Art with a Bang

Artist Profile: Pedro Reyes

Piece: Disarm Project

Pedro’s collection of eight instruments composed of the remnant weapons confiscated by the Mexican Army. This project is actually the second of its kind after Pedro’s Imagine series back in two thousand twelve. Reyes worked in conjunction with musicians as well as Cocolab when crafting the pieces. When we look at each piece we can see the very obvious weapons used. Shotguns, pistols, and even rifles all put together to bring these works to life.

In fact, the weapons now have a new life as they are not simply sculptures. Each construct is a mechanical instrument able to play pre-composed concerts from a computer. Part of the inspiration for such creation was from Reyes’s trip to a recycling plant the Mexican government used to turn seized fire arms into raw materials. Reyes believed these guns could be used to bring life instead of taking it.

Reyes has received acclaim all over the world having showed his works at Art Basel Miami and the Venice Biennial. In an interview with The Creator Project he was quoted as saying, “I believe that the purpose of art is to come up with ways to transform the most negative instincts into creative instincts…I want my work to be useful for social and psychological transformation,”. Anyone who has had the pleasure to view his works will agree that he is repeatedly doing just that. We cannot help but admire the thought of firearms making music, the instruments ring, strum crash and hum. All together they create a sound Seductively simply but watching the instruments play is all together haunting and beautiful.

These pieces truly bring out the thought provoking notion of what we could be using the materials for instead of weapons. Having travelled some of the most violent places of Mexico none of us could have grasped this as Pedro Reyes has. Surely in the future we will see great things from Pedro that will continue to inspire us to see the potential for beauty even in the darkest creations.