If you’ve been to art school, you know that art supplies can get really expensive. Some artists, however have been using a mixture of found materials and garbage instead of traditional ones not only as an inexpensive alternative but as a medium with a social statement. The following gallery is a collection of pieces from around the world that will make you think twice about what you consider to be trash.
What’s cool about this particular piece by self-proclaimed Baltimore hoarder, Donald Edwards is how the pieces of garbage that make up the greater whole may seem like a bit of a reach (for instance, how a cellphone could be a dog ear), but upon looking at the completed piece, the final result is rather remarkable.
This colorfully curated mandala-esque image of fragmented plastics by Mandy Barker has a particularly interesting use of materials in that being able to observe each individual fragment suggests an entire story of its own.
Photo used from Design Boom.
#8. Timely Emerald Hackberry Moth
The level of detail in the careful selection of broken piano keys, license plates and other found objects so seamlessly integrated into Michelle Stitzlein‘s work is so remarkable you could play “I spy” with the different pieces used.
#7. Filter Rabbit
While at a glance this rabbit sculpture by Tom Deininger appears cuddly and soft to the touch, the fact that it is made out of cigarette butts might change your mind about doing so.
Photo used from American Craft Council.
#6. The Great Indoors
This magnificent installation made out of approximately 15,000 PET bottles by Aurora Robson meticulously crafted is in her words an attempt to “take something negative and try to change the direction that it’s going in and turn it into something positive.”
#5. Thrown to the Wind
This massive 36 foot cyclone sculpture is the master work of Chinese artist Wang Zhiyuan. While the bright culmination of colors pop creating a beautiful sculpture, it simultaneously puts in perspective how much garbage we produce which was part of his inspiration behind the piece.
Photo used from My Modern Met
The painstaking detail in the shaping and coloring of these recycled plastics with careful lighting breathe such profound life in to this work by Aurora Robson that one might mistake it as a living microscopic creature.
At a first glance the materials Japanese artist Sayaka Ganz uses look like high grade engineered materials but are rather carefully repurposed plastics artistically inspired by a Shinto influenced philosophy behind her work that “if we value our resources we will waste less.”
Zac Freeman‘s junk art collage is particularly impressive in that most of the pieces of garbage used are placed carefully together just as they are to create piece of work that portrays an amazing amount of detail.
Photo used from UMW.
#1. Wild Mood Swings
In essence, junk art illustrates how garbage is often overlooked but can be used for something purposeful. This piece by UK-based artists, Tim Noble and Sue Webster does precisely that figuratively and literally: whats seems to be a mere pile of trash casts mind-blowingly detailed shadows of incredibly life-like people.