Episode #241: Artist Pedro Reyes and fashion designer Carla Fernández share how they met and discuss their marriage, as well as their mutual love of Mexican craft and design. Though Fernández designs high-end fashion and Reyes is known for his metal and stone sculptures, they both collaborate with artisans to produce their work. “When I started making clothing, I had two choices,” says Fernández. “One was to copy the things that the [indigenous] communities make, …or work together with the communities.”
The design of the couple’s home—an ever-evolving project—is also focused on the handmade. Their bathroom appears both ancient and futurist through the use of cast concrete and carved volcanic stone, and everything from the floor to the furniture was handcrafted. “It makes it in a way, personal, that you know who is making your house,” explains Fernández, “you know who you’re taking care of, or who’s taking care of you.” Fernández also discusses the importance of preserving Mexico’s rich cultural heritage against the homogenizing forces of globalization.
Pedro Reyes designs ongoing projects that propose playful solutions to social problems. From turning guns into musical instruments, to hosting a People’s United Nations to address pressing concerns, to offering ecologically-friendly grasshopper burgers from a food cart, Reyes transforms existing problems into ideas for a better world. In the artist’s hands, complex subjects like political and economic philosophies are reframed in ways that are easy to understand, such as a puppet play featuring Karl Marx and Adam Smith fighting over how to share cookies. When encountering a project by the artist, viewers are often enlisted as participants, whether through one-on-one conversations, therapeutic acts, or as creators of objects in collaborative workshops.
Learn more about the artist at:
CREDITS: Producer: Ian Forster. Consulting Producer: Nick Ravich & Wesley Miller. Interview: Deborah Dickson. Editor: Morgan Riles. Camera: Masami Fujita & Pedro Gomez Millan. Sound: Baruch Arias Kexolli. Artwork Courtesy: Carla Fernández & Pedro Reyes. Special Thanks: Cerámica La Mejor & Proyecto Siqueiros – La Tallera.
Art21 “Exclusive” is supported, in part, by 21c Museum Hotel, and by individual contributors.