Mauricio Gonzalez: On the Making
March 4 - April 15, 2017
Locust Projects, Miami
Locust Projects is proud to present On the Making, a room-scale sculptural installation by Miami-based, Cuban-born artist Mauricio Gonzalez. Combining found materials and the artist’s daily painting practice, the project considers reuse, recycling and the potentials of art as a functional tool within society.
On the Making reflects on its own creation. A scaffold fans out across the room, demarcating the boundary of Gonzalez’ installation; a makeshift display of plywood construction, anchored by cement poured into shopping bags, milk jugs and buckets. Mounted to this framework are two stacked rows of paintings that make a wall, or backdrop, grounding the installation. These paintings of swirling abstract forms, anxious raccoons and Zika scares reflect the daily goings-on of the artist’s life and studio; they are the everyday meditations of his practice.
There is a resourcefulness to Gonzalez’s work which makes use of a diversity of discarded and found objects, rescuing and reinventing materials and breathing into them renewed purpose. At the center of On the Making is a sculpture made from stacked, powder blue nightstands and strips of used, rubber baseboards that extend and wrap around the installation. Nestled within this assembled form are two compost toilets—provided by the Haitian-relief non-profit SOIL—with lids left open and seats exposed, painted the same muted blue. Returning to the same conditions from where it came, the project will live on in a practical capacity: at the end of the exhibition, the toilets themselves will be returned to SOIL and donated to Haiti relief efforts for use in areas with no plumbing infrastructure.
On the Making proposes different modes of creation, and calls attention to the peculiar economics of art-making today: a collection of cast plastic rings strewn around the installation are artifacts of the artist’s day job, where he makes jewelry. At every step, Gonzalez anchors his materials and practice to their economic realities. Social responsibility lies at the heart of this installation, and with it Gonzalez poses questions about the utility of art, the resources expended in its creation, and the resources produced—be they material or not—at its resolution.