Nicolás Leiva American, b. 1958


Nicolas Leiva was born in Tucumán, Argentina. In 1983 he graduated from the Faculty of Arts at the Universidad Nacional de Tucumán and continued his studies in Buenos Aires. In 1990, he moved to Miami, precisely when its international ascendancy as the capital of Latin American art was being established.

Innovative in his use of ceramic and paint on unusual surfaces, Leiva works with a vocabulary of pure fantasy and cosmic inspiration. Bright colors and primal designs are the signature result of this artist’s expressionistic technique. Embedded in Leiva’s collection of forms and surface designs is a symbolic language that contains the narrative of an ethereal realm, but underlying his tales of paradise is a very real physical practice that is social, as well. In his paintings, drawings, and vessels, dwellings shift shape from boats, houses, to flying carriages in a flower-filled realm that seems to exist somewhere past the margins of a Mayan codex.

Nicolás Leiva has had many important solo and group exhibitions in the US and internationally. His works are in the permanent collections of the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano Buenos Aires (MALBA), Argentina; the Snite Museum of Art at the University of Notre Dame, IN; the Berardo Collection, Lisbon, Portugal; the Golinelli Collection, Bologna, Italy; Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, CA; Museum of Fine Arts of Tucumán, Argentina; and the Museum of Art, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.