By Carlos Suarez De Jesus
By Ric Delgado
By John Thomason
By Benjy Caplan
By Artburst Miami
"'Vanitas' implies a reminder of the natural cycles of birth and death," Marrero says. "In the end, all those things are associated with vanity, as the entire exhibit is a symbolic bodegón of ideas on the subject."
Perhaps the piece that best captures the spirit of the exhibit is a tiny work crafted from 18-karat gold that distills the Cuban revolution's failures into a laughably minuscule form. Titled Toda la Gloria del Mundo Cabe en un Grano de Maíz (All the World's Glory Fits Into a Corn Kernel) (2013), the piece takes its name from a famous José Martí phrase appropriated by Fidel to extol his revolution and assure Cuba's people that their future would be peaceful, prosperous, and secure.
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"In the end," Leyva says, "those illusions were all about vanitas, and that concept comes out strongly in this exhibit."