pedro reyes


  • Artist
  • Activist


During his fellowship, Pedro will continue to conduct community workshops, publications and exhibitions addressing the problem of weapon trade and to discuss legalization as a means to end the war on drugs.

Pedro Reyes uses sculpture, theater, seminars, public performances, and participation to address the interplay of physical and social space, calling for political and economic participation. Less interested in critiquing institutions than in reimagining them, Reyes uses art as a way to encourage collective and individual agency.

His works take on various forms, from penetrable vinyl sculptures to television production. In 2008, Pedro initiated his ongoing project Palas por Pistolas. In the first year, 1,527 guns were collected in a voluntary donation campaign and were melted down to produce the same number of shovels, to be used to plant the same number of trees. This led to Disarm (2012), in which hundreds of musical instruments were made from 6,700 weapons given to Pedro by the Mexican army. Disarm is now a traveling workshop in which teens and young adults transform weapons into instruments and write and perform pacifist songs.

Pedro has had solo exhibitions in Canada, Japan, Mexico, and the US. He has been featured in numerous group exhibitions in France, Germany, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and the US, and he participated in the 50th Venice Biennale. His most recent project is The People’s United Nations (pUN) (2013), a summit at which 193 delegates from every country in the world convened for a series of activities centered on global governance.