Creative reuse is the happy medium of artists expressing themselves while showing concern and drawing attention towards the health of our planet. If you’re someone looking to dive into the world of creative reuse, here are five artists to help get your creative juices flowing.
Guerra de la Paz Collective
Founded by Alain Guerra and Nerlado de la Paz, the Guerra de la Paz collective are Cuban artists from Miami. Using recycled clothing, they create colorful and eye-catching sculptures that tell a story. Many of their works are their interpretations of classic artworks and often convey profound political messages. As artists, they use materials usually discarded unnecessarily, such as clothing, to question how humans repeatedly consume and abandon items.
If you feel like you need to have especially abstract or unique products before you engage in creative reuse, one look at Yuken Teruya’s works will change your outlook entirely. Based out of New York and Berlin, Teruya uses a mixture of shopping bags, toilet paper rolls, and ordinary paper in his artwork.
Through these materials, he creates artwork based on the Japanese art of Kirigami, a form of origami where the paper is cut instead of folded. Most of Teruya’s works involve cutting complex tree shapes and pushing them through the bag’s interior.
Canadian-American artist Aurora Robson is no stranger to the idea of repurposing items that others deem as wasteful. Robson focuses on using plastic debris as art material to create beautiful sculptures.
The inspiration for her art stems from nightmares she had as a kid and forms found in nature. Her art pieces usually highlight environmental themes, and she aims to bring an increased level of awareness to plastic pollution and the adverse effects on our planet.
Shari Mendelson is an artist who brought an aspect of her private life into her life as an artist. She realized that she recycled and reused items in her everyday life, which moved her to incorporate more environmentally friendly practices into her private life.
Mendelson primarily works with historical ceramics, metal artifacts, and discarded plastics. By repurposing bottles and cutting them into pieces to align with her artwork, Mendelson gives hundreds of bottles a second shot at life.
Today, most people have forgotten all about floppy discs, which can be considered the modern-day USB drive’s grandfather. Although they’ve disappeared from stores worldwide, Nick Gentry is making good use of floppy discs and turning them into futuristic pieces of art. Gentry aims to create a “conversation between digital and analog processes.”
As someone who grew up in the age of floppy discs, VHS tapes, and cassettes, Gentry displays his fascination with the impact of internet culture through his work.
Imitate These Artists’ Environmental Sensibility!
There you have it! Five artists who are practicing creative reuse while spearheading environmental causes. With simple materials and methods, these artists produce artwork that uses recycled materials to encourage viewers to question their impact on the planet.