Eladio de Mora (Toledo, 1960), better known as Demo, is the Spanish artist who created the sculpture of David that travels the world dressed by Missoni. It is currently on view at Miami Dade College North Campus until April 2013.
His vast body of work includes brightly colored cows, rhinos, ducks, doves, dancers, clowns and robots. He creates sculptures for display in public spaces, usually in series.
Demo is the author of a logo many Spaniards love, “Inocente Inocente”. Every year, the Inocente Inocente Foundation organizes a gala that is broadcast by Spanish television, attracting a record number of viewers to raise funds for underprivileged children. Demo also created the statuette given to award recipients for their commitment to vulnerable children with special needs.
His art statement reads: “As any well-versed, creative person knows perfectly well, creation is an unfinished journey; it is a point of departure, never of arrival. Just as the third dimension opened the door that allowed me to begin molding the matter, my daily walks give me the pleasure of observing objects that appear before me, in which I’ve discovered my source of inspiration, the representation of our society and our times. Few things define us as much as our utensils. Most likely when our time has passed, and our descendants are thousands of millennia into the future, just as in a futuristic fantasy, our domestic objects and tools will continue to tell our story, the same way the vessels, coins, or the combs women wore on their hair, tell us about classical Rome or Carthage. But we also get a message from their sculptures, because sculpture is one of the arts with the greatest projection of the future.”
What interests you about fashion?
I am interested in everything related to fashion. The design, production, commercialization, and of course, the designers. Some of them are great artists. It is a world very similar to art.
Missoni chose me. They liked my sculpture of David, and we both thought it would be very interesting to unite a universal icon of ideal beauty, David, with a contemporary fashion icon, Missoni textiles.
How do you get to the classic, from pop art?
I believe that with a few minor touches, almost everything can be transformed into today’s pop art.
You have used interesting materials (fiberglass, steel, polyester and resins) for the sculptures found in this series that includes David. Why have you chosen these materials?
I use many different materials: steel, iron, wood, fiberglass, polyester, etc. In particular polyester and fiberglass allow me to control the weight and make corrections in the manufacturing process, and above all I can choose any finishing I want.
Talking about this project, you’ve said that your idea is to make five Venuses and five Davids. When will they be ready? Will they still wear Missoni?
The initial project, before the Missoni David, was to repeat it in colors, perhaps including Venus also in different colors. I have not ruled out the initial plan, and the Venus model is already finished with a height of five meters. The serialization of sculptures is deeply rooted within my work. I believe that if a piece is repeated with the same color or a different one, the impact is multiplied. For instance, I installed 20 ducks in in the fountains of Columbus, Cibeles, Neptune and Atocha in the Paseo de la Castellana in Madrid. At the time, we were having a drought in Spain. Long ago, La Castellana was a livestock road where herds of animals passed during their seasonal migration, and every year they pass by as a symbolic reminder. The impact in the city was enormous. Possibly, a Venus will wear a Missoni fabric, and no more.
What will be the final destination of those Venuses and Davids?
For now, they will continue travelling around the world.
How did your David come to Miami after New York, Barcelona and Madrid?
The directors of Miami Dade College were informed that the David was in NY, and we all thought it would be very interesting to install it in one of the school’s campuses. To start, the sculpture will be displayed until the end of April of 2013.
You mentioned a commission from the UN to make a “Dove of Peace”, and an upcoming exhibition in Paris in which the object of representation will be the rooster. Tell me about these projects.
That is correct. In the middle of this year, the UN, through its NGO, Women Together, asked me to design the “Dove of Peace” award. I gave them the sculpture in time for the International Day of Peace, but due to organizational problems, the event was postponed.
Do you work in your own atelier, I mean, do you execute your pieces yourself?
I work in my own studio, although I have other workshops that work with me. I personally supervise the entire process involving all my works.
Tell me about your creative process.
I work from observation. From the moment I conceive a new piece until it sees the light, it may take days or even years. First comes the idea. Once it matures, it becomes the model, in small or definitive format. And then comes the actual production. ■