By Alejandra Saldana
A native of Argentina, Máximo González is a Mexico City-based artist well known for crafting works that involve the study of popular culture, contemporary politics, and the reutilization of materials. González uses ordinary, mundane objects that are so common and easily produced, that they almost become disposable. He uses items such as plastic fly swatters and infuses them with a handmade elegance, which spawns a fresh and unanticipated reflection on the significance of value and utility.
Among the everyday objects that González employs are non-circulating banknotes, light bulbs, and slingshots. González has an abundant portfolio of work involving the use of devalued currency, which was inspired by the Argentine Economic Crisis that took place in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In using currency that no longer had any usable value, he created intricate works that gave in a sense, gave some value back to the currency. González works in a manner that brings his obsessive personality to light by creating meticulously crafted works that are both mentally and time consuming.
In addition to creating original artwork, González promotes the work of emerging artists through an ongoing project known as Changarrito. Founded in 2004 by the artist himself, Changarrito offers alternative platforms for artists working in various media to display and sell their art. This venture occurs simultaneously at venues where Maximo is showing his own exhibits.
The installation Magnificent Warning was in production for a little over a week and involved González himself, as he directed Rubin Center student interns and student volunteers in the installation of his works. Maximo also participated hands-on in the installation, but was for the majority of the time involved in guiding the students as they installed his works—which undeniably provided the students with the experience of working in a genuine museum environment.
Maximo’s Website: http://www.maximogonzalez.info/?lang=en
Rubin Center’s Website: http://academics.utep.edu/Default.aspx?alias=academics.utep.edu/visualarts
Photographed by Alejandra Saldana