Reynier Leyva Novo
Watch video

The past for the present and the future

“My inspirations are manifold; they come from history, philosophy, science and from life itself, but not from art.”

Reynier Leyva Novo once mapped out five towering rectangles in a 16th century fortress. Then, he colored them in with the precise amount of ink needed to print the ideological creeds of Castro, Lenin, Hitler, Gaddafi and Mao. He called the piece “The Weight of History,” powerfully reducing political ideologies to sober black-holes of abstraction.

Reynier explores the revision of history. To that end, he considers him as much an archaeologist as an artist: he looks at the way the past informs the present and the future. Reynier begins by mining historical data and official documents. Then he creates art that challenges ideology and symbols of power. Though the Havana-born multidisciplinary artist travels to and from New York City, he feels he has no choice but to ground himself in his home city. In his own words, Havana chose him.

Reynier’s work has been featured across the world in the Havana Biennial, MARTE Museo de Arte de El Salvador, and the Liverpool Biennial. He has been featured in solo and group shows across Europe, the US and in his home: Cuba.