WHAT THE SHELLS SAY

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMay 2008 rozinlapaz

Guillermo Gómez Macías is the creator of two popular sculptures in La Paz. An earlier feature told the story behind his piece El Viejo . . . y El Mar?, “The Old Man . . . and the Sea?”.  Now we learn about Caracoles Músicos (Seashell Musicians), the sculpture in the small plaza Ignacio Cabezud across from the tourist dock with the watchtower.

Guadalajara sculptor Guillermo Gómez Macías is trained as an agronomist. Some may think crop production and soil management an unlikely foundation for the creation of art, but the 48-year-old says his passion for biological sciences is an important influence.

“Although at the moment I do not practise my career,” he says, “the discipline needed to understand how nature works and the training to observe are very useful in the exploration of my projects.”

Here is what Gómez has to say about the inspiration for his Seashell Musicians.

“The act of fusing human shapes with those of shells is to stress the diversity. And the appeal of the music is that it is a universal language that brings together feelings, emotions, sensations, etc. The idea arose from the act of holding a seashell between the hands. We marvel at its shapes and colours, independent of the place from which it came. If we hold it close to our ears and we pay attention, it will surprise us in that we hear the song of the ocean, and that rouses in us the same sensations.

“The same thing happens with human beings, in spite of the diversity of their origins, their shapes and colours. If we really pay attention and listen deep down in our beings, we can hear the rhythm of our own hearts.”

I spoke by phone with Gómez in Guadalajara, where he lives, and we did the interview through e-mails, which I’ve translated and summarized. His work is on permanent exhibit in Puerto Vallarta at Galleria Dante.

(originally posted May 2008)