Money does grow on Máximo González's trees: The Argentinean artist collages their trunks, branches, roots, leaves, and fruits using bank notes that have been taken out of circulation. The delicate works are among his playful pieces -- many with environmental themes -- on display at Istanbul's Artane Art Gallery until May 28.
"The artist is known internationally for his series of works based on the ideas of 'reutilization and recycling' that make the audience think about the use of things that both have been created and later discarded by humans," the Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman wrote about the exhibit, titled "Something Like An Answer To Something."
Materials With 'Their Own Stories'
"The materials I use have their own stories," González, who is now based in Mexico City, told the paper. "I use all this energy and these ideas and make another art structure; in other words, I recycle all these materials and ideas and build a new concept, a new language, to express new ideas and, finally, new reflections."
Other works are more politically focused, incorporating old curriculum materials and political propaganda items from South American dictatorships, for example. A series of fanciful drawings -- titled "Project for the Reutilization of Obsolete Vehicles after the Extinction of Petrol" -- show the shells of boats, motor homes, pick-up trucks, and military equipment being used to grow fruit and vegetables.
"This is a very hopeful project," González told Today's Zaman. "The idea of reutilization here is that one day the oil will all be consumed. What will happen to all these vehicles? I offer to use these vehicles as flower pots to repair all the damage we caused in nature."