< Go Back

Alberto Pérez Soria

Alberto Pérez Soria (1938–1985) is one of the great unsung heroes of Mexico City sculpture. Some truly monumental works stand in Chapultepec Park, Section 2. Two striking bronze religious figures (of Juan Caballero y Ocio and Fray Junípero Serra stand prominently in the center of Querétaro.

But in Mexico City, the works of Pérez Soria are even more prolific. They've been climbed on, crawled over, and championed by some three generations of Mexico City tykes.

In 1969, already a psychedelic year in child psychology, the sculptor was commissioned to make zoomorphic sculptures for Mexican parks, and for the Mexican users. The commission came from the Institute for the Protection of Children (INPI)

Having attended the San Carlos Academy from 1957 to 1963, Pérez Soria had already collaborated on Luis Ortiz Monasterio's Nezahualcóyotl Fountain. Not far away, the corner figures on the Xochipilli Fountain were also Pérez Soria's work.

But the zoomorphic play figures remain his most important works. Originally intended to be cast in bronze, the proposal included a gorilla, elephant, bear, rhinoceros, giraffe, swan, turtle, hippopotamus, seal, and dolphin.

The proposal was later modified to produce the figures in cast concrete, in numbers far outnumbering the original proposal. The figures came to populate playgrounds all over Mexico. They've since been painted and repainted hundreds of times. Some were stolen. Others suffered damage over the years. But all of them remain archetypal figures that seem to Mexico City residents to have been pre-imprinted into the mind.

Below are some of the parks where you can still find Pérez Soria's iconic zoomorphic works. Of course, they're more fun if you bring along the kids.

1 - 11 of 11