Tag Archives: unusual art

Can Trash Become Artistic Treasure?

scaled vector version of originalThe saying, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure,” seems as old as time. It is often said at garage sales and donation centers. For instance, a man might shout this when he finds the perfect 9 iron for 25 cents. Or, a woman when she finds a beautiful piece of artwork for pennies. Now, this statement is being proclaimed in art galleries around the world, and the trash being referenced is worth a whole lot more than a quarter.

From New York to Argentina and all the way to Rome, artists are proving trash is worth its weight in gold… and then some.

It wouldn’t be surprising if entrepreneur Justin Gignac could sell ice to Eskimos. After all, he has made a business out of selling trash to people all over the world. His company was not intentional but the by-product of a bet. In 2001 Gignac was an advocate for the concept of product packaging. He believed nicely packaged products would sell, even if the products were… well… trash.

He started creating NYC Garbage Cubes to prove this point. Gignac fills clear cubes with trash found on the streets and sells them for $50 per pop. He has sold over 1,400 of them. These NYC Garbage Cubes are believed to have made their ways into the homes of people in over 30 countries.

Unlike Gignac, nothing about Elisa Insua is packaged. The Argentinean artist describes her work as, “mixed media art.” To create a single piece she might combine hundreds of small items, like dice, pieces of jewelry, buttons and nails with a lot of out-of-the-box thinking. Insua puts these pieces together in creative ways and ultimately comes up with what she likes to call “resurrected trash.”

In Italy, one cleaning woman might find herself wishing trash would resurrect itself. An art exhibit in Bari included cookie crumbs scattered on the floor. It is easy to guess what happened to this display. She accidentally threw away an estimated $13,700 worth of artwork because she thought it was trash.

What one person sees as trash, another person considers treasure. Contemporary artwork is not always understood in its own time. Currently, the rising popularity of using trash as an art medium is anything but ordinary. In fact, it’s quite extraordinary. Who would have thought to collect and sell trash? Or use cookie crumbs in an art gallery exhibit? Perhaps Elisa Insua says it best with her term for the mixed art medium she loves. It is resurrected trash. In its new form, it is art.

Read more Segmation blog posts about out-of-the-box art:

Art Making from Unconventional Objects

Chalk Art Transforms the Sidewalk into a Canvas

Man Uses His Own Blood as an Art Medium

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Make Artist Famous with Hole-Punch Portraits

There are many different mediums with which to create art. Some of those art constituents include various types of paint, chalk pastels, charcoal pencils, mosaic fragments, metals, and the like. But would you ever imagine that hole punch dots could be used to craft incredible portraits? An artist from the United Kingdom is proving to the world that these dots are definitely a worthy art medium.

Artist Nikki Douthwaite has made a practice of collecting hole punch dots for the past three years. After sorting them by shade, she uses the dots to create portraits, which are “inspired by magazine photos,” of pop icons. The artist was led to use this particular medium after studying Gorges Seurat (pointalist artist) in school.

How exactly does one craft a large portrait out of hole punch dots? The answer is, with patience and very carefully. Douthwaite uses tweezers to place the dots onto her canvas. She commented, “I use the dots like paint. I do different colors for the feel of the picture, and there are thousands of colors in each piece.”

According to the artist, the most time-consuming aspect of the portrait process is composing subjects’ hair. Facial features are reportedly “easy.” Oddly, Nikki Douthwaite admitted that “the younger and prettier (a subject is), the harder I seem to find it, as there seems to be less distinguishing features.” Douthwaite reported that each of her works of art takes 6 to 15 weeks to complete.

Some of Nikki Douthwaite’s portrait subjects include Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, Jemi Hendrix, and Simon
Cowell. Monroe’s portrait required about 100,000 dots, whereas Cowell’s took an amazing 189,000 dots. The artist spent a liberal amount of time on all her pieces, include the portrait on John Lennon, which demanded 140,000 hole punch dots.

More and more artists are bringing art out of the box and demonstrating that the sky is truly the limit when it comes to art mediums. If hole punch dots are being used to create attention-grabbing art, imagine what other elements could be used to compose art that makes the world turn its head.

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