Kcho is a contemporary Cuban artist working in sculpture and mixed media. Throughout much of his oeuvre, Kcho depicts boats and boat-like forms using recycled materials, like bottles and lumber salvaged from docks, as inspired by his childhood spent sailing and fishing on the ocean. The artist’s works also reference figures culled from traditional Cuban folk icons meant to honor the dead, bringing a spiritual and mournful element to his art.
Born Alexis Leiva Machado in 1970 in Isla de la Juventud, Cuba, Kcho grew up near the ocean surrounded by the driftwood, fishing nets, and propellers scattered across beaches which now figure into his imagery. He went on to earn his BA in fine arts from the National School of Fine Arts in Havana. As the winner of the Grand Prize at South Korea's Kwangju Biennial in 1995, Kcho’s works are in the collections of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, among others. The artist lives and works in Havana, Cuba.