Gustavo Vélez’s sculpture, although it is commonly pointed out a similarity and closeness to the procedures and materials of those great masters, actually operates in the exact opposite way. Vélez opposes the tripod of the sculptors of the past to a single axis on which it seems that the pieces are magically held in full equilibrium.
Since he was a child, he knew that art would play an essential role in his life. Born in Medellín in 1975. While attending school, he alternated his studies with learning about sculpture at art academies. At the end of high school, he decided to travel to Italy to study at the Lorenzo de Medici Academy in Florence and later to complete his training in the workshops of Pietrasanta: the mecca of marble sculpture and bronze foundries.
Today he frequents the Carrara marble quarries in the Apuan Alps, as it is the ideal place for his monumental works, and in Medellin he has his workshop for the elaboration of his steel works.
For some years now, his name has taken great importance in the Asian continent, being one of the main artists who contributes to the cultural exchange with artists from China, Japan and Korea. He has exhibited in galleries in Tokyo, Utsunomiya, Iwaki and Yokohama; in China he has exhibited at the Museum of the Imperial City of Beijing, at the Art Shanghai (China), KIAF (Korea) and Art Stage (Singapore) fairs. In 2009 he created a monumental sculpture that was placed in the Art Valley Sculpture Park in Seoul (Korea).
In Europe, Gustavo has participated in art fairs in London, Madrid, Barcelona and Monaco. In addition, he has an already consolidated career as an artist present in Pietrasanta, a region of Italian Tuscany where he arrived in 1996 and where he concentrates most of his creative work.
In 2013 he was chosen for the solo sculpture exhibition held in this Italian town, cradle of sculptors worldwide. With this exhibition, he became the youngest artist to intervene in the emblematic Piazza del Duomo and the Chiesa di Sant’Agostino with bronze, steel and marble sculptures that reached up to seven meters in height and weighed eight tons.
He has also participated in fairs and exhibitions in the United States, Ecuador, Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, Colombia and Peru.
In his native country, specifically in Cartagena, he held the largest exhibition of monumental sculpture. “Gustavo Vélez Cartagena de Indias” was inaugurated in December 2015, with 17 monumental sculptures, mostly made in Italy, and 30 medium-format works. The exhibition intervened for three months in the main squares of the Historic Center and museums such as the Museum of Modern Art of Cartagena, the Historical Museum and the Museum of Fortifications.
Also in Colombia, his sculptures can be seen at the Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, the Sabaneta Metro Station and the Santo Domingo Cable Metro Station in Medellín. Also in the main parks of the municipalities of Bello and Fredonia, as well as in the Governor’s Office of Tolima and the Tolima Art Museum in Ibagué.
In 2013 he received the “Orden al Gran Caballero”, a distinction granted by the Congress of the Republic of Colombia, and in April 2014 he was awarded the “Orden de la Democracia Simón Bolívar” in the Official Cross grade, for his achievements as a sculptor and the worthy representation he has made of Colombian art abroad. The last recognition given to his artistic career was the Gold Star of the Culture of Antioquia for his contributions to culture and plastic arts in his native country.
In 2021 he exhibited “Ejercicios de equilibrio al borde del vacío” at the Duque Arango Gallery in Medellin:
Between the sea and the mountains where Michelangelo chose his best stones, you will findForte dei Marmi, where nature, culture and history come toge