Jezabel Rodriguez Hanze, “The story told by Reynier Leyva Novo,” On Cuba (8 October 2013).
b. Havana 1983
Reynier Leyva Novo graduated from the José Antonio Díaz Peláez Experimental Art Center in 1998, the San Alejandro School of Fine Arts in 2003, and the Department of Behavior Art (directed by Tania Bruguera) in 2007; from 2004 to 2008 he studied at the Instituto Superior de Arte (all in Havana, Cuba).
“The piece The desire to die for others (2012) is composed of weapons of war among which replicas of machetes and guns used by the heroes José Martí and Antonio Maceo stand out, among many others. The polyester resin these objects were produced of is an important element in the performance of the work, considering they resemble crystal arms. So the stunning image we have of these war artifacts gets protruding nuances in fragility. The author of The smells of war (2009) draws a suggestive metaphor between the paradigm of martyrdom and the above-mentioned objects. The model also includes the heroic human and vulnerable feature.” -- Jezabel Rodriguez Hanze, On Cuba (8 October 2013)
The Desire to Die for Others, 2012. The installation includes::
Bullet. Francisco Gómez Toro
This bullet wounded Panchito Gómez Toro in the chest and was found during the exhumation of his body.
M.G. No. 26168
Revolver. Carlos Manuel de Céspedes
Belonged to President of the Republic of Cuba in Arms Carlos Manuel de Céspedes. With this revolver he fired three shots on encountering the Spanish troops in Yara, the following day to begin the Ten Years War in 1868.
Le fa Cheux
Revolver. Calixto García Iñiguez
Belonged to Major General Calixto García Iñiguez
Smith & Wesson
Machete. Máximo Gómez
Was a gift from José Martí to Major General Máximo Gómez, and used by the latter during the War of 1895–1898.
Machete. Antonio Maceo
Belonged to Major General Antonio Maceo y Grajales. On the hilt is inscribed “Invasion of Maceo 1895”.
Fernando Esser No. 87-A
Machete. Quintín Bandera
Belonged to Division General José Quintino Bandera Betancourt (Quintín Bandera).
Collins No. 87
Machete. Manuel Sanguily
Belonged to Colonel Manuel Sanguily.
Collins & Legitimus Hartford No. 14
Revolver, José Martí
Was a gift from Panchito Gómez Toro to José Martí in the United States. It is known as Colt Frontier or “Peacemaker”.