Jairo alfonso

La Habana, 1974

Jairo Alfonso (Havana) is a Cuban artist living and working in New York. He is a graduate from the Higher Institute of Art (ISA) in Havana. Throughout his career, Jairo Alfonso has been interested in exploring material culture from an archaeological perspective, particularly the multilayered nature of objects, their history and symbolism, in drawings, paintings, sculptures, installations and videos. Recently he developed a body of work reflecting on the relationship we, as human beings, establish with the objects we create, use, and discard. He explores two forms of relationships: hoarding and disassembling.

Alfonso addresses hoarding as “horror vacui” drawings. These works depict accumulations of objects, devices and accessories from everyday life, piled up, and drawn closely together, so as to flood the pictorial space. Each object is represented life-size. Hoarding as clear sign of consumerism informs this series. He pairs the act of drawing with that of consuming goods, which is why he packs these “boxes” with objects of every kind. The title of the works indicates the number of objects drawn in it. As for the disassembling series, in each work he focuses on a single object which function is that of offering audio or visual information (radios, cameras, TVs, etc.…), and the act of dismantle it becomes an anatomic lesson of sorts, which allows the viewer to immerse themselves into a new world composed by the history, epoch, ideology, materials and shapes hidden in these artifacts. Therefore, from these works the artist usually extract the objects that become subjects of my videos, characterized by the use of the stop-motion animation.

Alfonso has been featured in more than ten solo exhibitions worldwide and in over 60 group shows. His works have been part of important shows, such as Useless: Machines for Dreaming, Thinking and Seeing at The Bronx Museum of the Arts, New York (2019); A sense of Place. Selections from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection en Mana Wynwood Convention Center, Miami (2015); Flow: Economies of the Look and Creativity in Contemporary Art from the Caribbean, Washington DC (2014); Cuban America: An Empire State of Mind, Lehmann College Art Gallery, New York (2014); Occupying, Building, Thinking: Poetic and Discursive Perspectives on Contemporary Cuban Video Art (1990-2010), Contemporary Art Museum (USF) Tampa (2013); Politics: I don’t like it, but it likes me, Laznia Centre for Contemporary Art, Gdanks (2013); Batiscafo/ Proyecto Circo. 8 Bienal do Mercosul. Ensaios de Geopoética, Porto Alegre (2011) among others. He has participated in various artist residencies such as The Fountainhead Residency, Miami (2019), Marble House Project, Vermont (2015) and Guttenberg Arts, New Jersey (2014). He is also a recipient of a Pollock- Krasner Foundation Grant (2017). His work is part of public and private collections such as the Pérez Art Museum Miami; the Museum of Latin American Art, Los Angeles; the Permanent Collection of the Province of Hainaut, Belgium; the Havana Galerie Collection, Zürich, among others.



jairo alfonso

La habana, 1974

Lives and works in New York.


1998. Higher Institute of Art , Cubanacan, Havana.

1993. National School of Art , Cubanacan, Havana.

1989. Escuela Vocacional de Arte, Güira de Melena, Havana.


2019. The Fountainhead Artist Residency.

2017. Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant.

2015. Artist in Residence at Marble House Project. Vermont.

2014. Artist in Residence at Guttenberg Arts. Fall Season, STAR Program. Bull Ferry Studios, NJ.

2008. Workshop: Muyehlekete.O pensador-The Thinker. Maputo, Mozambique.

2007. Residencia Batiscafo, Havana.

Solo Exhibitions:


1350.  Galería de Arte Artizar. Tenerife, Spain.


172. Artflow Galería. San José, Costa Rica.


568. Guttenberg Arts. New Jersey, USA.


Inventario. Linie 31.  Zeichnung – Drawing – Dessin – Disegno. Galerie Havana, Zurich.


Retorno. Salle Zéro. Alianza Francesa de Cuba. Havana.


Dolly In. Galería Servando, Havana.


Dolly Back. Galería 23 y 12. Havana.


Werke auf Papier und Leinwand. Havana Galerie, Zürich, Suiza.

Café. XIV Feria Internacional del Libro. Fortaleza San Carlos de La Cabaña. Havana.


Instruments to relief the asfalt. Havana Gallery, New Zealand.

2002- 2003.

La ilusión de los fragmentos. Centro Provincial de Artes Plástica y Diseño, Havana.


Instrumentos para aliviar el asfalto. Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales (CDAV), Havana.


Instrumentaciones. Centro de Arte Wifredo Lam, Havana.


Instrumento para una nueva comunión (Performance). Jardines de la UNEAC, sponsored by Ludwig Foundation of Cuba, Havana.

Instrumento a la memoria. Galería Luis de Soto. Facultad Artes y Letras, Universidad de La Habana. Havana.


El retorno. Galería Arte 7 and Galería Juan David. Cine Yara, Havana.


Armonía cordial. Galería del Instituto Superior de Arte, Cubanacán, Havana.


Homenaje a mi abuelo. Casa de la Cultura José María Heredia, Havana.

Selected Group Exhibitions:


Useless: Machines for Dreaming, Thinking and Seeing. The Bronx Museum of the Arts. New York.


Kindred Spirits. Ten artists by the Hudson. Coral Gables Museum, Coral Gables, USA.

Summertime’ 18 ( The annual group show 14th Edition). Galleri Christoffer Egelund. Copenhagen. Denmark.

All that you have is your soul. Faction Art Projects. New York, USA.


Origin and Circumstances. The First Presbyterian Church, New York, USA.

Trazos. Dibujos, Pintura, Video. Allegro Gallery, Panama City, Panama.


Autopia: Road Trips from the Cold War to the Present. Bakehouse Art Complex, Miami. USA.

5th Bronx Latin American Art Biennial .Bronx Art Space .New York, USA.

Future Island: Contemporary Art from Cuba, The Harts Gallery Connecticut, USA.

An Island Apart: Cuban Artists in Exile. Frank Museum of Art, Miller Gallery and Fisher Gallery, Otterbein University, Ohio, USA.


A sense of Place. Selections from the Jorge M. Pérez Collection. Mana Wynwood Convention Center, Miami, Florida.

Resilience. The Other Cuba. Northrop King Building, 1500 Jackson St. NE, Minneapolis, Gallery Suite #332, USA.

Aires de Cuba. Galería Estudio Artizar. Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain.


Made Here. Guttenberg Arts / Bull Ferry Studios. New Jersey, USA.

FLOW. Economies of the Look and Creativity in Contemporary Art from the Caribbean. IDB Cultural Center.Washington DC, USA.

Cuban America: An Empire State of Mind. Lehmann College Art Gallery. New York, USA.

Habitar, Construir, Pensar: Perspectivas poéticas y discursivas en el vídeo art contemporáneo cubano (1990-2010). Espacio de Creación Contemporánea (ECCO), Cádiz, Spain.


Occupying, Building, Thinking. Poetic and discursive perspectives on Contemporary Cuban Video Art. Contemporary Art Museum. Institute for Research in Art. University of South Florida, USA.

Open Studio. Estudio Beneficencia. Madrid. Spain.

Politics: I don’t like it, but it likes me. Laznia Center for Contemporary Art. Gdanks, Poland.

Empapelados. Galería Estudio Artizar. Tenerife, Spain.


Habitar, construir, pensar. Perspectivas poéticas y discursivas en el videoarte contemporáneo cubano. Centro Cultural Español de Cooperación Iberoamericana. Miami, USA.

Open Studio Madrid. Estudio Beneficencia, Madrid, Spain.

Universal video program. Salón Arteaméricas. Feria Arteaméricas. Miami, USA.

Sucedáneos de Fe. Convento de San Francisco de Asís. Havana. Cuba.


Batiscafo/ Proyecto Circo. 8 Bienal do Mercosul. Ensaios de Geopoética. Porto Alegre, Brasil.

The pleasure of getting lost. Contemporary Cuban Art. Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery, Winnipeg, Canada.

Raz Habana: A luz continental. Galerie Katapult, Basel, Switzerland.

Allí. Arte Iberoamericano Contemporáneo. Colateral a ARCO 2011 .The Cool Pack, Madrid, Spain.


Primavera Cubana. Galería de Arte Contemporánea Nuno Sacramento and Galería de Arte y Centro de Mutualismo, Coimbra, Portugal.

Del Pí al Pá. Galería Villla Manuela, La Habana.

La atmósfera (Sesión coreográfica).V Festival de videodanza DVDanza Habana Movimiento y Ciudad, Las Carolinas, Havana.

Feria Art Madrid. Pabellón de Cristal. Casa de Campo. Madrid. Spain.


Visual Art. VIII Muestra audiovisual internacional El mes más corto. Palacio de la Isla. Cáceres. Spain.

DUBAI 2015. X Bienal de la Habana. Casa Simón Bolivar. Havana.


Tanda Corrida. V Salón de Arte Cubano Contemporáneo. Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales. (CDAV), La Habana.

Memories & Parachutes. Contemporary art from Cuba. Mennonite Heritage Centre Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


A través del espejo: Arte Cubano Hoy. Allegro Galería, Ciudad Panamá, Panamá.

Vostok. Centro Provincial de Artes Plásticas y Diseño, y Taller de Reparaciones Vostok, La Habana.

Killing Time. An exhibition of Cuban artists from the 1980s to the present. Exit Art, New York, USA.

Travelling. Realidad & Ficción. Proyecto Circo, Cine Actualidades, Havana.

Caminos. Centro Cultural Pedro Tolosa. Villa del Prado. Madrid, Spain.

Nexos. Galería Servando, Havana.


Feria de arte contemporáneo. Arte Lisboa 2006. Lisboa, Portugal.

Cuban Heat. A show of sensual Art from Cuba. Cuban Artspace, Centre for Cuban Studies. New York, USA.

Arte Cubano. Galería Artane, Estambul. Turquía.


Foire d´Art Contemporain Montreux Art Gallery. Centre des Congrès et d´Expositions. Motreux. Suiza.

Gesichter und Sichtweisen. Forum des ThyseenKrupp Trade Centers, Dűsseldorf, Germany.

Cuba, the next generation. Cuban Artspace. Center for Cuban Studies. New York. USA.


Cuba from the inside. Looking out. Elaine Jacob Gallery. Dwayne State University, Detroit, USA.

Cuban Arts. Wiseenschaftpark Gelsenkirchen, Genselkirchen, Germany.

Obligada Contingencia. Asamblea de Extremadura, Merida, Spain.

Cuba Untitled. Heidi Cho Gallery. Nueva York, USA.

Una china en el zapato. Sala de Exposiciones Santa Inés. Sevilla, Spain.

Havana Inside- Out. Jonathan Ferrara Gallery. New Orleans. USA.

La magia de la trivialidad. Havana Galerie. Zürich, Switzerland.


Arte Cubano. Havana Gallery. New Zealand. Australia.

Bajo la sombra. Octava Bienal de La Habana. Fundación Havana Club. La Habana.

Resonancia. Octava Bienal de La Habana. Casa de Asia. La Habana.

Trin´aria. Octava Bienal de La Habana. Galería Servando Cabrera. La Habana.

Proyecto Circo. Octava Bienal de La Habana. Carpa del Circo Nacional, La Habana.

Altermedia. VI Coloquio Nacional de Artes Plásticas, Salón ACAA, Matanzas.


Otros Puentes (algunos proyectos realizados por la Fundación Ludwig de Cuba), Galería Provincial de Arte Pedro Esquerré, Matanzas.

Muestra de videoarte. Fundación Ludwig de Cuba. La Habana. Muestra audiovisual «El almacén de la imagen». Camaguey.


Alegorías. Havana Galerie, Zürich, Suiza. Autorretratos de Fin de Siglo.

Encuentro de grabado 2001. Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, La Habana.

Salón de la Ciudad 2001. Centro Provincial de Artes Plásticas y Diseño, Havana.

Extensiones. Ateneo Cervantes. Centro Provincial de Artes Plásticas y Diseño, Havana.


Fin de Siglo. La Conjunción de la Nada. Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, Havana.

Obras recientes (cuatro artistas cubanos). Galería de la Consejalía de Cultura, Los Llanos de Aridane, La Palma, Islas Canarias, Spain.

Una mano… y las dos? Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, La Habana.

Interfases. VII Bienal de La Habana. Centro Cultural Leonor Pérez, Havana.


Premio La Joven Estampa. Galería Haydee Santamaría, Casa de las Américas, Havana.


Exposición de dibujo. Havana Galerie, Zürich, Switzerland.

Esto no tiene nombre. II Salón Arte Cubano Contemporáneo. Galería ISA, Havana.

Sin púas. Centro Wifredo Lam, Havana.

Construyendo puentes culturales/Building cultural bridges. Universidad de Cornell, Universidad William Paterson, Universidad Atlántica de la Florida, USA.


Antes de la lluvia. VI Bienal de la Habana, ISA, Cubanacán, Havana.

Algoritmos III. Galería L, Vedado, Havana.


Espuelas Afiladas. Feria D y Malecón. Havana.

Arte Cubano Actual. Itinerante por Jornada de Cultura Cubana en China y Rusia.

Algoritmos II. Centro Wifredo Lam, Havana.


Las Puertas. Palacio de las Convenciones, Havana.

1er Salón de Arte Cubano Contemporáneo. Museo Nacional, Palacio de Bellas Artes Centro de Desarrollo de Artes Visuales (CDAV), Havana.


No valen guayabas verdes. V Bienal de La Habana, Havana.

Académica 94. Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales, Havana.


Permanent Collection Province de Hainaut. Bélgica.

Museum of Latin American Art, Los Angeles, E.U.A.

Havana Galerie, Zürich, Suiza.

Perez Art Museum Miami, Miami, FL.

Private collections in Canada, EEUU, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Mozambique.