Tag Archives: Artist

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.








Justin Bieber gives me a “Purpose”

Justin Bieber is the love of my life. Okay, not really but I love him. Ever since “Baby” Justin had found a place in my heart that is solely reserved for him. He got his start on youtube after an onlooker posted a video of him when he was very young, singing songs with his guitar on the front steps of a building in Canada, where he’s from. Ever since then, Justin has only gotten more talented and more famous with every video he posted. He was discovered by Scooter Braun who then took him to perform in front of Usher and Justin Timberlake who have their own music labels. Justin chose Usher and ever since then has become the huge household name, Justin Bieber.

Not only is Justin Bieber the cutest, most adorable and attractive human being, he is also insanely talented and sweet. Justin can play guitar, piano, and drums, as well as sing like nobody else. His range and ability to control his vocals with runs show how much natural talent he has. His ability to play three instruments proves how dedicated and passionate he is to music, making him a rare talent.

Justin has also become a fashion icon with his oversized t-shirts, bagging pants, and recently, his trucker hats. He might not be a publically considered a fashion icon in the media, but I know he is for many, including me. I love the way he dresses and carries himself. His hair has also been a topic of conversation, how he bleached his hair to become a platinum blonde and his undercut around the side and the back with long hair on top. It’s definitely a statement and one that I am obsessed with. Justin has never been afraid to be himself and that’s why I love him so much.

What do you mean, Justin? Photo from billboard.com
What do you mean, Justin? Photo from billboard.com

I understand that, in the media, Justin has done some ridiculous things, some things that were immature and disrespectful. But for all of those people judging him and telling him he’s less than or no better than the vulture in the media. People forget that when these “scandals” happened, he was still growing up and he still is. He was just a teenager and I can’t imagine what it’s like to grow up in the spotlight, under the scrutiny of the whole world. He was struggling with his identity and being judged by the whole world can’t be easy. Everyone does the best they can with the circumstances they are given and people need to remember that the next time they decide to judge.

Justin Bieber has come out on top. With all the scandals, judgement, and issues he has gone through, Justin deserves to be left alone and treated with respect. With Justin’s new album “Purpose” being his best album yet, I think he deserves a round of applause. You go, Justin.

Chema Madoz: Turning the ordinary into anything but

Jose Maria Rodriguez Madoz, or Chema Madoz for short, is a famous Spanish photographer. He is best known for his black and white surrealist photographs, otherwise known as object photography. Madoz began his love affair with the camera when he attended college in Madrid where he studied photography and art history. He then got his first big break in 1985 when The Royal Photography Society in Madrid held the first major exhibition of his work.

Later, Madoz began his concentration on object photography in the year 1990. This realm of photography is where he found his niche in the world of great artists. Since then, Madoz has received numerous awards ranging from the coveted Kodak Award in 1991 to the National Photography Award of Spain in 2000.

So what makes Madoz’s art so appealing and so worthy of recognition? There are many different factors, like the simplicity of his work. The photos Madoz takes are easy to admire, but they usually take a second glance to really understand. His photos make a statement, and unlike the many other artists of our time that statement is not necessarily meant to be political, religious or satirical. However, there is definitely a message behind each photo. Each photo is meant to spark a thought in the mind of the viewer that makes each person look just a little harder at the things we see and ignore around us every day. This is another factor in Madoz’s great popularity. He makes society take a second look at the things we take for granted every day; for example, a pair of shoes.

So far it’s not really that interesting, so let’s add some detail. What about a pair of men’s leather wingtip dress shoes? Still not that exciting? What if we seamlessly laced those shoes together? Does that make a statement? Our minds flare and thoughts just start spewing out. In the photograph described, the shoes look like they are holding on to each other, as if they need each other, like one without the other would be nothing at all. Suddenly, the shoes take on personalities of their own. They are not shoes at all, but conjoined twins, living and thriving because they are together. The sight is somewhat unnerving at first, a little off, and all we can do is stare. That was Madoz’s purpose: he makes whole worlds out of single, simple changes in the norm.

Another example? How about we take a more popular picture of his: a ladder, mirror and a blank wall. Now imagine the mirror is hung on the wall and the ladder is leaning on the mirror at about a 15 degree angle. The mirror reflects the ladder and the empty room behind it. Because of the angle of the ladder in the mirror, an illusion is created, one that makes the scene look as if we could walk up our side of the ladder and climb over into the mirror. Again, our minds race. We begin to understand how Alice must have felt when she realized she could actually climb through the looking glass. We begin to wonder what life would be like in the world of our reflections. We begin to yearn for that world, for that place we don’t know. Our mind is in a state of quandary from the simple placement of three ordinary objects we encounter in our lives day in and day out.

This leads us to the best part of Madoz’s photos; the fact that he does not force his ideas on us. Instead, he leaves his art open to the interpretation of the viewer, as if each piece is asking, “what do you see?” or rather, ” what can you see?” With this freedom, Madoz makes a deep impact on his viewers. Once we see his art, we will never look at an apple, a stack of books or a bobby pin as anything less than extraordinary. And somewhere in the back of our busy minds, it clicks; these simple objects are extraordinary because our world is anything but ordinary.

Cover and story photo from Creative Commons