Sérverus, is a group of three Cuban-American painters based in Miami: Alvaro Labañino, Jefreid Lotti, and Miguel Saludes. The group’s name is a Spanish-language pun on Cerberus, the three-headed canine monster of Greek mythology which guards the entrance and exit to the Underworld. Sérverus evokes ser veraz, or ‘to be true,’ in this case, to painting as a living art rooted in a tradition which enriches, rather than constrains, innovation. The group rejects the idea that painting is dead and, instead, seeks inspiration from the past—the living Underworld of memory—to produce work which manifests the unbreakable link between individuality, originality, and creativity.
“In reaction to the current nationalist tendencies in America and around the world, which instigate bigotry and separatism, we as a group find in painting the proper tool to deliver a vision of unity and heterogeneity. As first and second-generation immigrants of Latin-American descent we have come together to exemplify, by virtue of our different approaches to painting, the diversity that has historically come to define the so-called “melting pot.” The United States is, hence, to us, the ultimate alloy, forged by generations of immigrants through their hard work and ingenuity. The fusion of their accrued potential constitutes the principal force that thrusts the machinery of progress.
Our pursuit of authenticity and our desire to dignify our Latin-American heritage through our works are ingrained in the name we have adopted as a group. Sérverus is a play on words stemming from the Latin term “ser veraz,” which signifies “being truthful.” The accented ‘e’ is a stylization paying homage to the Spanish language which we speak from birth. The name also alludes to the mythical beast Cerberus, the three-headed guardian of the underworld. This fabled creature is, succinctly, a final symbolic alloy, which bestows us the freedom to exercise our multifaceted identity, as well as the tenacity to protect painting’s legacy, and our roots’.”
— Alvaro Labañino | Jefreid Lotti | Miguel Saludes | Miami, FL (2017)