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LQAF Gallery Spotlight: Rey D’Alfonso

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Rey D’Alfonso’s pieces can be found in public and private collections in more than 40 countries. His contemporary artwork features bold colors and unique textures. Learn more about the artist.

Rey D’Alfonso was born in Matanzas, Cuba in 1974.  At the age of 12, he started to dream of becoming an artist when he apprenticed in his uncle’s metal shop. There, he learned the value of hard work, persistence and creativity. Years later, he fled from Cuba to Florida. Using his creative resources, Alfonso and two cousins set off in their makeshift vessel constructed of a car frame, welded scrap metal and repurposed light poles. To make their craft waterproof, they covered it with the only material they could find—bright red paint, a relic of the Soviet presence on the island.  For nearly five days, the Cuban refugees sailed their unlikely and rather conspicuous craft across the Florida Straits – 90 miles towards Miami.

Rey D’Alfonso


Developing an Artistic Identity
Alfonso landed safely in Miami but soon settled in San Francisco. Over the next decade, he worked with sculptors and other fine craftsmen to hone his skills and create his own methods.

Courtesy of Deleon Alfonso Studio

One of his techniques includes using a blowtorch to fire pigments onto substrates such as aluminum, steel and wood. Then, the work is engraved with handmade tools.

Courtesy of Deleon Alfonso Studio

His latest works are brilliantly painted, buried and burned. In some of his pieces are inscriptions of poetry or text. Artifacts such as old wooden oars, sea-worn wood and rope are fashioned into reflections of his life’s journey, one that began in a makeshift boat painted bright red. 

Art by Rey D’Alfonso

View more of his artwork in his Artist Gallery.