I stumbled across Mexican artist Aldo Rojas’ work and really like the thinking behind it. Rojas is a conceptual artist who is interested in social conflicts and popular expression. His art deals with socioeconomic disparities. He likes to shake things up by bringing these quotidian examples of contrasts in economic levels from the streets to the interiors of art world institutions.
For his Vasos de Lismoneros (Panhandlers’ Cups) Rojas, along with Alfredo Wigueras, bought used cups from several panhandlers. They enjoyed the irony in these corporate brand cups starting as a tool for commercial consumption, subsequently converted to garbage, then rescued by the homeless panhandler and converted into a working tool once again, of a different sort, with the final twist in the artists buying these cups again and making them into ‘art’, exhibiting them in galleries, once again converting them into merchandise but in a completely different circle and social class.
Rojas’ other projects make similar statements and poke a bit of fun at the art world as well. His Mexico a Traves de sus Paletas (Mexico as seen through its Lollipops) is a collection of different style lollipops from different sections of Mexico City. Mobiliario Urbano Informal: Mingitorios Personales (Informal Urban Furniture: Personal Urinals) are a collection of bottled urine (from Evian water intake) in PET bottles, representing the bottles left around Mexico City by bus, truck and taxi drivers due to the lack of public toilets.
Lastly, Rojas’ Colecta de Conos (Cone Collection) depicts the lack of quality control in the cheap brand of cones typically dispensed to lower income families by ice cream cone carts in the parks of Mexico City, displaying them as a chromatic palette.