Brenda Gonzalez (she/her) is a mixed-media artist who investigates memory, especially regarding the passage of time and the idea of Home, through sculpture, collage, and animation. She strives to connect rose-colored nostalgia with elements of an imperfect present and her work draws inspiration largely from her experiences growing up as a Mexican American in East Los Angeles. She often uses materials sourced from thrift stores and dollar stores that could easily be found in a low-income American home, such as the one in which she grew up, and her work explores the idea of “making do” or “getting by” by seeking to imbue these deserted or nearly obsolete objects with new life. Gonzalez tries to use the textural qualities of objects such as placemats and bathmats or the tired nature of forlorn furniture to invoke the flora and fauna-like qualities that inspire what she calls her “creature” sculptures: amalgamations of objects stitched together by the idea that perhaps entities that are half memory and half make-believe may quell present-day anxieties. In her animations, she activates the malleable components of her sculptures to further explore the types of spaces these creatures inhabit and their reasons for existing in the first place. She wonders if the combination of objects imbued with memory could have the same soothing effect as a stuffed animal, for example, and questions what it is that may make a home, even if at times unkempt or broken, a space worth investing in emotionally.
Brenda Gonzalez was born and raised in East Los Angeles, California. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Dartmouth College in 2015, majoring in both Studio Art and Japanese Language and Literature. She continued her studies in art through a post-baccalaureate program at Brandeis University from 2017 to 2018. In 2020, she received her Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of California, Davis. She has shown work in Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Singapore. She lives and works in California and was the Spring 2023 Artist-in-Residence at Arts at Blue Roof's "A Room of One's Own" residency in South Los Angeles.