André Gide’s opinion that sculptors “think in marble” could certainly become Gustavo Vélez’s motto. In the city of Pietrasanta, Tuscany, the Colombian sculptor, born in 1975, has found a unique creative opportunity to learn how to carve marble, to develop his skills, and to make his own marble sculptures.
In Vélez’s art, the unique, fascinating stone expresses at once the opposition and union of strength and fragility. And it is precisely in Pietrasanta that he has fine-tuned his craft to a point where can fully express his creative thought.
Initially a figurative artist, in more recent years Vélez has increasingly moved towards abstraction. Starting from the approach of Constantin Brâncuși, for whom “architecture is inhabited sculpture”, the Colombian artist builds his works using bold lines placed in an infinite space. These lines, visually soft and sinuous, but conceptually strong, create shapes that stand in the open air and on the open spaces of nature, to paraphrase Joan Mirò.
Put differently, Vélez goes beyond geometry and its relationships to virtually join the sky and the earth. While marble generates a sense of loftiness and refinement, bronze and steel are more in contact with the surrounding environment. Light is indeed a variable factor that contributes to changing the viewer’s perception of his works.
His sculptures generate vital, dynamic harmonies, despite the fact that the artist does not intervene in, or on, the indoor or outdoor space where they are installed. Distinguishing features of the environment, multiple states of mind, psychological enigmas, pure evolving geometries, and alternate combinations of feelings: these are all sources of inspiration for Vélez, who translates them into abstract creations that help us investigate universal paradigms.
With their tension towards a free and boundless form, Vélez’s sculptures in marble, bronze and steel allow him to create a synergic dialogue by means of abstract concepts that find their shape beyond the infinite, entering an unexplored universe.