The Guatemalan artist, born in 1966 and a graduate of the country’s National School of Fine Arts, spends his working time between his home country and Mexico. The globe-trotting artist, who spent time at the University of Silpakorn in Thailand under a UNESCO scholarship, states that Guatemala lacks sufficient foundry facilities required to undertake his work.
After preliminary sketching sessions on paper, small studies of his works are constructed using Plasticine, ceramic clay or gypsum whilst metal frames are used to facilitate the silicone mould-making process. Patination and finishing are then completed in Leiva’s Guatemalan workshop.
Max Leiva's work focuses mostly on the figure. His style is informed by his tavels around the world, from Switzerland to Bangkok, where he lived for two years. This life experience allows Leiva to embrace a wide visual field in converging world cultures. From Mayan to European and American avant-garde art, the vocabulary of his work integrates the merging of families, of tribes and of cultures.
His artistic path materializes in the figurative or the abstract*, claiming not only his roots from the Mayan culture of Central America, but also his experiences traveling the world.
The artist states: "I like what I do, and I do not think much about the reasons that have led me to be a sculptor or where this may lead. The demands of art are not tangible; they do not belong to the world of needs. This is why I believe it is a constant act of defiance, which happily provides freedom.I want people to get to know my work better. I want them to take their time to observe it more. I intend this to be a meditative exercise. I want to take the spectator on a journey of understanding and feeling my work. Although some sculptures call upon more contemplation than others".
Leiva is a well respected artist with works featured in the collections of Museo de Arte Latinoamericano - MOLAA, Los Ángeles, California, USA, Museo San Juan del Obispo, La Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala Museo Olímpico, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Max Leiva is currently featured in a solo museum exhibition at the Museo de Arte Moderno de El Salvador.
Max Leiva, artista e scultore, si è diplomato all’Accademia di Belle Arti in Guatemala nel 1993. Dal 1990 ha approfondito le sue capacità artistiche presso grandi scultori come Dagoberto Vasquez, con il quale ha successivamente collaborato nel 1998, perfezionando la tecnica della fusione in bronzo; la formazione accademica di Max Leiva è di fondamentale importanza per la sua produzione artistica.
Sin dal 1996 l’artista ha realizzato una serie di opere monumentali oggi situate in spazi pubblici, come ad esempio il monumento a “Pedro de Bethancourt” (2000), situato nell’aeroporto Boulevard Aurora (città del Guatemala), dedicato al primo Santo del Guatemala e del Centro America.