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Leandro Soto

Leandro Soto is a multidisciplinary visual/installation and performance artist who has been internationally involved with the arts for the past thirty two years. Soto was one of the leading figures of the influential “Volumen Uno”, an artistic movement that changed the course of Cuban Art in the decade of the 1980’s, in which he was the first artist in his generation to work with the Afro-Cuban heritage.  In his current work Soto continues to draw simultaneously on European and non-European cultural heritages and art forms -- acquired as a result of his traveling and living in numerous cultures.  Soto contributes to the rich cross-cultural dialogue in contemporary arts.

AfroCubaWeb is proud to present the first performance art ever to have taken place in Cuba, Ancestros, in 1979, where Leandro Soto was already basing himself on African traditions, incorporating, as true polytheists do, the traditions of other cultures that fit with his, because they were the traditions of his ancestors.

Soto has participated in more than 162 group exhibitions and 91 solo art shows in museums, art galleries, and alternative art spaces in Spain, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, Czech Republic, Germany, Peru, Japan, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Italy, Cuba, India, and the United States, among others.  His art is in the permanent collections of important museums: National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, Cienfuegos Art Museum, Cuba; Art Museum of Fort Lauderdale, Lowes Museum, MOCA Florida, New Delhi Global Arts Village Collection, the Florida International University Art Collection. His art is also in the collection of Higher Education institutions such as Mount Holyoke College Art Museum, Wheaton College Art Museum, Jerome Lawrence And Robert E. Lee Theater Research Institute at Ohio State University, and in the Cuban Heritage Collection at the University of Miami.

As an educator he has taught and lectured at various Higher Education institutions in the U.S. and abroad (Arizona State University, State University of New York, Mt. Holyoke College, University of Havana and College of Arts in New Delhi, Whittier College, Ohio State University, and University of Mass).

In his performances and the visual/installation art which emerge from his performances, Soto responds to the postmodern coordinates of implosion and satire, often subverting the inceptions of culturally accepted notions of high/kitsch, traditional/pop, global/local, and profane/sacred art forms.  The key to understanding his work lies in the inner organization of the form and its metaphoric implications -- the synthesis and integration of values raising personal and cultural awareness. --





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