Pavel Acosta
Cuban, born 1980
Selected exhibitions
The Light in Cuban Eyes,
Robert Mann Gallery
Pavel Acosta: Stolen from the Met,
Zadok Gallery
El Museo del Barrio

Cuba-born, America-based artist Pavel Acosta uses uncommon materials, primarily paint chips collected from flaking old walls like those found in the country of his youth, which he uses as a collage material. He creates stunning reproductions of other artworks, such as Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, after Vermeer and Dora Maar in an Armchair, after Pablo Picasso (both 2014). Acosta’s reproductions, although nearly monochromatic white on brown-papered sheetrock, capture the mastery of those previous works, while also displaying his own technical sophistication. They read as faded memories of history, cherished by an aspiring artist in his youth. Picasso famously quipped, “Good artists borrow, but great artists steal.” Acosta replies proudly that with his work, “I am the thief.”