Kolamic Ofrendas, 2007-11

I started playing with garbage in Baltimore, an American post-industrial city that in recent decades has suffered an exodus of people and businesses. What remains is a city with neighborhoods that have more buildings than residents. One does not have to look hard in these abandoned spaces to find furniture (and more) lying in the middle of the street—a lot of material at hand. Imagine my surprise when I arrived in Mexico City where garbage is actually sold! With so many people and so little space, even shoes without a pair have value. I understood that if I wanted to keep making art from trash I would have to buy it. And so it was that I began to understand the dynamics of waste, that its quantity and value depends heavily on the economy of the society that creates it. Unfortunately, I have also learned that there is much too much trash. No matter where I am, I find something thrown away to play with, and I hope that the people who come across my reorganized garbage meditations take pause to consider why they are there.