Argentinian-born and Mexico City-based Máximo González uses traditional craft techniques including drawing, folding, cutting and weaving to create collages and large-scale installations of found and recycled objects. His work encourages viewers to examine the ways we assign value to objects and what happens to that sense of value when we discard them. The devaluation of the national currency resulting from the 1990s economic turmoil in Argentina was a decisive influence on his early career. Gonzalez saw people throw money away as worthless and he began reinvesting it with meaning and significance by moving it into the arena of art. As he explained, “Reutilization as a form of vindication of disposed objects, by means of a transformation of these materials…is the uniting theme of my work.”
Employing such diverse materials as out-of-circulation currency, unspooled videotape, castoff aluminum flatware, colored light bulbs, slingshots, shredded paper, and blow-up globes, Gonzalez creates artworks large and small that transform society’s waste into a sublime vernacular and slyly question both assumptions about the value of material objects as well as official narratives of globalization, militarization, and economic exchange.
Gonzalez studied at the Institute of Art Josefina Conte in Argentina and moved to Mexico in 2003. He has had solo shows in Hospicio Cabañas Museum, Guadalajara (Mexico); Nuit Blanche, Toronto (Canada); Stanlee & Gerald Rubin Center, El Paso (USA); Los Angeles Craft and Folk Art Museum (USA) and Vancouver Art Gallery (Canada). His work was also included in the landmark 2007 exhibition Poetics of the Handmade at MOCA LA.