Meet The ARTIST: Eliott Prada
Owner of La Isla Gallery and Gifts – Little Havana, Miami
Born in Cuba, and raised in New York and New Jersey, Eliott Prada has been making art since he was old enough to draw on walls with a crayon.
Currently based in Miami, Eliott now divides his time between teaching at MIU The Art Institute, where he has taught for the past 13 years, and running the amazing and magical “La Isla Gallery and Gifts.”
La Isla features unique artwork and crafts inspired by the joyous fusion of Cuban and American culture which is clearly evident in Miami’s Little Havana neighborhood - home to both Elliot and La Isla.
“I’ve always looked for new and creative ways of making art,” says Eliott. “I enjoy exploring different themes and using different techniques in my art, which spans the spectrum from realism to whimsical. One thing is a constant though, I really enjoy using lots of color in my work.”
There’s a wide variety of work on display at La Isla; from “Smoking Roosters” – a series created as a tribute to Little Havana’s mucho macho mascot. Among the most popular pieces is the series of Cuban women and men smoking cigars, including the whimsical - and the store’s bestselling design to date - “Cuban Einstein.” In Eliott's version, everyone’s favorite wild-haired genius is depicted smoking a cigar, dressed in traditional Cuban attire, and adorned with his famous formula “E=MC Cuadrado!”
Eliott believes that art should be everywhere, and his work lives on canvases, clothing, coffee cups and cards – just to name a few.
“I’m trying to please both myself and as many people as I can with the art series that I create,” says Eliott. “La Isla is visited primarily by tourists from all over the world, and they are all looking for something original, vibrant, and unique to take home with them. My work is always inspired by my heritage and home, even when I’m developing themes that aren’t explicitly Cuban or Cuban-American. A perfect example is my version of iconic figures, like Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Frida Kahlo, and yes – I even have a Latino Darth Vader.”
“The idea and motivation behind my art is to bring a smile to someone’s face, plus give people something uniquely local to remind them of their time in Little Havana and Miami. Bienvenido a mi mundo!”