Art Nerd New York | Los Angeles

Damian Aquiles “Alquimista” Curated by Natalie Kates opens this week with FACUNDO Rum Collection partnership


This Thursday, Havana-based Damian Aquiles will return to New York for his first solo exhibition in the city since 2004, “Alquimista,” at the massive Highline Loft Gallery (508 west 26th 5th floor) in Chelsea. Curated by Natalie Kates, the exhibition features Aquiles’ paintings, sculpture and signature metalwork, made from found metal and discarded paint cans collected in his native Cuba. Aquiles has also partnered with FACUNDO Rum Collection to create ten one-of-a-kind bar trays that toe the line between art and luxury object for the exhibition.

Growing up in Cuba, Aquiles learned to work with the limited resources available to him, finding beauty in the colorful metals cast off from paint cans, water tanks, and well-worn scrap metal from the antiquated automobiles still used by locals. This “found palette” of colors became the basis for his now iconic walking man series, each hand chiseled from metals found across Cuba. The metals have taken form of paintings, massive sculptures, and installation work, the artist leaving their wear and tear as a reminder of their past.

Cuba has since changed, and Aquiles along with it, expanding into studio paintings in acrylics and inks, which evoke the same nostalgia as the worn surfaces of his metal works. Staying with his dedication to giving old materials a new life, many of his paintings are made on found canvas and other materials.

For Alquimista, Aquiles has also created a series of handmade bar trays inspired by the decorative bottles of FACUNDO. Each is sourced from scrap metal from Cuba, which the artist has then hand painted then literally set on fire.


The trays will be on display along with original paintings and metal work from March 29 through April 7, 2018. An artist’s reception on Thursday, March 29 from 6-8pm will be open to the public.

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