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10 Artists Working in Recycled Art

Large-scale pollution of the planet with household waste has become one of humanity's most urgent problems in the 21st century. As a result, the aesthetic image of cities and towns is lost, and their residents suffer from environmental pollution. The main reason is the irresponsible attitude to the waste generated from their consumer activities.

Thus, artists worldwide create abstract paintings on canvas and other art objects to draw attention to the environmental problems of the planet. They use various techniques when creating recycled art objects to evoke emotional reactions of the viewers, make them think, and look at the pollution issue from a different angle.

What Is Recycled Art and What Are Its Main Tasks?

Recycled art is a new trend in contemporary art, based on transforming old, obsolete household items into art objects. This "alternative art" is a protest against patterns and rules. From a preserving the environment viewpoint, recycled art is similar to eco-art. It aims to reduce the negative impact of various types of waste on the environment. Therefore, it is considered the direction of a global environmental movement. Its main principles are the conservation of natural resources and materials use reduction.

The main tasks of recycled art include the following:

  • Improvement of the current environmental situation;
  • Finding a balance between improving the form and function of design objects and the principles of an ecological approach;
  • Revision of materials and technologies according to environmental standards;
  • The formation of new consumption culture, the structure of needs based on the reduction of excess products;
  • Purposeful change society values through artistic images of design objects.

Famous Artists Creating Recycled Art Masterpieces

Today, many artists work in the style of recycled art. We will tell you about the most prominent of them. Carefully study this exciting information.

Vik Muniz

Vik Muniz is an American artist of Brazilian origin. His work is a real encyclopedia of the consciousness of a modern artist. Looking at it, you can make a lot of useful discoveries towards understanding and appreciating art. Muniz intrigues the world with his creations, striking with a variety of techniques, approaches, and ways of interpreting the reality around us. For him, world art history is not a frozen past but a constant source of inspiration and creative imagination, a starting point for communication with contemporaries.

Recycled masterpieces created by Muniz revive interest in the history of painting, and in a very natural way, without a shadow of edification and moralizing. Starting from the past masterpieces, the modern artist embodies them in such ordinary modern materials that the centuries-old distances are completely erased. As a result, the works cease to be only museum treasures and arouse the audience's keen interest. “Time” magazine named Vik Muniz one of the leading artists of the new millennium, and the New York Times recommended his work as a reliable anti-depressant, calling it "an idea wrapped in humor and surprise."

Derek Gores

Derek Gores has become world-famous for his stunning collages made from flyers, glossy magazines, postcards, etc. As the artist notes, a collage is not the right definition for his work. He calls himself the "Southeastern King of Scrapbooking". The artist creates his masterpieces under the influence of Max Ernst, Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, etc. According to Derek Gores, sometimes, he starts his next work from scratch. He just takes the cut pieces of paper and intuitively folds them one way or another until something original and exciting comes out.

Sometimes, on the contrary, the artist thinks about the idea for months, selects the materials, and only then proceeds to the implementation of the idea. Derek Gores successfully combines incompatible things in one work of art, thanks to which he attracts the audience's attention.

Tim Noble and Sue Webster

The art duo of British artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster create assemblages and installations from ordinary objects, but most often from the garbage. They then direct the light in a certain way to make the projected shadows look like something recognizable. Tim Noble and Sue Webster create art out of anti-art. The collision of opposites energizes their work: form and anti-form, high culture and anti-culture, feminine and masculine, and so on. The artists demonstrate how abstract forms can be transformed into figurative ones.

Guerra de la Paz

Two Cuban artists, Neraldo de la Paz and Alain Guerra perform under Guerra de la Paz name. The artists began active cooperation in 1996. They now reside in Miami, America. Having gained access to a huge amount of clothes, they began to use them as the main non-traditional material for making original art objects from recycled materials. A distinctive feature of the artists` art is the expression of irony over the modern world and the use of unconventional materials (clothing, etc.).

Nick Gentry

Nick Gentry is an aspiring British artist who became famous for his amazing paintings from old used floppy disks, audio, and video cassettes. It will be more correct to say that outdated media serve both as canvases and, at the same time, complement the drawings. Influenced by consumerism and cyberculture, reuse of things, and recycling, Nick puts a philosophical emphasis on the personal life of the many-sided user.

Wim Delvoye

Wim Delvoye is an artist whose work is known worldwide for his unparalleled experiments in neo-conceptual art. His works are ironic provocations, invariably shocking the viewer with witty, philosophical ideas and unusual use of materials, combined with love for skillful handicrafts.

Khalil Chishtee

Pakistani artist Khalil Chishtee makes sculptures from polyethylene. Unlike many other authors who work with recycled materials and want to focus on environmental issues in this way, Khalil Chishtee tries to show the audience something completely different. Khalil expresses his concern for people who have lost trust and faith by creating sculptures from garbage bags.

Each work of the author carries a deep meaning. For example, a person whose body turns into a ladder is an image of politicians who use all possible and impossible means to climb higher and higher on the career ladder, completely forgetting about such human values as friendship, love, and loyalty. Many of Khalil's works may seem rather sad to the viewer, but the author claims that they are all about real life and about people who are familiar with the discomfort and difficulties of the world around them.

Subodh Gupta

Indian artist Subodh Gupta's work spans installation, sculpture, photography, painting, performance, and video. The most unique recycled objects are metal kitchen installations and sculptures. The artist easily transforms the images of Indian everyday life into real works of art, understandable to the whole world.

Ptolemy Elrington

Ptolemy Elrington is one of the most famous artists in the world who produces art objects from household waste. His calling card is animal sculptures made from materials that seem to be the least suitable for this (car tires, equipment parts, scrap metal, etc.). The works created by Ptolemy Elrington are exhibited all over the world. He has repeatedly initiated major art projects, including for the World Wildlife Fund.

Yuken Teruya

A contemporary Japanese artist Yuken Teruya transforms the product of the consumer society, paper gift bags, into beautiful trees. He masterfully knows how to create masterpieces from the most trivial materials that emphasize the fragility of the world around us. Newspapers, cartons from toilet paper rolls, banknotes, and paper bags turn into delicate and deep art installations in the artist’s hands.

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