Mexican artist Gonzalo Medellin Herrera creates stunning sculptures of male and female bodies by using nothing but his hands and aluminium wire mesh as working material. The captivating effect of his works lies in their unique and exciting combination of fragile grace and bold dynamics.
Born in 1966 into a family of artists, Herrera begins his career at an early age. As an adolescent he studies engraving and starts working in wood and metal. At the age of 20, Herrera leaves his hometown, San Luis Potosi, to pursue his career in art. After initially continuing to do handcrafts, especially masks and alto-rilievos, he soon fully concentrates on sculpting.
At 25, Herrera moved to Europe where he worked in Rome, London, Berlin and Paris before settling in Switzerland in the late 90s. It is during the time spent in Lausanne that Herrera comes across metal wire mesh which from now on became his main working material.
His works not only display a surprising and innovative use of a well-known material, but also the attention Herrera pays to every detail – from proportion to every singular muscle and vein. His works contain a breathtaking anatomical precision, creating a powerful effect on the viewer that reaches such a degree that you can almost imagine the blood pumping through the sculptural bodies.
Yet the wire mesh sculptures themselves are only the physically tangible part, the “outer shell” of Herrera’s sculptures. Their mesmerising, almost magical expressiveness lies in the combination of the mesh wire bodies and the play of shadow they unfold – ephemeral, yet extremely lively.
This perfect symbiosis of powerful dynamics, ephemeral elegance and anatomical precision is what makes Herrera’s works so fascinating. Since 2013, the public interest has been constantly growing not only among European art fans in Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland and France, but also worldwide as some works already went to Brazil, Malaysia and Singapore.
Besides wire mesh, which still remains his main and preferred material, Herrera also has continually been working with paper mache. His few sculptural works of paper mache already enjoy quite an interest among buyers from France and Corsica. In the future Herrera plans to increase his engagement with the material and we are looking forward to the new exciting facets this direction might bring to his oeuvre.