The Rodríguez Collection brings together work of Cuban artists such Ángel Acosta León, Gustavo Acosta, Néstor Arenas, Pedro Ávila, Henry Ballate, José Bedia, Cundo Bermúdez, Ariel Cabrera Montejo, Servando Cabrera Moreno, Consuelo Castañeda, Humberto Castro, Hugo Consuegra, Ángel Delgado, Maikel Domínguez, Tomás Esson, Carlos Estévez, Ivonne Ferrer, Joaquín Ferrer, Guido Llinas, Aldo Menéndez, José María Mijares, Gina Pellón, René Portocarrero, Ciro Quintana, Lisyanet Rodríguez, Mariano Rodriguéz, Rubén Torres Llorca, Pedro Vizcaíno among others.
Rodríguez’s work as an “art collector” began in the complex nineties of the last century, still in his own country where he made his debut as an antiques collector. From this stage, little by little, his taste changed towards visual arts, given his interest in “authenticity and aura” which characterizes this production. In light of this, it is interesting to note that when Leonardo emigrated from Cuba, he brought precisely the twelve paintings that would become the genesis of what today is his treasure with him.
Once settled in Miami, this initial pruned collection (very limited with regard to the artworks that did not leave the island), is gradually nourished and begins to grow more vigorously, opening up to the multicultural environment that prevails in this North American city, without ceasing to favour its Cuban roots. Artists such as René Portocarrero, Cundo Bermúdez, Pedro Pablo Oliva, Gina Pellón, Tomás Esson and Reynerio Tamayo join him and increase the lists of the artists he represents. With this plurality of artists, who are all different in terms of themes and inclinations, I have asked myself on various occasions what exactly Leonardo Rodríguez is looking for when he selects a piece for his collection. His hasty response has always been the same: “I need a transparent work that illustrates everything expressed by its artist, that reflect the artist, although not literally. I have no other way of understanding art, I cannot read it if it is not credible.”
However, it is important to clarify that Leonardo´s career as a collector has experienced a substantial leap in the last year due to a major event not only for him and the artists at his side, but also for the artistic scene in general. This was the birth of the Kendall Art Center (KAC), which opened its doors to the public on July 15, 2016 and which, although it is in its early years, already deserves a detailed introduction.