Cuban Artist Living the "American Dream" Exhibiting in the World Famous Art-a-Fair

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Reinaldo Torres Larreinaga arrived in the US in September of 2004 at the age of 35 from Havana, Cuba. Rey began working for a construction company in Southern California building custom cabinets. Through this opportunity he discovered his love for wood-working. Now, nearly 4 years later, Rey has been chosen as one of the 125 internationally juried artists and master craftsman to exhibit in the World Famous Art-a-Fair in Laguna Beach.

I had no idea that I had this talent inside of Me.

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Booth B26 at the Grand Opening of the Art-a-Fair on June 25th 2008 was packed with people wanting to see the unique wood sculptures crafted by first time International exhibitor, Rey Larreinaga, who emigrated here from Cuba less than 4 years ago. For Rey, doing business as: Afro Cuba Creations (website of the same name http://www.afrocubacreations.com )opening night was a dream come true, proving to him that America truly is the land of opportunity.

Rey’s unusual Scorpion and Lobster carvings and elegant nude torsos had conversations buzzing with excitement. Rey shared his story in his heavily accenting English; “I had no idea that I had this talent inside of Me.” He told curious art lovers.

In Cuba, Rey made a living selling Cigars to tourists, which is illegal and cost him a brief stay in Cuban jail in the late 1990s. After this experience, Rey went to cooking school and became a Chef in Cuba. Not once did Rey pick up a chisel in Cuba. His only “experience” in wood sculpting was watching is longtime Cuban friend carving while they discussed the trials and tribulations of living in Cuba.

In January 2003, Rey fell in love with an American who was traveling in Cuba and he moved to California in September 2004. They married in November 2004 and currently reside in Santa Ana, Ca.

Rey began exhibiting and selling his wood sculptures in local Art Fairs and galleries and EBay in 2006. In 2008, Rey submitted his work for approval to the Art-a-Fair Jury and was selected as one of the 125 artists to display his work in Laguna Beach’s distinguished annual Art-a-Fair. Rey’s unique style carries a strong influence from his Cuban roots while also showcasing a bit of Rey’s personality. He says that the ideas for pieces come from somewhere deep inside of him. His carvings include animals, torsos, masks and Cigar Ashtrays.

To view his work, go to http://www.afrocubacreations.com or visit him at the Art-a-Fair which is currently open to the public and runs through August 31st, 2008.

Contact Information:
Debbie Nadon
Afrocuba Creations
(949)310-3938
Debbie @ afrocubacreations.com

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