Full Frame headed to Mexico to meet Pedro Reyes, an artist who is taking weapons off the streets and into places you’d never expect – concert music halls. Reyes’ journey began years ago when he gathered more than 1,500 guns that had been confiscated by Mexican authorizes throughout the country.
The metal collected was sent to a foundry and melted into 1,500 shovels.
Pedro Reyes turns guns into instruments of peacePedro Reyes invites Full Frame on his quest to see the remarkable impact of his artistic transformations and to talk about his hopes to inspire artists to engage in similar initiatives to relinquish the destructive power of weapons across Mexico and around the world.
“The idea was, for every gun, now there is a shovel, and with every shovel, now we plant a tree. So we planted 1500 trees all over the world. It’s basically the idea that we are turning an agent of death into an agent of life,” Reyes said.
Following the success of his first endeavor, Reyes wanted to further incorporate his passion for the arts into his efforts.
A sculptor for nearly ten years, Reyes decided to take the transformative power of art to a new and innovative level – turning weapons into musical instruments.
“The curve elements of the charges from an AK-47 may become the body of a bass guitar. And just by rearranging the guns you find shapes,” Reyes said. “And so arranging those elements, and finding how they create a kind of music scale is like a revelation, because certainly something that was just a pile of metal starts to become music.”
The artist’s unique venture is turning into an astounding success, and, today, his seemingly grotesque creations are the source of a striking style of music heard throughout many Mexican communities.
“Weapons are the rule of fear and music is the opposite, it is the rule of trust,” the artist said.
Reyes invited Full Frame on his quest to see the remarkable impact of his artistic transformations and to talk about his hopes to inspire artists to engage in similar initiatives to relinquish the destructive power of weapons across Mexico and around the world.
Follow Pedro Reyes on Twitter: @pedroreyes