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Sebastián Ángeles Presents “Perpetuo”, His First Monumental Sculpture That Reflects On The Enduring Character Of Craftsmanship

Written by:
Sebastián Celada
Courtesy of Sebastián Ángeles

In this commission, which forms part of the artistic residency program of Design Week Mexico, Sebastián Ángeles reflects on the circular economy, sustainability and the importance of crafts to the identity of the country.

A challenge set by an artist and a craftsman to demonstrate the possibilities of wicker weaving was the starting point for “Perpetuo”, the first monumental sculpture by Sebastián Ángeles in which he explores his ideas on the enduring nature of artisan professions as part of Mexico’s ancestral legacies.

“Perpetuo” is a piece of art, the result of the reunion between Sebastián Ángeles and Martín Cruz—a master weaver at Artesanías Clarita, a workshop in Tequisquiapan, specializing in wicker weaving—who made up one of the pairings for the artistic residency program of Design Week Mexico, whose mission consisted of reflecting the cultural richness of Querétaro and the talent and creativity of contemporary designers through unpublished pieces.

In order to create it, Ángeles immersed himself for five days in the everyday work of Cruz, developing various processes that allowed him to transfer a manual craft—normally used for baskets and small pieces—to a large-scale structure in the shape of a toroid—a curved surface without beginning or end, a sign of perpetuity—two and a half meters high that took more than a month and a half of work to complete.

For this commission, Ángeles also engaged in a series of reflections that, on the one hand, focus on the circular economy, sustainability and the reuse of resources in craft workshops and, on the other, reflect on the role that craftsmanship plays in the definition of Mexico’s identity and, specifically, on elements that refer to pre-Hispanic forms, such as the hoop of the ball game.

Thanks to this project, Ángeles, who constantly explores new materials, created three functional objects—a chair, a table and a container—made using the same techniques and forms as the sculpture, and in which he projects his interpretation of the wisdom and complexity of these crafts from the perspective of contemporary design.

“Perpetuo” forms a part of the exhibition “Vision and Tradition”, presented from October 11 to November 5 in the lobby of the National Museum of Anthropology, where the unique works of the Design Week 2023 residency program were shown with the participation of artisans from Querétaro and designers from Mexico and France.

With this project, Sebastián Ángeles, founder of the Dórica furniture firm, expands on his portfolio, which includes works such as Frequency, a collection of art-object pieces unveiled at WantedDesign Manhattan, and outstanding interventions in the different editions of Design Week Mexico, the Abierto Mexicano de Diseño, and Zona MACO.

About Sebastián Ángeles

Sebastián Ángeles, a Mexican industrial designer, is Director and Co-founder at Dórica and a member of Mass Colectivo. He’s also a creative collaborator for different leading brands of Mexican design. His work has been exhibited at Ventura Future in Milan, Italy, and in the Museo Tamayo during Mexico Design Week in 2017 and 2018.

His work reflects the synthesis of basic elements of everyday life–reinterpreted with contemporary codes that demonstrate the power of a renewing aesthetic–, to create completely new sensations.

By Liliana Alvarez

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