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Garbage or art? What is Trash Art?

spazzatura creativa

One of the most serious and pressing problems in the world is global environmental pollution, so the conscious representatives of art have not stepped aside.

Trash Art is a contemporary art form in which industrial waste, parts of broken mechanisms and other household wastes are used to create art objects. Today it has acquired the utmost relevance and is one of the most widespread methods of creative “struggle” against environmental pollution and a cheap (or even free) way to express your talent.

The history of this trend in art begins in 1918, when the German Kurt Schwitters from Hannover began to experiment in the field of abstract art, attaching cigarette wrappers, ticket cut-outs, and other paper cut-outs with text on the surface, replacing ordinary paints. So, he can be called the founder of this style.

Sculptor Aurora Robson creates masterpieces from scraps. Her art objects retrain plastic into art before it is sent for recycling. While her initial work was with common household plastics such as water bottles and caps, then she focused on large sculptures made from industrial plastic. She also paints and creates three-dimensional collages made with junk mail and excess packaging.

Marina Debris takes garbage found on the beach and creates clothes, decorations and jewellery. She successfully promotes the concept of “Trashion” (Trash + Fashion).

Sculptures of Henrique Oliveira

Henrique Oliveira is a Brazilian artist who collects pieces of felled trees and creates real masterpieces from them. The result is dynamic works reminiscent of a painting. Oliveira tries to give a second life to trees, while simultaneously showing their aesthetics and invoking the preservation of nature.

Korean artist Choi So Young creates cityscapes from old jeans found in thrift stores. Each button, seam, pocket, belt loop has its place to represent a particular detail: they become a street, a window or a building. Very often Choi So Young “draws” her native city Busan – the largest port city in South Korea. At the age of twenty, this artist gained considerable popularity: one of her collages was sold by Christie’s in Hong Kong for several hundred thousand dollars.

Plastic monster

The Surfrider Foundation USA, a foundation dedicated to the protection of the oceans and beaches, has hired the famous British fashion photographer and portraitist John Rankin Waddell to capture from all angles a monster that environmentalists and surfers have made with plastic collected from the ocean. Well, it turned out to be very charming and at the same time disturbing and sad.

However, not everyone is able to understand the high “art of garbage”, so sometimes curious cases occur.

In 2001, a work of one of the most expensive artists of our time, Damien Hirst, made of cigarette butts and beer cans, was mistakenly thrown in the trash by a gallery cleaner.

Trash to trash… and RIP, an unfortunate masterpiece!

And Swiss artist Carol May lost one of her works at an art fair in Hong Kong. This is an installation called Unhappy Meal, reminiscent of a Happy Meal, a box of food and toys from the fast-food chain McDonald’s. The cleaner lady was obviously not a connoisseur of modern art and couldn’t tell the difference between an art object and an empty cardboard box from a fast-food restaurant and threw May’s work in the trash. And when she realized she was wrong, “Unhappy Meal” was already seriously damaged. Sad…

However, let us not lose heart! There is an unimaginable amount of garbage around us and every person with imagination and talent can always create his/her own masterpiece and contribute to the protection of the environment!

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