All About Art: Rey Alfonso – Greenville News

“I am a collector of objects. My process allows me to continue in my fervent search for intriguing artifacts. As I travel through the world, be it in the old textile mills of my region or the street markets of Latin America, I am led by my instincts for compelling textures and objects that speak of the shared  pull of our humanity.”

Artist Rey Alfonso

Rey Alfonso is a Cuban artist whose mixed media paintings are energetic expressions of contemporary culture. Rey begins his unique process with panels of Baltic Birch which he carves and gouges with handmade tools. He then saturates the surface with pure pigments & waxes; heating with a torch and searing the layers of radiant colors. He often embeds artifacts such as historic bronze plaques or vintage cigar boxes which are riveted to the pigmented woods. 

"La Luna 2" - 60" x 60", mixed media on Baltic birch

In his art, Rey Alfonso finds resonance in motifs of water and the freedom they represent. It was in 1992, that he took to the waters in a daring escape from Cuba in a boat improvised from repurposed materials. His mixed media works are brightly hued reflections of his life’s journey.

Artwork by Rey Alfonso

Today Alfonso’s pieces can be found in public and private collections in more than 40 countries. He has created works for individuals and organizations ranging from the San Francisco Opera House to the Mayo Clinic. In 2010, he was commissioned by Hilton Worldwide to create over 150 works for the private collections of the company’s owners and investors.

"Coppelia" - 60" x 48" , mixed media on Baltic birch
Rey Alfonso uses a flame to create texture on a painting at the Oye Studios in Greenville.
Paint and a brush rest on a stool at Rey Alfonso's work area at the Oye Studios.
Rey Alfonso uses a flame to create texture on a painting at the Oye Studios in Greenville.