Mutual Creation

Mutual Creation
by Leonardo Pereznieto
Bronze, 13” x 7 1/2" X 6 1/4”

This sculpture represents the concept that a loving couple is always, to some degree, modeling each other, as well as letting themselves being modeled. Through their relationship they help build each other, they assist their partner to become better, and they inspire one another. They are, perpetually, in a mutual creation.


Following is the introduction that writer Claudia Moscovici made for it:

In the Symposium, Plato compared the process of artistic inspiration to the process of falling in love. Love, like artistic creation, begins as a form of strong physical attraction, the act of being drawn to someone or something’s beauty. But once you fall in love you come to know and appreciate the deeper aspects of the person you love, or, in the case of art, of the object you see and touch.

Leonardo Pereznieto’s sculpture, Mutual Creation, like Plato’s Dialogue, represents love as an inspired, creative process. What is striking about this sculpture is the fact that, as its title suggests, Leonardo acknowledges the mutuality of the process of loving, as well as that of artistic inspiration and creation. 

For Plato, in love there is an active lover (usually male) and a passive beloved (usually female or at least feminized), just like in art there is an inspired artist and an inspiring muse. Leonardo’s updated representation of Plato’s analogy between love and art, however, reveals a symmetry between man and woman, creator and muse, loved and beloved. The active and passive dichotomy is exposed as artificial.

Both the male and the female figures caress one another in a gesture that simultaneously reveals tenderness, attraction as well as the continual mutual inspiration without which love, like art, cannot exist.

On the Way to Heaven

This sculpture, entitled "On the Way to Heaven", is one of my favourite ones. It represents the concept that one person can help another to raise to higher spiritual states. That someone may assist another to elevate above the materialistic molasses in which we, in the current society, have swamped. 

I'd love to tell you the challenge it was to model it. 

As you probably know, in order to make a bronze sculpture, the model is first done in clay, to then take a cast of it in wax and finally found it in metal.

As usual, I made a wire structure and I started modelling the piece. I made progress, little by little over a few days. Of course, the more I added clay, the more it weighed.

To my amazement, one morning the sculpture had collapsed. The weigh had been too much. I had to un-make it so as to reinforce the wire structure, after which I remodeled it from the beginning.

Then, one afternoon in which I wasn't present, uninvited sun rays sneaked in the studio and hugged the piece. The material softened and the poor work of art down it went once more.

I realised the fine and thin pose and figures were not going to withstand their own weight, so I built an external metal structure with an upside down "L" shape, so the piece would hang from this "bridge", avoiding the force of gravity from causing havoc once again.

In this way I was finally able to complete the model. Hurrah!

Some time later the poet Claudia Moscovici wrote a presentation for this work. I'm copying it below. I hope you enjoy it.


Introduction to "On the Way to Heaven," sculpture in bronze: 

"On the Way to Heaven" represents the spirituality of passionate love.

Rodin was the first to show that sensuality and spirituality could be perfectly compatible; furthermore, for the first time we saw in art a woman locked in a man´s embrace that was´t violent or unwanted. Where do we go from Rodin to 
show the artistic development of passionate  sensuality? 

Leonardo Pereznieto shows us the way: to heaven. To old spiritual motifs like winged angels that enact new human relationships. The angel is a young man grasping a young woman that reaches up to him to uplift her; to bring her salvation. The young woman, her body equally beautiful and idealized as the angel´s, remains, however, earthly. Her pose is more ambivalent and complicated than his. 

She reaches out to the angel, extending her body on the tip of her toes, as if trying to be closer to her winged lover. At the same time, however, there´s a determination and immobility about her stance. As if she´s rooted to the earth and, despite her partner´s efforts, refuses to budge. 

Ultimately, this symmetry and counterpoint of effort and movement between lovers, raises the question: who´s pulling whom? Is the woman pulling her angel to earth or is he trying to raise her to heaven? And which place is the most adequate for a shared human life; for a life that weds the physical to the spiritual? This uplifting sculpture embodies the movement and ambivalence of 
modern metaphysical questions about how to find, through passionate love, some kind of meaning, solace and spirituality on earth. 

Professor Claudia Moscovici

University of Michigan