Alexandre Arrechea: “Dreaming with Lions”

Alexandre Arrechea’s large-scale outdoor public artwork, “Dreaming with Lions,” is free and open to public from November 29 to December 6, 2020, on Miami Beach. This work celebrates the resilience of the human spirit and gives back to the local community.

Faena Art unveiled a monumental site-specific artwork on Miami Beach as part of Miami Art Week 2020. The monumental site-specific installation entitled ‘Dreaming with Lions’ by Miami-based Cuban artist Alexandre Arrechea is located on the beach directly in front of Faena Hotel and is free and open to view until Sunday, 6 December 2020. This new work within the Faena District provides a safe environment for the local community to explore and interact with public art.

The installation, one of the largest public art works displayed during Miami Art Week 2020, is a symbol of Faena’s commitment to keeping Miami’s progressive art scene alive in an otherwise challenging year. “From the first moment we arrived in Miami Beach, we have supported artists and talent from around the world, bringing their work to the community, and this year should be no exception,” said Alan Faena this week. “We have been confronted with many obstacles this year, and I am proud of this new work from Alexandre since it exemplifies our fighting spirit and that of the city of Miami.”

‘Dreaming with Lions’ is the product of a year-long reflection by Arrechea inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s seminal literary work, The Old Man and the Sea. The monolithic work serves as a living monument to the sheer force of the human spirit. The artwork in itself tries to reconstruct the symbols: hope, faith and strength of the human spirit that in the face of the moral challenges we are confronted with today, still prevail.

Constructed as a 62’ diameter rotunda resembling an enormous, forum-style library, Arrechea incorporates folded beach towels, illustrated with phrases “Now is no time to think of what you do not have. Think of what you can do with what there is,” and “But man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated,” taken directly from Hemingway’s text.

“We are facing one of the biggest challenges ever experienced in our lifetime,” explains Arrechea. “I wanted to reflect on this and inspire, reminding the viewer of humankind’s resilience and strength of spirit in these troubling times.” Aptly, this new commission embodies our ability to withstand relentless and enormous challenges and persist, even in the face of defeat. Relying on the architectural potential of a forum-style structure to reinforce these ideological messages, the installation is a continuation of Arrechea’s investigation of public spaces and their philosophical legacy as interpretative centers of power, hierarchy and social progress.

Since 2004 in Buenos Aires and 2012 in Miami, Faena Art has been consistently dedicated to showcasing artwork inspired by and for those communities. The significance of this year’s commission, particularly in a moment where outdoor public art is critical to inspire audiences while maintaining a safe social distance, honors the continued contributions of Miami’s thriving artistic community, and celebrates the impact art can make in the city. This year’s program for Faena Art at Miami Art Week 2020 is being generously supported by Alfa Romeo and Perrier.

[‘Dreaming with Lions’ a monumental, site-specific installation by Alexandre Arrechea for Faena Art at Miami Art Week 2020 (credit: Oriol Tarridas for Faena Art)]

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