Alexis Leyva Machado (Kcho) (Isla de la Juventud, 1970)
Kcho is one of Cuba’s best-known living visual artists, probably the most renowned internationally after Wifredo Lam. An outstanding draughtsman, many of his drawings, sculptures and installations reflect themes of migration as a universal phenomenon. “I draw a lot because I love its intensity,” Kcho explains. “For me, drawing is the axis of art and of who I am. Drawing is the ultimate expression of creation, of art, of ideas, and it represents my only hope for the world.”
Art historian and curator José Manuel Noceda Fernández views Kcho’s work as having an iconographic maturity which “condenses individual circumstances together with a historical and socio-cultural legacy that resonates greatly in Cuba, the Caribbean, and far beyond”.
Kcho has developed many community-based art projects, including the Martha Machado artists’ brigade to contribute to hurricane relief in Cuba. He has also founded the Studio Romerillo, a non-profit experimental art laboratory with galleries, outdoor sculpture displays, library, studios, free wifi access for town residents and other facilities. Its core aims are to develop projects with a strong social, educational and cultural profile, and to defend the values of Cuban national culture.
Kcho is a highly celebrated artist whose work is sought after around the world. He has exhibited on every continent, and it is a rare collection of Cuban art that does not hold work by this artist.
Watch the video: Kcho draws for the world via YouTube