popper - Transvestite
Contemporary Artist Supperpoper
Supper Popper
Contemporary Artist Supperpoper
Supper Popper - Transvestite
Katie and the Hippopotamus


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