A native of Medellin, Colombia, Pelaez was awarded his degree in architecture at the Pontificia Bolivariana University. He was then offered the prestigious opportunity to study at the Porta Romana State Institute of Art and then at the Studio Arts Center International in Florence, Italy. Returning to Colombia, Pelaez founded the internationally regarded Taller de Grabado la Estampa, Medellin. For twenty-five years, La Estampa has been a creative working studio for artists as well as an educational adjunct for university students. In 2000, Pelaez co-founded Pelaez & Etury Studio, Inc., a decorative art and design company in Florida. In 2010, Pelaez relocated to Oakland, CA.
Pelaez is represented by Etra Fine Art in Miami, and his next exhibition will be at the William Merrill gallery in Laguna Beach.
I am an architect, an artist trained in etching, and familiar with the world of design. When I am in the process of creating a work, as is the case with the series, “Art in Context” it is impossible for me not to weave together these three professions. That is why, among other things, this is a series of installations which occupy a three dimensional space.
Usually I begin by selecting an iconic artwork, such as a work by Klimt. Alternatively, I select an iconic piece of furniture such as a chair by Philippe Starck, or a bench by Frank Gehry. These become the protagonists in my work. Once the iconic work is chosen, I begin to create the “context.” I modify the image, leaving it recognizable, and from this main image I extract elements, - images, color etc. - to create the background or “wall” behind the central piece. This wall takes me outside the boundaries of the central artwork and there I play with the elements I consider the most significant and inspiring, often adding my own forms. Sometimes I repeat the elements in a graphic way. As a final step, if the original protagonist is two dimensional, I combine it with a three dimensional object, either a piece of furniture or perhaps a sculpture, on which I also intervene artistically. These foreground objects create a dialogue with the two dimensional work behind it. With some installations I also like to create a bridge in time by placing an iconic piece of history into a very contemporary setting. To create my installations, I manage different materials and techniques, and in the end I give them all a common language.