a-public-art-in-peninsula

Featured in Vallarta Lifestyles Magazine, Fall/Winter 2006 issue.

Perhaps it’s the awesome beauty enveloping Puerto Vallarta that so fervently inspires its expression through art, an array of monumental public works by esteemed artists privileging the place. Along with the kind of historical tributes one would expect to find in a Mexican town, many honor what is naturally magnificent around us. Their themes as diverse as those who created them — mythological representations, the tender, the whimsical and the ultramodern — how wonderful it is when you come across one that stirs you! And it’s even better when you know there could well be another around the very next corner.

Happily, the folks behind the Peninsula residential and commercial development share the vision of Puerto Vallarta as a thriving art destination, incorporating colorful fresh pieces into their exciting new shopping center.

An imposing dove greets you as you enter, Juan Soriano’s “La Paloma” turning nature’s order upside down by making everyone feel tiny in comparison. Now, try to imagine what the scene must have been like at Mexico City’s grand zocalo back in 2000, when the artist staged an exhibition of all his oversized works at the same time! His prolific career spanning more than seven decades, he died in 2006 at 86. Just 14 when he participated in a show at the Guadalajara Museum, exhibiting oils on cardboard depicting himself and his sisters, influential artists of the time suggested he move to Mexico City to develop his talent. And for the rest of his life he traveled and lived around the world, exhibiting to great acclaim. Locally, his works are represented by Galería Corsica, which is not only opening a new branch at Peninsula, but will be responsible for a series of rotating sculptures throughout the plaza.

Peninsula’s quirky “Vaca Loca,” a life-sized bovine by sculptor Luis Espiridion, was commissioned by restaurant owner Thierry Blouet. Blouet was so taken with the artist’s bizarre-looking “crazy cow,” that it inspired the logo for his brand-new steakhouse! Leave it to Blouet, an eclectic visionary in his own right, to pair up with an eclectic sculptor like Espiridion, whose off-the-wall sense of humor can be appreciated in all his work. Espiridion’s art can be enjoyed at Gallería Dante.

The vividly colorful and modernistic sculptures scattered throughout Peninsula are the work of Adriana Dorantes. Also hailing from Guadalajara, this relative newcomer initially took to sculpting as a way to heal from personal tragedy. Finishing her first work just a decade ago, a fellow artist suggested she cast an edition of 10 bronzes as opposed to just one. And to her surprise, seven quickly sold. But it was a monumental abstract interpretation of Mexico City’s landmark “La Diana Cazadora,” Roman mythology’s Diana the huntress, that really caught the public’s attention. And as a result Dorantes was asked to submit designs for the sculptures now on display at Peninsula. Small-scale versions of these works and others can now be seen through Gallería Dante.