Gustavo Vélez was born in 1975 (Medellín, Colombia). He began his studies in his hometown. Afterward he continued his formation in the Lorenzo de’ Medici Art Institute in Florence (Italy), and concluded his studies at the workshops in Pietrasanta, Italy.
In the last ten years, his artistic work has successfully entered the Asian continent with solo and collective exhibits in galleries of Tokyo, Utsunomiya, Iwaki, and Yokohama (Japan). In 2008, as a commemoration of the centenary of the bilateral relationship between Colombia and Japan, he held exhibitions in both countries.
In the past years, Gustavo has participated in exhibits of renowned galleries and museums in China, such as the Museum of the Imperial City of Beijing. He has also exhibited in art fairs like Art Shanghai (China), KIAF (Korea) and Art Stage (Singapore). In 2009, Gustavo was commissioned to create a monumental sculpture. He decided to develop the art project in Seoul, using a local Korean white marble rather than his usual Italian, Carrara marble. Flying was placed in the sculpture park Art Valley of Seoul (Korea).
How a Sculpture Is Born is his last group exhibition in the United States. It took place in the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Montgomery, Alabama. He displayed the first model of his sculpture Hipercúbicos, which is part of the permanent collection of the Museo dei Bozzetti in Pietrasanta, Italy.
In addition to his exhibits and participation in art fairs in Mexico, Venezuela, Peru, Panama, and Colombia, his works were also presented in museums throughout Ecuador and Colombia: Contemporary Museum of Guayaquil, Museum of Modern Art of Cuenca, Museum of Modern Art of Quito and the Museum of Art of Tolima.
In Colombia, he held the exhibit Gustavo Vélez, Cartagena de Indias which took place from December 2015 to March 2016. It is the biggest exhibition of monumental sculpture that has been seen in the city of Cartagena. The exhibition included 17 monumental sculptures, the great majority created by the artist in Italy, along with 30 sculptures of medium format. The exhibit was installed throughout the main spots of the historic city, and museums such as the Modern Art Museum of Cartagena, Historical Museum and Museum of Forticaciones.
In Europe, Gustavo has participated in art fairs like the Pinta of London, the Swab of Barcelona, Art Monaco, Art Madrid, and Summa Madrid. In addition, he has a consolidated trajectory of 20 years in Pietrasanta: the Italian cradle of international-level sculptors, where he arrived at a young age to master the techniques of carving marble.
In 2013, the maestro was elected as the featured talent for the annual solo exhibit in Pietrasanta. The history of the event features artists such as Igor Mitoraj, Luciano Vanji, Gio Pomodoro, Fernando Botero, Kan Yasuda, among others. Gustavo is the youngest artist to be honored in the history of this yearly event. The exhibit Gustavo Vélez Scultore a Pietrasanta ran for three months and it spread out over the iconic Piazza del Duomo and Chiesa di Sant’Agustino, with 34 sculptures, some with weights up to 9 tons and over 7 meters in height.
In July of 2015, he was chosen for the Homo Faber exhibit in Parco della Versiliana (Pietrasanta, Italy) in which the artist participated along with monumental works of Igor Mitoraj and Fernando Botero.
Vélez’s last individual exhibit in Europe was in the Museo Marino Marini of Pistoia, Italy (September - October 2015).
The artist currently divides his time between Pietrasanta (Italy), New York (USA) and Medellín (Colombia).
In 2013 Gustavo Vélez received “La Orden al Gran Caballero” from the Colombian Congress. In 2014 he was honored with “Orden de la Democracia Simón Bolívar” due to his achievements as an artist and recognition he brought to his country from overseas.
For a third consecutive year, both Sotheby’s and Phillips auction houses have included the sculptures of Vélez in their auctions of Latin American Art in New York, for which they have all attracted great interest and strong sales.