By Anne Cacherell
There’s beauty in everything, but one can only see it with an open mind and heart. However, there are some things in this life that would need extra work and effort to turn into something really wonderful. Mexican artist Pedro Reyes believes in the same principle. For him, the purpose of art is “to come up with ways to transform negative instincts into creative instincts.”
In one of his projects titled “Imagine”, Reyes decided to do something more life-affirming by recycling 6,700 confiscated guns into 50 musical instruments. This was inspired by his 2008 campaign “Palas por Pistolas” or “Guns Shovels” in English, in which he transformed 1,527 decommissioned guns into 1,527 shovel heads to plant 1,527 trees in the botanical garden of the notoriously dangerous Culiacan, also known as the deadliest city in Mexico.
In an interview, Pedro said, “It’s difficult to explain but the transformation was more than physical. It’s important to consider that many lives were taken with these weapons; as if a sort of exorcism was taking place the music expelled the demons they held, as well as being a requiem for lives lost.”
Watch this video as Reyes, along with other friends, perform Rage Against the Machine’s Bullet in the Head, using his artworks that combine welding and musical artisanship.
Using art to increase social and environment awareness, and as an instrument for creating change is just brilliant. Now, that is what we call beauty with a purpose. What do you think is the purpose of art? Feel free to leave your comments below.