Dreaming With Lions

Miami Beach - Miami


Live from November 30th to December 6th, Faena Miami Beach


Press: Financial Times


A monumental site-specific installation entitled ‘Dreaming with Lions’ by Cuban artist Alexandre Arrechea located on Miami Beach.

For Miami Art Week 2020, Faena Art inspired hope and reinforced its commitment to shaping Miami’s cultural landscape through art. 

‘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. Erected directly on the beach in front of Faena Hotel, Dreaming with Lions is an existential work, while also serving 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.

Constructing a 62’ diameter rotunda resembling an enormous, forum-style library, Arrechea incorporates 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.

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.

“It’s important for me to integrate the spirit and energy of the city by identifying an object that forms part of its real cultural identity,” Arrechea says. “In a time where culture is trivialized and our symbols as we know them are being devalued, we require a gesture of greater faith, “Dreaming with Lions” proposes action and reflection. That we reflect upon coherence and respect of oneself and others, and that we continue to invent ways to confront our destiny while maintaining integrity and grandeur.”

Since 2011, Faena Art has been consistently dedicated to showcasing artwork inspired by and for the community in Miami and Buenos Aires. The significance2020's commission, particularly in a moment where outdoor public art is critical to inspire audiences while maintaining a safe social distance, preserved Faena Art’s cultural agenda, honor the continued contributions of Miami’s thriving cultural community, and celebrate the impact art makes year-round on the city.

“Despite the absence of Art Basel Miami Beach, these perilous times call for art and culture to unite the community in conversations that transform ideas into positive action,” says Alan Faena. “We take our position to support the cultural pulse of the city very seriously and are pleased to be able to unite our communities by commissioning such a hopeful and inspiring artwork, that speaks about human resilience, from an important Miami-based artist.”

Faena Art unveiled Arrechea’s ‘Dreaming with Lions’ as the Faena Miami Beach hotel reopened to the public from October 29, 2020. 


Special thanks to Alfa Romeo and Perrier.