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Pinosova holds open studio for concrete functional yard art

By Jennie Purdue


Katerina Pinosova with sculpted concrete planter

These cement sculpture “creatures,” or beings, as Katerina Pinosova calls them, are strangely powerful with their multiple heads and arms; their open mouths and snake-like tails that glide from level to level of an already existing fountain. Or in a Mexican terrace garden, their twisting necks, much more peaceful than Hydra heads, form an elegant planter for a burst of hot pink petunias and spreading purple alyssum that trail below its elegant protrusions.

Functional concrete art open studio
Katerina Pinosova
Sat, Jul 12, 3-7pm
Callejón de Alcocer 10A (alternately called Callejon Valle Alcocer) above Colonia Valle de Maiz, near the SAPASMA water office, blue garage door with sign

This functional garden art will be featured at an open studio offered by Pinosova on July12, 3-7pm. in upper ColoniaValle del Maiz. Birdbaths and planters will be displayed, as well as concepts for other garden art. Most of Pinosova’s pieces are made to order for the buyer.  A birdbath, for example, for a sanmiguelense with a lush garden, and three cats who would be pleased to dine on delicate fowl, was built to over five feet high, with a basin rim prohibitive to jumping.

But sculpture is not Pinosova’s only artistic expression. Pinosova, a visual artist as well as a poet published in both English and Czech, is a member of the Czech and Slovak Surrealist Group, which was formed in 1924 by the Czech poet Vitezslav Nezval, and which roughly paralleled the formation of a similar Parisian group. There are currently Surrealist groups in the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Sweden, and other countries. According to Pinosova, Surrealists “do not care about their public achievements, but participate together in activities that motivate and inspire each other.” She adds, “Surrealism is not art, in the general sense of the word. It produces art, but as a by-product of something that is more important—the process of creating, the process of revealing the depth of reality.”

Pinosova was born in Czechoslovakia when it was part of the Soviet Bloc. She was a teenager when Soviet control collapsed and the Czech Republic was formed. Married to novelist Christopher Cook, Pinosova has in recent years lived in Mexico, the Czech Republic, and the United States. She accepts commissions for her sculpture internationally, and earlier this year completed work in Austin, Texas.

Pinosova says the process of completing cement sculpture is governed by time, due to the nature of working with concrete. Initially a framework is built, using a construction-type metal gauze whose abrasiveness creates a surface to hold the first layer of cement. The industrial-strength gauze is twisted into a rough approximation of the three-dimensional shape the sculpture will assume. But it is the successive layers of cement, which must be added at precisely the right time in the process of drying that brings the sculpture to life.

At this point, the “being” begins to take its unique form to become an original piece or art.

Pinosova teaches classes in cement sculpture, as well as papier maché. The classes last approximately two days, but as they are arranged individually, the time may vary. Information about classes can be found on the Face Book page, “Creative Workshops in San Miguel de Allende.”

These functional garden art pieces can act as centerpieces for gardens, or dramatically define a portion of the setting. They withstand years of sun and rain, as well as wind. And, as one owner of a Pinosova sculptural planter says, “Its presence grows and changes, year by year, and season by season, according to what I plant in it.”

Jennie Purdue is an area writer, and an intern for SOL: English Writing In Mexico, a literary magazine.

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