October 4th, 1975
Gustavo Vélez's passion for sculpture started at an early age. Ever since he was a
little child, Gustavo was certain of what destiny had in store for him: Art. After
finishing high school, which he alternated with sculpture studies at the Institute of
Fine Arts and the Eladio Velez School in his hometown, he decided to travel to
Florence as an existential choice. He attended the Lorenzo de Medici Academy in
Florence (Italy) and concluded his training in the workshops of Pietrasanta (Italy), a
place he has attended for over 20 years and where his sculpture studio is currently
Gustavo V.lez's work has been present in Asia for over 10 years. Exhibitions,
participation in art fairs, as well as the installation of sculptures in public and private
collections in China, Japan, Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Singapore talk
about his broad career in this continent.
In Japan, he has exhibited in galleries in Tokyo, Utsunomiya, Iwaki and Yokohama.
Gustavo has been a promoter of cultural exchange with artists from Japan and Korea
for several years now. For this reason, in 2008 he was invited to the exhibition on
the occasion of the centenary of bilateral relations between Japan and Colombia.
One of his monumental sculptures (Flying, Korean White Marble) is part of the Art
Valley Sculpture Park collection in Seoul, Korea.
In China, Velez has exhibited in renowned galleries and museums such as the
Museum of the Imperial City of Zhengzhou and has monumental sculptures placed
in cities like Shenzhen and Nanjing, among others.
His works have been exhibited in Fairs, Galleries and Museums in France, Italy and
In Italy, he has an already consolidated a solid trajectory as an artist present in
Pietrasanta, region of the Italian Tuscany, where he arrived in 1996 and where he
keeps most of his marble and bronze works.
In 2013 he was chosen for the individual exhibition of sculpture that takes place in
this Italian town, home of worldwide renown sculptors and artists like Igor Mitoraj,
Luciano Vanji, Novello Finotti, Gio Pomodoro, Fernando Botero, Manolo Valdez,
among others. With this exhibition Gustavo became the youngest artist to intervene
in the emblematic Piazza del Duomo and the Chiesa di Sant`Agostino with
sculptures in bronze, steel and marble that were up to seven meters high and eight
tons in weight.
In July 2015 he was invited, together with sculptors Igor Mitoraj and Fernando
Botero, to the "Homo Faber" exhibition, in which V.lez participated with monumental
works that embellished the Parco della Versiliana during the warm Italian summer.
His works have been exhibited in solo shows at museums such as the Marino Marini
in Pistoia, Italy and the Bernard Boesch in La Baule, France. His works are also part
of the permanent collection of the Museo dei Bozetti in Pietrasanta, Italy.
In the American continent, he has participated in fairs and exhibitions in the United
States, Ecuador, Mexico, Venezuela, Panama, Colombia and Peru.
In 2011 and 2012 his sculptures could be admired in the Archaeological and
Contemporary Museum of Guayaquil, the Museum of Modern Art of Cuenca and the
Museum of Modern Art of Quito, in Ecuador. As well as in the Museum of Art of
The sketch of his work "Hypercubes", which is part of the permanent collection of
the Museo Dei Bozzetti in Pietrasanta, was showcased in the "How a Sculpture is
born" exhibition, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Montgomery, Alabama (USA).
His inclination towards monumentality and an invitation to exhibit in his native
country, led him to create the exhibition "Gustavo Velez Cartagena de Indias"
inaugurated in December 2015, with 17 monumental sculptures, mostly made by the
artist in Italy, and 30 medium format works. The exhibition was open for three months
in the main squares of the Historical Center and museums such as the Museum of
Modern Art of Cartagena, the Historical Museum and the Museum of Fortifications,
becoming the largest exhibition of monumental sculpture ever seen in the city.
In the last two years he has had solo shows such as "Poetics in Three Dimensions"
at the Duque Arango Gallery in Medellin, "Geometric Abstraction" at the Art of the
World Gallery in Houston, Texas and "Origin" at the Enlace Arte Contempor.neo
gallery in Lima, Peru. This year he installed a 4 meter high sculpture in the new office
complex of the Apple technology company located in San Diego, California.
Over the past five years the auction houses Sotheby ́s and Phillips have included
Velez's sculptures for Latin American art auctions in New York and his works have
been successfully auctioned.
In 2013 Velez received the "Order to the Great Knight", distinction granted by the
Congress of the Republic of Colombia and in April 2014 he was awarded the "Order
of Democracy Simon Bolivar" in the grade of Official Cross, for his achievements as
a sculptor and the worthy representation he has made of Colombian art abroad.
He has also been honored with the "Golden Star of Antioquia Culture" and the "Order
of Merit don Juan del Corral" Gold Degree for his contributions to culture and the
The last recognition made to his artistic career is the "Medal of Educational and
Cultural Merit Porfirio Barba Jacob" Gold Category awarded by the Mayor's Office
of Medellin, Colombia.
Selection of works in Collections
Gustavo Velez's works are part of collections around the world at notable locations
like the Hiki Hospital in Utsunomiya and the Akasaka Palace bldg in Tokyo, Japan;
the Raffles Hotel in Shenzhen and the Ritz Carlton in Nanjing, China; the Museum
of Contemporary Art in Guayaquil (Ecuador), Casa de Campo (Dominican Republic),
Art Valley (Seoul, Korea); Dei Bozzetti Museum (Pietrasanta, Italy), the Trump
Ocean Club in Panama City and the Apple headquarters in San Diego (California,
USA), among others.
In Colombia, his sculptures can be seen at Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, the
Sabaneta Metro Station and the Santo Domingo MetroCable Station in Medell.n, in
the main parks of municipalities such as Bello and Fredonia, as well as in the Tolima
Governor's Office and the Tolima Art Museum in Ibagu..