Edgardo Carmona was born in Cartagena, Columbia to a mathematician father who encouraged his son to study Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration. Although he also studied painting and sculpture, Carmona embarked upon a career in constructing steel buildings and designing machines.
Edgardo Carmona’s Iron Sculptures in Downtown Fort Myers
In his sculptures, Colombian artist Edgardo Carmona showcases “likable characters that make Cartagena, Colombia, what it is.” The sculptures, all carved from rustic iron, depict characters and scenes from Mr. Carmona’s hometown, where he was born in 1950. The figures represent people who might otherwise not be featured in sculptures: A simple-minded boy fishing in a bucket, a woman caught on a windy day, two drunks on a park bench, men playing chess, a fruit seller, a knife sharpener and more. They represent “the commonality of real people,” Carmona said. The artist is pleased at the way his work looks in downtown Fort Myers. In his own words, “This place reminds me of my hometown of Cartagena, Colombia. It has a colonial feel that goes well with my pieces.”
Shipped overseas from Paris, the iron sculptures range from 200 to 1,000 pounds and up to 10 feet tall. They are currently installed throughout the River District until March 31. Since 2003, Mr. Carmons’s artwork has been exhibited in South America, Germany, and most recently in an 18-city tour of Europe, including Paris. Many of his works are on permanent display around the world, but this is Mr. Carmona’s first North American exhibit.
This exhibit is world class. Carmona’s sculptures come to Fort Myers compliments of fellow Colombians Eduardo Caballero (Carmona’s childhood friend in Cartagena, Colombia) and Abel Ramirez of the Miami-based JAXI Builders, Inc. The exhibit serves as both a public art gift and a kick-off to the sales of Allure, a 292-unit luxury condominium community to be built by JAXI Builders along the Caloosahatchee River, starting in 2017.
The sculptures are loosely grouped in clusters, and at each sculpture, there is an information brochure that gives the map and the name and description of the sculpture. The sculptures are all at a reasonable distance from each other, but they don’t necessarily stand out from their background–many of them are, by design, street scenes, so it is important to consult the map in order not to miss any. These sculptures are amazing. Not only is the artist working with metal–not the easiest kind of material to mold into human shapes and have it look like anything–but his most fascinating creations are immediately recognizable and capture a moment in time that conveys meaning to the observer.
Visitors to downtown Fort Myers attend the reveal of a public art display on Thursday entitled “Alure Your Senses” created by Columbian artist Edgardo Carmona. Video by Jack Hardman/The News-Press