Installation is on view now

About The Artist

Courtesy of McColl Center for Art + Innovation

Charlotte artist Julio Gonzalez reminds us of the legacy of the Mayan people by creating contemporary art that draws on their culture and traditions. Born in Atlanta to a father of Mexican Aztec descent and a mother of Honduran Maya ancestry, Gonzalez has sought to reclaim this cultural heritage through his work. Attracted to the graphic forms and vivid line work of their glyphs, Gonzalez focused on his Maya heritage. Mining the resources of the Mint Museum, he examined the ceramics in the galleries and studied the copies of the codices held in the library until he was able to build on the pictorial language and cultural practices embodied by these objects. He adapted Maya to the forms of contemporary popular culture, so his drawings are graffiti instead of steles and temple friezes, while his headdresses are knit hats.

In these galleries, Gonzalez’s recent work is displayed alongside earlier examples of Maya culture. Sharing space, the ancient and new perpetuate a cycle of rejuvenation inherent to all vibrant cultures.

Julio Gonzalez’s installation for Interventions can be found in the “Art of the Ancient Americas” collection on the second floor of Mint Museum Randolph

Emergence #3, 2016, Mixed media on wood
Venganza, 2020, from The Scribe Series, Watercolor and ink on paper. Courtesy of the artist
Amuleto, 2020, from The Scribe Series, Watercolor and ink on paper. Courtesy of the artist
Quetzalcoatl, 2020, from The Scribe Series, Watercolor and ink on paper. Courtesy of the artist
Saliendo de la Cueva, 2020, from The Scribe Series, Watercolor and ink on paper. Courtesy of the artist
Cumpleaños, 2020, from The Scribe Series, Watercolor and ink on paper. Courtesy of the artist
Vive tu Sueño, 2020, from The Scribe Series, Watercolor and ink on paper. Courtesy of the artist
Tree of Life, 2020, Wool. Courtesy of the artist
Itzamná, 2015, Wool. Courtesy of the artist
Ah Puch, 2018, Wool. Courtesy of the artist
Two copies of the Gonzalez Pocket Codex, 2020, Ink on paper and artificial fur. Courtesy of the artist
Gonzalez Codex, 2018, Ink on paper and 3D printed plastic resin mounted on wood. Courtesy of Cassie Brown & John Cornely
Facsimile of Codex Peresianus (Codex Paris), 1968, Published Akademische Druck-u.Verlagsanstalt, Graz, Austria. Mint Museum Library Gift of Dr. Francis Robicsek

Interventions is a new series at the Mint in which contemporary works are placed amongst permanent collection installations to create a critical dialogue between past and present.