(Andrea Rodriguez’s article appeared on the AP 2/14; via the Drudge Report.)

HAVANA (AP) — The whimsical designs of the graffiti artist with the signature Yulier P. began to appear randomly on walls around Havana three years ago. The first ones were large abstract renderings of rabbits, their floppy ears outlined in black against chipped concrete.

Now, there is hardly a neighborhood in the Cuban capital where you can’t find one of the sprawling works of Yulier P. They include enormous gaping mouths 2 yards (meters) high, or flowers mixed either with the image of a woman or in the hands of a child.

The works of the 27-year-old artist, whose full name is Yulier Rodriguez Perez, are striking not just for their artistry and ubiquity, but that they exist at all in a place where graffiti is rare and nearly all posters and murals feature political slogans or revolutionary figures. His art stands out not only for being different, but for its sly sense of social criticism.

“It is important to me that the urban artist expresses himself freely, not restricted by anyone, whether it’s a gallery or the government,” Rodriguez said in an interview with The Associated Press.

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