Trash to Treasure
Guerra de la Paz, the compounded name of Cuban born sculptors Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz – who we interviewed previously for our Regeneration issue – are two such artists take inspiration from the bulk of used clothes left by a clothing export business in the early years of growing up in their neighborhood. After witnessing the impact that mounds of methodically lugged away unwanted garments had on their community, they developed a cognizance to the impending global impact as well as a consciousness of the importance to achieve a balance between humans and the environment.
They explain, ‘Because it is rejected clothing that we work with and because of where they come from, the material itself is already undeniably charged with social discourse, allowing us to project a holistic portrayal of contemporary society and a testament to its environmental implications.’
While they’re based in Miami, Alain Guerra was born in Havana and Neraldo de la Paz in Matanzas. Their work extends from sculptures, photography and installations. Their sculptures are majestic and prodigious in sight, brimming with color and drenched in the symbolism of consumerism, society and faith. Built out of recycled clothing such as t-shirts, dresses, shoes, boots and more, their statuesque sculptural creations embody society’s mass habit to over consume and discard with little to no consideration or understanding of the environmental implications.
Guerra de la Paz sees society’s consumerist nature as an opportunity to redistribute beauty, love, positivity and stimulating messages into the world through the discarded ‘trash’.
Some of their latest projects to be completed for a museum exhibition in 2013 are a bonsai made from deconstructed repurposed garments and wire, and a Greco-Roman torso fragment using elements associated with feminine beauty to build the ideal masculine physique made from shoulder pads, pillows, deconstructed lace and sheer garments, rope and thread. On top of that, as an official partner of the Australian Football League, they have been commissioned to create a giant ball structure in late September to celebrate the buildup to the 2012 Toyota Grand Final with up to 300,000 excited fans in Melbourne, Australia.
With a bond that empowers their work together, Guerra de la Paz views their work as ‘a continuum where one piece leads to another, like links in an evolutionary chain’ enabling them to create a full story bolded with connected, vital messages that trumps the individual significance of each piece.
As supporters of sustainable issues, bent on seizing the moment by creatively conserving and protecting natural resources, they are stamping their mark in history as artistic iconographer’s one momentous sculpture at a time.
Next main exhibition at Biennale Internationale Du Lin de Portneuf biennaledulin.ca