Working with cultural and political memory, from the point of view of the displaced or marginalized people, is the core of Lester Álvarez’s work since he finished his studies at the Higher Institute of Art (ISA) in Havana, Cuba, in 2011. In Cuba, his country of birth and where he resided and worked until 2019, this interest positions him on the side of independent artists, those critical and uncomfortable for a system that pretends to control all its means of cultural production and that condemns to a legal vacuum any creative expression without its consent. It is in this context that he works with cursed writers, whose state banishment does not prevent them from continuing to produce a work and an authentic cultural space of reference for new generations. From this exercise of collaboration with vulnerable people, I create works in various media such as drawing, painting, installation, video, or multimedia events.
Since his graduation, Lester began to develop a career as a creator that offered him the opportunity to participate in numerous collective and solo projects. Among the most outstanding of them are the exhibitions: La verdadera noche (duo solo with José Ramón Ais), at Azkuna Zentroa, Bilbao, Spain; estado de silencio (State of silence), at El Apartamento and La mano generosa, in the Servando Art Gallery; and collective exhibitions like En proceso: Émergences Cubaines, Espace Temoin, Geneva, Switzerland; Illness Has a Colour (side event to the XIII Havana Biennial), El Apartamento – Estudio 50, Havana, Cuba; Karaoke and El silencio que precede a la tormenta, both collaterals to the XII Havana Biennial and La parte maldita, Norwegian Embassy at Cuba.
His work has been awarded with prizes like the residence of the Academia de Cine de España, Madrid, 2020-2021; residence Vita Activa, Instituto Internacional de Artivismo Hannah Arendt (INSTAR), Havana, Cuba; Next Generation Prize, Prince Claus Fund, Havana, Cuba; Estudio 21 at Centro de Desarrollo de las Artes Visuales CDAV, La Habana (2017) and Tengo Frío Artist Group residency, Emerson College at England (2012) and the IX International Biennial of Painting ISOLE, Cerdeña, Italy (2011).
He recently finished his Master Degree Archivo cinematográfico y audiovisual, at Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola, País Vasco, Spain.