All At Sea - The Caribbean's Waterfront Magazine
Nancy Terrell -- August 2008 Issue
Pedro Quintero - Sea Sculpture of Serpent Shapes
Pedro is a multitalented artist who believes in sharing his vision of nature and the sea wherever he happens to be. In 2007 he cruised from Puerto la Cruz, Venezuela, on an Australian vessel, Barcoo - a 46’ custom sloop, through the southern Caribbean, Panama Canal, Galapagos, Marquis, French Polynesia and Tasmania, via Tahiti, contributing to their cultures by collecting elements from the sea – driftwood, rock and coral, which were washed up on the shore.
“On each island I took my findings and built a sculpture that to me represented the balance found in the nature of that island. By the end of our trip I could look back and see a balance of nature’s elements as my contribution to the cultures we visited. My theory is that art is inspired by nature so I use nature as a canvas. I enjoyed visiting with the native populations and wanted to show my appreciation for their hospitality by leaving a personal work of art behind.”
Pedro, the youngest of nine children, was born in Caracas where he attended elementary school. His sister, Mercedes, invited him to live with her family in Texas and attend the local junior & high schools. A brilliant and creative student, he attended LSU undergraduate school where he majored in business administration. He also holds a graduate degree in Environmental Studies from the University of Oregon. Wanting the experience of working and investigating the arts in New York City, Pedro worked in Manhattan so he could study at the New School for Social Research in photography, ceramics, metal and stained glass.
He returned to Venezuela in the 1980s and settled in Los Altos, on the outskirts of Puerto la Cruz, where he free-lanced for fifteen years in the art world in mixed media, sculpture, conceptual art and ceramics. “From 1984 to 2000 I worked mainly with the theme of sea serpents, which appealed to me because of their symbolism and the way they appear in mythology throughout the world, especially in the Aztec and Mayan cultures. The lines of the serpent are feminine and represent life - full of energy, movement, regeneration and rebirth.
I was working with sea shells when I became fascinated by the coil within the shell. I became interested in the fact that it looked like the serpent so I started experimenting with this shape in ceramics. I soon discovered that I had to divide the snake into segments in order to fire it. I have my sea serpents all over the world set within a natural environment.”
Pedro’s art, in all of its creative forms, has won many awards throughout his native land including the prestigious Bi-Annual Merida National Art Exhibition, one of the largest in South America, and the Venezuela National Ceramic Art Exhibition, three times - each in a different field.
“In 2002 I built a six bedroom Posada in Los Altos on spectacular land overlooking Mochima Park on the Venezuelan coast facing the Caribbean Sea. Here I combined my artistic work with my architectural designs to create a magic world for tourists visiting our area. The name of the lodge is Alquimia which refers to alchemy in the medieval era. Different elements of the architecture are based on the figure of the serpent, which appear in the stairways, floors, headboards, ceramic tiles, etc.- this intrigues my guests.
I also enjoy carving totem sculptures and have sold many to private collectors. At the present time I am involved in a new project with Maria Esther Galban, of Tai Ceramics in Los Altos, called Four Hands. Many of my totems are installed on that property – they are abstractions that are geared to the perception of the viewer. My future plans include exhibiting in formal galleries internationally.”
Having viewed many of Pedro’s multi talented projects, I have no doubt that he will succeed. I greatly admire the fact that he left sculptures in the Pacific – a wonderful international contribution from a sailor, with a generous heart, who loves the sea.