Ernesto Milanes’ Pure Art


The Cuban fine artist has given himself a good name in the passionate world of habanos thanks to the beauty and quality of his humidors.

A clever pun allows fine artist Ernesto Milanes Ruiz (Santiago de Cuba,  1967) unfolds himself in the art of habano making just to give a true sense to his original and peerless work  in the form of stunning humidors carved with a rare combination of techniques and materials.

Attracted to artistic creation since an early age, Milanes studied first at a Fine Arts Elementary School and then took the acid test of passing the more demanding San Alejandro Academy from where he departed one day determined to cultivate sculpturing.

However, nearly a couple of years ago he received an invitation from Abel Exposito, the renowned manager of the Partagas Casa del Habano, to put some of his artworks up for sale in an auction to help Cuba’s healthcare system during the annual party of that prestigious Cuban cigar brand.

A small yet very original case built of wood and bronze ended up in the hands of a buyer who forked over 10,000 euros for his piece.

Since then, Ernesto Milanes Ruiz gave himself a good name in the passionate world of habanos by piecing together classic furniture, doors and other objects spruced up with the dazzling color of brass. All of them are carved by hand with a blend of techniques that include patinas, paintings and beautiful cedar for the heart of his cases.

“Since I’m a chain habano smoker –he insists I should put it this way- it was easy for me to enter the universe of the aromatic smoke billows. All my pieces are unique. None of them resembles another one,” he says. And it’s true. Seeing is believing. And there are witnesses as well, like Brazilian president Luis Inazio Lula da Silva, French actor Gerard Depardieu, American star Peter Coyote, and Spanish crooner Dyango, who treasure some of these valuable one-of-a-kind pieces.

“Moreover,” Ernesto adds, “they are my friends and that’s why I want to mention such major owners of my pieces as Leonardo Sanchez, proprietor of the EMS Laboratories in Brazil, and my Italian friend and brother Sergio Acquesta,” he points out.

“The world of habanos has allowed me to meet many valuable and interesting persons,” he concludes. “This is one of the greatest benefits you get from attending such a high-level international festival. So far I’ve been very pleased with the acclaim my artworks have had.”