Swimming To Havana by Luis Cruz Azaceta

Posted on November 26, 2016 by Erick Rios

Luis Cruz Azaceta is a Cuban visual artist with a diverse career spanning over 40 years. He fearlessly experiments with his art, often working on several series at a time. Besides experimentation, change is another theme that is prevalent throughout his work. Recently, we had the pleasure of stretching Azaceta’s canvases for his upcoming solo show at the Lyle O’Reitzel Gallery in the Lower East Side. This will be his first solo show in New York in five years.

A Luis Cruz Azaceta's canvas before being stretched over a custom heavy duty stretcher at Frames and Stretchers on the Lower East Side

Erick and Lyle O. Reitzel with a Luis Cruz Azaceta canvas before it is stretched. 

The Luis Cruz Azaceta "Swimming to Havana" canvas after being stretched over a custom heavy duty stretcher at Frames and Stretchers in the Lower East Side.

Miguel and Alexis with the canvas after being stretched over its custom stretcher.

The concept behind this show is “Swimming to Havana”, an idea he conceptualized in 2009. Although he left Havana when he was 18 years old to live and work in the United States, Cuba has always been on his mind. A subject that has consistently remained on the forefront of his art is the Balseros Cubanos. These balseros escaped their stringent political conditions by risking their life to leave for Florida. The idea of “Swimming to Havana” represents the unlikelihood of the idea for a Cuban-American. To properly showcase his art, we built custom heavy duty stretchers and stretched the canvases for his large format pieces. We framed the smaller ones with our maple Rivington hardwood frames and floated the artwork using Japanese paper and wheat paste. With these archival methods, the buyers of Azaceta's pieces will be able to enjoy the art knowing that it has been custom framed to a museum standard.

A Luis Azaceta piece framed and floated in a custom hardwood frame by Frames and Stretchers in the Lower East Side.

A completed Azaceta piece custom framed using our Rivington hardwoods. 

Azaceta’s work is often characterized by vivid colors and contrast as well as a deeper political message. He had his first solo show in 1975, and since then has covered a number of social themes including the AIDS epidemic, loneliness in urban environments, and the conditions of oppression caused by government policies. He currently lives and works in New Orleans, however he will be present at the opening of his solo show on November 5, at the Lyle O’Reitzel Gallery. Further information about Luis and his artwork can be found on his website, and for more details about the show check here.

A Luis Azaceta piece framed and floated in a custom hardwood frame by Frames and Stretchers in the Lower East Side.

Yvette with a completed Azaceta piece that was floated using Japanese paper and wheat paste. 

Posted in Canvas, Clemente Building, Cuban art, custom framing, fine art, impressionist, Lower East Side, Luis Cruz Azateca, Lyle O Reitzel, painting, stretcher, swimming to cuba, tri state area


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