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In the Studio: Pedro S. de Movellán

Pedro S. de Movellán has been a sculptor his whole life, whether he always knew it or not. His earliest interest in fixing, building, and tinkering evolved from simple balancing acts to single handedly creating complex freestanding kinetic sculptures able to captivate viewers with their elegance. As an artist, de Movellán has always had an innate ability to create harmony between the mathematical, physics-based components of his practice and the more lyrical and poetic elements that seem effortless.

This latest work, Flamenco, owes its title to de Movellán’s Spanish roots, but the work itself is a seamless amalgam of technologies, aesthetics, and movements that de Movellán has worked with over the years. Of de Movellán’s many uncanny abilities as a sculptor, one that has always stood out is his ability to scale works up or down and still create the same ease of motion for which he is so recognizable. In this case, the artist was looking at a tabletop work he finished at the end of 2019 titled Tracer. In motion, the alternating panels on each arced element created a moiré effect that added an additional visual dimension to the work. Flamenco differs noticeably in size and color, but de Movellán was able to use the same optic effect in a more physically imposing way with the box construction of the outdoor work.

Even at rest, Flamenco seems poised to move, to take flight, opening its wings in a display of color. But the work is hardly birdlike in construction. Despite the ease with which it begins its movement, Flamenco extends upwards 11 feet at its apex, and pivots on three different axes, creating visual tension as the parallel elements seem to be in constant danger of colliding.

In de Movellán’s own words, “I realize that there is a deep instinct inside of me to achieve balance in all aspects of my life, be it physically, emotionally, or practically. It is a force that I feel I have little control over - in true contrast to the work I do which requires absolute control over all facets of my process. Each sculpture is a way for me to communicate a sense or a feeling that cannot be put into words. The  combination of balance, movement, color, and shape are a portal for expression.”