A well-known, classical style sculpture on the Puerto Vallarta Malecon, until recently found in front of Mandala (Malecon and Abasolo), in the past in the location of the Subtle Rock Eater sculpture was located. March 2019 it has been moved back to it's XX Century location on Morelos and Mina streets, which is some 40 yards from the Seahorse statue.
(Also found under the erroneous names: "Neptune and the Nereid", "Triton and the Nereid", "Triton and Mermaid" or "Poseidon and the Nereid").
This bronze sculpture was created by sculptor Carlos Espino (born in Mexico City, May 3rd, 1953), where he concentrates on the human form and classical mythology, which can clearly be appreciated in this piece. It was unveiled on the Malecon in August of 1990.
It depicts Triton, one of the Greek gods of the sea as a merman (son of Poseidon and Amphitrite, God and Goddess of the sea respectively) reaching out to a Siren, Greek mythological creatures, formerly handmaidens of the goddess Persephone, that lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and singing voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island.
The name of the sculpture is, and should always have been "Triton and Siren", for some unknown reason, despite authorship and intellectual property rights (plus a total lack of knowledge in Greek and Roman mythology :-)), local authorities changed the name to "Neptune and the Nereid" when unveiling this statue on the Malecon.
In any case, considering the fact that the artist, Carlos Espino, was passionate about Greek-Roman mythology, this should inform us regarding the inspiration and detailed background of this sculpture. He would spend long hours studying and researching each element in his sculptures and would never mix up elements from either one of the cultures in his works of art.
We, in any case, respectfully disagree with any name change and will continue showing the sculpture with its original name and as the artist established it.
Because the title was in Spanish, long before it was translated, there could be an added error when translating "Sirena" into English, as it can be translated into "mermaid" or "siren". Mermaid is a more modern term and represents a creature that was inspired by Greek sirens, so, once again, based on what we know of the author, the most precise translation has to be "siren", thus the translated title of the sculpture that we have chosen.
The sculpture has been moved around a bit, currently, it's located approximately where it was unveiled in 1990, for some years after the boardwalk was completely remodeled in 2011, the sculpture was placed where Abasolo street ends on the Malecon, by the Mandala.
Now it's located on the Malecon where Mina Street ends on Morelos street in downtown Puerto Vallarta some 60 yards from the Seahorse statue. Triton and Siren is located between the sculptures "The Boy on the Sea Horse" to the south and "In Search of Reason" to the north.
About the artist: Carlos Eugenio Espino del Castillo Barrón
Carlos Eugenio Espino del Castillo Barrón (1953-2019)
Mexican sculptor, born on May 3, 1953. Carlos Espino is part of an Italian family of painters and sculptors. The Italian paternal grandfather named Carlos Espino Centurión, settled in Veracruz, Mexico and then Mexico City. The only one of his 10 brothers and sisters who devoted himself to sculpture full time. The artistic vocation marked his life since from the age of three he already tried to represent all kinds of objects with breadcrumbs.
In high school, he began his modeling practice at the Cristóbal Colón de la Villa school where he discovered his vocation, supported by Lasallian teachers. In high school, he took modeling courses with Professor Cantú from 1969 - 1971, from where he graduated with deep artistic conviction to enter the National School of Plastic Arts (ENAP) "San Carlos" in Mexico City in 1972.
ENAP calls a contest in 1974, in which it obtains the 1st. place.
Encouraged by these achievements, and in an incessant search for knowledge of the culture of the Mediterranean, he traveled to Italy, Paris, Greece and Morocco, between the years 1974 - 1975. From there he observed customs, architectural forms, as well as the use of shape and color in the various manifestations of the plastic arts. Carlos Espino's work gets exposure in Mexico, thanks to a traveling exhibition in the south-east part of the country, organized by the INBA that year.
At the end of that year, he collaborated with the Architect José Luis Ezquerra (director of "Las Hadas"), in the decoration of sculptural exteriors for the residence "Villa Coral", in Manzanillo, Colima. From 1980, and to date, Carlos Espino has left a mark on the national history through his sculptures, many monumental in size, either as individual figures, equestrian statues or as groups, placed in the main squares, important avenues around Mexico and some outside the country.
In 1981, he made the eagle for the monument to the Independence of the city of San Juan del Río, Querétaro, commissioned by the then municipal president, Jorge Herbert Pérez.
His approach was always more classical, academic and figurative, with the use of the living model, not inspired by modernist, avant-garde or abstract trends, but inspired by canons bequeathed from the Greeks and Romans. His main passion was mythology, especially the Greco-Roman, nurtured and inspired his work. According to personal comments made by the artist, he numbered his works at more than a thousand sculptures.
One of his favorite works was "The Triumph of Poseidon" located in the central courtyard of the Secretariat of the Navy, commissioned by the Secretary of the Navy, Admiral Luis Carlos Ruano Angulo during the six-year term of the former Mexican President, Lic. Carlos Salinas de Gortari.
In 1989 he made the monumental sculpture of Felipe Ángeles, his first work located in Zacatecas (Cerro de La Bufa) with Pancho Villa and Pánfilo Natera. In the same esplanade that is visited by thousands of tourists every year, in 2014 he unveiled “Allegory of the Taking of Zacatecas”.
The four-meter-high effigy of Fray Antonio Margil de Jesús, commissioned by the municipality of Guadalupe in 2018, was his last work located in Zacatecas territory.
Carlos Espino passed away on March 26, 2019, in Mexico City.
- Entrevista ABC Parte 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPvBJYlFIS8 Parte 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMqkJme_vyo
- Triton & Siren https://www.sciencesource.com/archive/Triton-and-Siren--Legendary-Creatures-SS2626112.html
- Triton: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Triton_(mythology)
- Siren: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siren_(mythology)
- Muere escultor Carlos Espino; sus obras embellecen a Zacatecas: https://www.elsoldezacatecas.com.mx/cultura/arte/muere-escultor-carlos-espino-sus-obras-embellecen-a-zacatecas-3369113.html
- Custodiará el Museo Zacatecano maquetas de escultura del artista Carlos Espino: https://www.cultura.gob.mx/estados/saladeprensa_detalle.php?id=48005
- La Salle rememora el talento escultórico de Carlos Espino: https://hoy.lasalle.mx/la-salle-rememora-el-talento-escultorico-de-carlos-espino/
- Legado de Carlos Espino en Zacatecas: http://www.cronistasoficiales.com/?p=116699
Author: M. A. Gallardo