We’ve seen how music can be made from waste, but what about art? Below, we’ve listed some of our favourite artists who make beautiful sculptures out of rubbish for your perusal. From a huge metallic skull made out of old kitchen utensils, to a jaguar made out of satellite dishes, and thumb-sized robots, these talented artists take everyday objects and turn them into something beautiful. In the words of The Beautiful South (what happened to them?): “one man’s rubbish is another man’s gold”.
We love these canines by Canterbury-based artist Robert Bradford. Bursting with colour, his sculptures are made from abandoned children’s toys and bits of brightly-coloured plastic. If you look closely, you can spot the odd plastic sword and once-abandoned action figure given a new lease of life!
Subodh Gupta is one of India’s most famous artists, and you only need to glance at his work to realise why! Gupta takes everyday Indian objects, like tiffin boxes, thali pans and coat hangers, and turns them into monumental, metallic sculptures. His shiny skulls are probably his most famous pieces, but we’re also rather fond of his gorilla made out of coat hangers. On a note unrelated to recycling, his bronze-sculpture ‘Cosmic Battle‘ is truly breathtaking!
Brian at work in his studio.
Sticking with the metallic theme, Portland-based sculptor Brian Mock sure knows how to use a welding torch! With it, he transforms hundreds of discarded nuts and bolts and other assorted metal scraps into striking pieces of art. His life-sized dogs are our particular favourite, but he’s also adept at fashioning objects as varied as birds, fish and Gibson guitars!
A staggering 9.5 million newspapers are bought every day in the UK, and that’s only including the top ten London-based publications. That’s a lot of wasted paper, so we doubt supplies of Will Kurt’z preferred art material will be running out anytime soon! Kurtz, a landscape-architect-turned-artist, transforms old newspapers into life-sized and rather realistic people and everyday tableuxs. The result is uncanny and a little unsettling!
Back on home shores, London sculptor Michelle Reader creates striking pieces from the detritus of everyday life. Of her work, she says: “These sculptures highlight man’s effect on the natural world in an age of mass consumption.” Plus, they’re very easy on the eye too! This colourful jaguar was made of out satellite dishes, remote controls and other assorted bits of rubbish.
Using salvaged electronic parts, Anthony Oh’s teeny-tiny robots are just plain adorable. There’s one named ‘Astrono’ fashioned from (what appears to be) an electric candle fitting, and ‘CapsuleBros’, twin robots created out of old webcams. We want one! We promise we’ll walk it every day!