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LEANDRO SOTO was born in Cienfuegos, Cuba in 1956. He is a multidisciplinary visual/installation and performance artist, as well as a set and costume designer for theater and film. Soto studied at the National Art Schools and the Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana where he obtained a B.A. in Painting and Engraving in 1976 and an M.A. in set design and costume design) in 1982. Moving between Cuba, Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Miami – he currently lives in Mexico – he has been part of the art world for the past 40 years and he has also taught and lectured at several universities in the U.S. and abroad. In Marach 2018 he opened a major exhibit in the Museum of Fine Arts in Havana. Besides Cuba, he has exhibited in solo and group shows in Spain, Canada, Brazil, Mexico, the Czech Republic, Germany, Peru, Japan Barbados, Jamaica, Italy, Panama, India and the United States (he was part of the Center for Cuban Studies’ first exhibit, “Signs of Transition: 80s art from Cuba,” in 1988 in New York City0.
Soto is one of the leading figures of the famous “Volumen Uno” art movement of the 1980s that changed the course of contemporary Cuban art. He also founded a creative workshop, El Tesoro de Tamulte, in Tabasco, Mexico, where he trained many professional artists.
He is one of the first artists of his generation to have worked so broadly with the African heritage in Cuba. As an ethnic artist and anthropologist his main focus is to investigate the sources of Caribbean cultures and their influences around the world. His areas of expression include painting, installation, performance arts, set design, cinema and yet to be named art forms.
His art is in the permanent collections of the National Museum of Fine Arts in Havana, as well as many other museums throughout the world.