A sculptor from the Mexican state of Jalisco transformed thousands of weapons linked to criminal acts into 21 sculptures, in the “Impacts that leave their mark” initiative to convey a message of peace and conciliation.
Short weapons, long and even grenades, in a total of 12 tons, were converted into art to show that humans have more powerful weapons to make themselves heard as literature or thought, said author Alvaro Cuevas.
The Cuevas family has gone through various violent episodes where there was death. At various dates and times, his brother was attacked with a gun, some cousins and uncles were killed.
This misfortune led the sculptor to consider the possibility of “cleaning” or “compensating” in some way that family past and create from it.
In 2017, when representatives of the National Defense Secretariat (Sedena) searched for him to offer him to transform thousands of weapons seized and handed over by citizens, he knew that this would be the way to achieve his dream.
He said he called priests and healers who performed rituals to free those objects from the intention with which they were created or used.
“Weapons when disabled remain what they were according to their destiny, but if they are transformed, an object is created and the concept is completely different, but it still has the essence and intention, because many were fired,” he explained.
The 12 tons of metal began to take various forms. Animals, children, and fingerprints were the results of about two years of work to join each piece and give them meaning.
The sculptures are integrated into three collections: one of them shows wild animals such as a deer, jaguar, rhinoceros, fish and an eagle that kill by instinct, “unlike the humans we kill for pleasure,” says the artist.
Another series consists of the figure of three children who hold in their hands weapons “as powerful as a brush or a book that talents can surface.”
The most special was the series of fingerprints in large format as it captures particular cases of murders such as the Cardinal of Guadalajara Juan Jesús Posadas, killed in 1993 at the airport.
The works were donated to various government agencies in the Mexican states of Jalisco and Yucatan to be exhibited permanently.
Some others make up an itinerant exhibition that has been taken to various spaces, cultural and civic activities in Mexico with the intention that the message reaches anyone.
Cuevas said he intends to continue the project with 100 tons of weapons that would be donated in the coming months by Sedena.
This time he will seek to distribute this material among 100 universities in Mexico so that his students generate artistic proposals that contribute to the “unity as Mexicans.”