Mozart Guerra | Gone Global

Mozart Guerra | Gone Global

He is not the scatological young genius who made Salieri’s life a living hell. (At least according to Broadway and the silver screen.)


He is not that Mozart.


But his given name does suggest that he, like the deified music maestro, is “Beloved of God,” blessed with a special gift. But in the case of Mozart Guerra that gift has nothing to do with tickling the ivories.


This Mozart is a sculptor, whose work touches the borders of taxidermy, but then detours onto a path less traveled. His work is featured at Telluride’s Slate Gray Gallery throughout the month of August.


Taxidermy began in England in the early 19th century. An increased demand for leather meant that tanning or turning an animal’s skin into preserved leather became a thing, and that made preservation of species catalogued by naturalists commonplace. However, early taxidermy mounts were stuffed with sawdust and rags without real regard for actual anatomy. Not so with the work of Mozart Guerra, who churns out lifelike sculptures of animals (and much more) using simple found objects: nylon rope and styrofoam.


Funky, fun, modern, and quirky, Mozart’s works  – apes, monkeys, rhinos, rams, parrots, also geishas, flora, even portraits – are also subversive. Bottom line: the sculptural pieces subtlety underline the ambiguous relationship between man and nature, a dynamic that for centuries has seesawed between mutual destruction and admiration, underlined by the mere fact of taxidermy  – and variations on the theme like Mozart’s work.


Mozart Guerra appears to be completely himself in three dimensions, alternately a magician, comedic entertainer, and a tinkerer, with a gift for constant reinvention and an artist’s grasp of tactility in his forms. Born in 1962, Mozart studied architecture at the University Federal of Pernambuco. His resume includes working as a set designer for theater, cinema, and TV, while developing his sculpting skills.


Mozart moved to Paris in 1992, where he currently lives and works, taking part in various individual and group exhibits all over Belgium, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Spain.