A plastic mix of materials, both metal and rock are the core of this well-balanced sculpture that stands without any help on Vallarta's Malecon.
This unique bronze and obsidian 7.5-foot tall sculpture is certainly one that you either love or you hate, some are surprised and immediately repulsed and even say it out loud... Maybe it's something related to fear of clowns (it could look a bit like one) or maybe the jagged edges make them imagine ferocious and menacing teeth.
In any case, others, like me, feel a strange attraction to the curvy metal edges, the flexible contours of the piece, the plump black abdomen, the mix of rock and metal, the iridescent obsidian surface shining in the sun, the strange details, a "clown" eating stones... what's it all about?
First off Jonás' works mostly inhabit an alternate reality, more dreamlike than down-to-earth, more scary or disturbing than your average sculpture. One thing is certain, they are never dull nor derivative; unique and with a personal style is what stands out when you admire them.
When asked, the author tells us that he feels that negative emotions are like stones that we swallow through life. So this figure is certainly very artistically going through life digesting negativity at a rapid pace.
The artist stated that his childhood also influenced the sculpture when he played with mud and had a great time. His sculpture tries to remind us of our childhood when we started to walk, balance ourselves and enjoy the different elements of the world.
Jonás Gutiérrez was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico in 1966. He began to sculpt in 1980, helping create the well-known sculpture "La Estampida" located prominently in Guadalajara.
In 1987 he participated in the workshop of Ignacio Fernández del Valle. He made his first signed bronze pieces in 1988, with one that he titled "Piezas Zoomorfas". In 1989 he started on wood carving, developing a unique technique for two years, this inspired him to add an organic dimension to his work.
By using the lost wax technique, Jonas Gutierrez's sculptures seem to seek balance in their composition and analyze the suffering of the human figure. Female figures became important in this stage of his work. In a later phase, he seems to amalgamate everything: organic elements, animals and the female figure.
"The Subtle Stone-Eater" was unveiled on October 14, 2006, by the then Municipal President Lic. Gustavo González Villaseñor, Council Member, Ricardo Ezequiel Uribe González, the Deputy Director of Art and Culture, Mónica Venegas and the chronicler of Puerto Vallarta, Juan Manuel Gomez Encarnación.
Made in bronze with lost wax technique, obsidian and stone is part of the materials used.
Where is the sculpture on the Malecon?
You'll find this sculpture on the corner of Leona Vicario Street and the Malecon in downtown Puerto Vallarta.
About the artist: Jonás Gutiérrez Castillo
Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco in 1966
The artist began sculpting at a young age. In 1980, he helped create the public monumental sculpture "La Estampida", which stands at a busy intersection in his hometown, near the iconic Hotel Riu building.
Jonás Gutiérrez is known in Puerto Vallarta for his monumental 2.4-meter high bronze and obsidian sculpture "El Sutil Comepiedras", which was installed on the Malecón and unveiled on October 14, 2006, and depicts a magician with an obsidian stone stomach.
In 1987, Gutiérrez began working in the workshop of Ignacio Fernández del Valle, who became his mentor. In 1988, he made his first bronze piece, which he titled "Zoomorphic Piece". In 1989, Jonás dabbled in wood carving and developed this technique for two more years, during which there was a search that would add an organic sense to his later creations.
Returning to the lost wax method, his sculptures seem to be more concerned with a search for balance in composition and the suffering of the human figure; the female figure that runs away or appears predominates.
A later stage would seem to summarize everything: animal, organic element and the female figure; all in one compact composition. This stage comes to an end, when Gutiérrez begins to use a mineral element, stone, in his pieces. His work entitled "El Sutil Comepiedra" and the one that deserved the recognition in 1998 of the October Hall appears, under the title of "Fusion". This stage would have a long development, that only in the preparations for its exhibition in the Televisa art space does it seem to make room for a new proposal already announced, with "El Don Cuadrado" and the other characters who are preparing to observe, to dance and suffer the vision of life or unreality.
Jonás Gutiérrez Castillo has exhibited in the art space of the Mexican television network Televisa, where he presented a series of new characters.
Today his sculptures depict wayward clowns, mimes, harlequins, magicians, strangely costumed subjects, and fire eaters. All of them with a playful personality.
- 1966 Born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico.
- 1980 Participates in Jorge de la Peña's workshop as an assistant in the urban sculpture of Guadalajara called "Stampede" (La Estampida).
- 1980-1984 He worked in the workshop of Mtro. Jorge de la Peña.
- 1984 - 1987 Participates in Ignacio Fernandez del Valle's workshop.
- 1987 Collective exhibition "Los Artistas de Tapalpa", Cabañas Cultural Institute, Guadalajara, Jal., Mexico. Individual Exhibition at the Club de Industriales de Jalisco, Guadalajara, Mexico.
- 1988 Makes the first bronze sculptures as an independent artist, "The Zoomorphic Pieces".
- 1989 Works with wood carving. He was invited to participate in the Collective Exhibition: "The artists of Tapalpa" at the Cabañas Cultural Institute. At the end of 1989, he participated in another collective sculpture exhibition at the Club Industriales de Jalisco.
- 1989-1991 Study in wood carving, Tapalpa, Jalisco, Mexico.
- 1991 He made the monumental piece "Tiburón", Shopping Center, Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico.
- 1994 Monumental piece "Eclipse" in the San Agustin subdivision, Guadalajara, Jal, Mexico.
- 1995 Expojoya Recognition for the piece "Unicorn", Guadalajara, Jal., Mexico. Monumental piece "Tablao", Private Collection, Guadalajara, Jal., Mexico.
- 1996 Sent sculptures to Eclipse Gallery in Vancouver, Canada. Participate in several auctions of Contemporary Art with small-format sculptures.
- 1997 Collective exhibitions and auctions: Galeria Axolotl, Guadalajara; Cava Gallery, Ajijic; Fin Arte Monterrey, Concept of art, Mexico City.
- 1998 Collective Exhibition: Jalisco Contemporary Art, Casas Vallarta Cultural Center, Guadalajara Jal., Mexico. Honorable mention for his work Fusion in the October Hall, Guadalajara. Jal., Mexico. Individual exhibition "Las Piedras No Hablan" at the Casa Vallarta Cultural Center in Guadalajara, Mexico. Inmaginerias, La Mandragora Art Gallery, Guadalajara, Jal., Mexico.
- 1998 Holds his first solo exhibition at Galleria Dante, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco.
- 1999 Auction at the Guadalajara Chamber of Commerce, and SubasArt in Cancun, Quintana Roo.
- 1999 Holds his second solo exhibition at Galleria Dante, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco.
- 2000 Solo exhibition, Galleria Dante, Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco.
- 2000 He participates in the auction at the Guadalajara Chamber of Commerce with his monumental piece "Don Cuadrado".
- 2001 Art Focus individual exhibition in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato.
- 2002 Individual exhibition "Caras Vemos" on Televisa, Guadalajara, Jalisco. Monumental Pieces "Mago Guarachero" and "El Catrín"
- 2004-2012 Monumental pieces mostly belonging to private collectors.
- 2006 Unveiling of The Subtle Stone-Eater (El Sutil Comepiedras) on the boardwalk (Malecon) of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico.
- 2010-2011 Pieces belonging to the Joaquín Sabina collection, entitled "El Mago Borracho" and "La Barca".
- 2012-2013 Monumental piece "The Piece of the Magi", private collection.
Author: M. A. Gallardo