Leonel Oliva and the Art of Light

And the Art of Light

On Cuba - - CONTENTS - Ce­cilia Cre­spo

LEONEL OLIVA STORY’S IS ONE OF EN­TREPRENEUR­SHIP AND PER­SE­VER­ANCE. WITH MORE THAN THREE DECADES OF EX­PE­RI­ENCE IN THE TRADE OF RESTORATION AND CRE­ATION OF LIGHTS, THIS LORD OF THE LAMPS, AS MANY PEO­PLE KNOW HIM, HAS CAR­RIED OUT AN IM­POR­TANT ARTIS­TIC AND HER­ITAGE WORK THAT TO­DAY HAS BE­COME AN ECO­NOM­I­CALLY SUS­TAIN­ABLE SMALL PRI­VATE ENTERPRISE.

With a sug­ges­tive and well-thought- out iden­tity and im­age, in 2010 he de­vel­oped Mi Doble L, Lám­paras Leonel (My Dou­ble L, Leonel Lamps), his project of con­struc­tion and general re­pair of lamps and dec­o­ra­tive ac­ces­sories. The ini­tia­tive, part of his Art and Light work, is linked to sev­eral of his per­sonal ex­hi­bi­tions, where he uses lamps and other im­ple­ments in mod­el­ing per­for­mances.

Leonel doesn’t re­mem­ber how, when and which was the first of the won­der­ful lights that got to him. He can cre­ate a gen­uine work of art from a piece of junk, an old piece of metal waste. His per­sonal ex­hi­bi­tions are the re­sult of his in­ge­nu­ity and tal­ent. He cre­ates his works based on a cri­te­rion of eval­u­a­tion of di­verse metal, glass and tex­tile el­e­ments. Each piece is the re­sult of a prior study that en­tails a com­po­si­tion, func­tional and aes­thet­i­cally valid to em­bel­lish ta­bles, f loors, ceil­ings or walls, and mod­u­late at­mos­pheres. The works are proof of his overf low­ing cre­ativ­ity. In the at­trac­tive and orig­i­nal amal­gam of com­po­si­tions he achieves is the im­print of his skill, in­tel­li­gence and good taste.

In each work, the old struc­tures come to life, fused with the dis­course of moder­nity. He res­cues and re­cy­cles dis­used pieces and ob­jects and turns them into sources of light based on di­verse de­signs and styles.

The artist mainly cre­ates and re­stores lamps, but also ac­ces­sories like: can­dle­sticks, can­de­labras, oil lamps, bra­ziers, lamp shades, table dec­o­ra­tions, tres­tles for ta­bles, fruit bowls. He as­sumes var­ied projects, all of them re­lated to lights and their dif­fer­ent uses.

Films, video clips, diplo­matic mis­sions, the homes of busi­ness peo­ple and renowned per­son­al­i­ties, reg­u­lar TV pro­grams and soap op­eras, fa­mous res­tau­rants, ho­tels and hos­tels, state-run as well as pri­vate, are dec­o­rated with Leonel’s works.

I asked him about the se­cret be­hind his suc­cess. He smiles when he an­swers: “daily work and the team’s con­stant ded­i­ca­tion, the search for the bal­ance be­tween ex­cel­lence, imag­i­na­tion and va­ri­ety, re­spect for the clients and the de­sire to al­ways present the best of our work.”

Leonel, a teacher by pro­fes­sion, cur­rently works as a dec­o­ra­tor in the Havana Peo­ple’s Power In­vest­ment Enterprise. Since 2009 he has formed part of the Cuban As­so­ci­a­tion of Crafts­peo­ple and Artists.

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