About Pedro Reyes

Pedro Reyes (b. 1972, Mexico City) employs sculpture, performance, video, and activism to address pressing social and political issues. His works often promote individual and collective agency by inviting viewers to engage in participation and dialogue. Steeped in notions of structure and pedagogy, Reyes explores the means by which knowledge and empowerment are shared and communicated amongst individuals. By creating spaces for encounter, the artist produces the conditions by which to drive cultural change.


Reyes trained as an architect at the Ibero-American University in Mexico City. He has had solo shows at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; the Whitechapel Gallery, London; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and the Guggenheim Museum, New York City, among others. His works have also been featured in group exhibitions such as dOCUMENTA 13 in Kassel, Germany (2012), the Liverpool Biennial in Liverpool, England (2012), and the 50th Venice Biennale (2003). Reyes was a participant in the 2013 Creative Time Summit, “Art, Place & Dislocation in the 21st Century City,” and has twice contributed writing to Creative Time Reports. In 2015, he was a recipient of the U.S. Department of State Medal of Arts in recognition of his “outstanding commitment and contributions to the Art in Embassies program and international cultural exchange.”


Pedro Reyes’ work spans many different media; it is sculpture, performance, video, and often participatory and he often pushes the boundaries of how an artist appropriates material for artistic production. Reyes work has been shown at the Venice Biennial and Art Basel Miami Beach as well as Serpentine Gallery, Museo de Arte Moderno, Mexico City, The Prospect Biennial New Orleans, and museums and galleries all over the globe. He is perhaps best know for his projects Palos por Pistolas (Shovels for Guns), in which he melted collected guns into steel and used that steel to fabricate shovels to plant trees, and more recently Disarm, which used remnants of weapons seized by the Mexican army from drug cartels to fabricate self-playing musical instruments.


(Photo: Will Star/Shooting Stars Pro)