Reynier Llanes is one of the most complex and lucid figures of his generation in Cuba’s venerable tradition of narrative, symbolist painting. But beyond storytelling, Llanes can synthesize idea and image to forge symbols in intricate settings which come off as perfectly natural, as his highly recognizable coffee paintings demonstrate. And he wields a prodigious visual wit too, infusing tropical idiom with irony and humor. With acute theatrical sensibility, Llanes coalesces African myths, rural lore, and personal references with unabashed intensity and sensuality. A daring equilibrist of tonal ambiguities and multiple allusions, Llanes is a painter for whom boldness and imagination are synonymous.

Unable to obtain the necessary paints and art supplies in his native Cuba, Llanes mastered the art of using coladito, or espresso coffee, as an essential and aromatic ingredient to create this art. The application of this media occurred by accident when Llanes spilled a steaming cup of coffee on one of his drawings and liked the rich shade of brown it produced. From that point on, coffee became more than just a drink to be enjoyed with friends and family at the end of the day, a cultural and social tradition in Cuba, evolved into a whole new source of artistic inspiration.

More info:

Jupiter’s Rings



Llanes’ painting “Evolution”

The Kingdom

Heavy Waters

The Thinker’s Utopia