Recycled art is becoming more and more popular as our world is realizing the extreme importance of recycling. Many artists are finding amazing and creative ways to transform trash into treasure. Recycled art, AKA eco art, is a wonderful contribution not only to the world of art but to the world itself. Artists who integrate recyclable items into their artwork end up sparing the world millions of items that would otherwise be wasted, filling up landfills and polluting the earth. The following 10 artists demonstrate uniqueness, creativity, imagination, and the use of recyclable materials; these artistic factors have allowed them to create the most amazing and creative recycled art sculptures and portraits in the world. These top10 works of recycled art are in no particular order, each one of them exudes excellence and all are equally amazing in their own way!
Main Recycled Materials: Bicycles
Artists: Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector
This amazing recycled art sculpture, created by artists Mark Grieve and Ilana Spector, took its formation a few years back in Black Rock Desert, NV. The creative concept came from an assignment given to Mark Grieve to create an entryway into an area where a lot of people parked their bikes. Black Rock Desert, home to the yearly Burning Man Project, was the perfect site for their assignment.
Grieve and Spector collected the bicycles from the debris piles of nonprofit bicycle organizations that rebuild bikes for kids: Trips for Kids in Marin, Bici Centro in Santa Barbara, and Community Bikes in Santa Rosa. There were approximately 300 bikes in the artwork. The archway, entitled "Bike Arch," was definitely a sight to see, an amazing demonstration of their creative ideas. Sadly, the Bike Arch was only a temporary installation and the bicycles were eventually recycled. Spector and Grieve have created many other recycled eco-art pieces including Chrome in San Francisco, CA, Wheel Arch in Ventura, CA and Ride On! in Glendale, AZ & San Rafael, CA; all of their work is unique and quite amazing.
These creative artists are currently constructing a sixty-foot (five-story) obelisk for the City of Santa Rosa out of discarded bicycles; this recycled art piece will become part of their permanent collection. Grieve and Spector expect to have the project completed around May or June (2010), so if your near Santa Rosa, California stop by to check it out, if it's anything like their previous sculptures it's guaranteed to be a pretty amazing masterpiece! These two great guys have done the world great justice by creating awesome art that makes an eco friendly statement!
Moby the Frog
Main Recycled Materials: Cell Phones
Artist: Anthony Wilson
Moby the Frog was created by UK artist Anthony Wilson. Anthony's recycled art sculpture made its debut at the WWT London Wetland Center for The Love London Recycled Sculpture Show which launched on June 4th, 2009. The creative artwork is primarily made out of recycled cell phones which were donated by a large recycling company called Regenersis. Wilson's creative idea also had a wonderful purpose which was to promote a campaign to recycle cell phones.
Some of Wilson's other work includes amazing, unique sculptures of dinosaurs, monsters, and space invaders- all of which are made out of recyclable materials. Wilson's passion for his work combined with his message to recycle is a true inspiration.
All American Girl
Main Recycled Materials: Tax Forms and Political Junk Mail
Artist: Sandhi Schimmel Gold
American artist Sandhi Schimmel has mastered the art of transforming trash to treasure in her unique mosaics made of paper waste. Gold's exquisite work includes paper waste from: menus, junk mail, greetings cards, advertising brochures, and much more. She sculpts various papers, images and text, to form portraits unlike any you have ever seen! Her purpose as an artist is to create unique, amazing portraits while helping the environment by re-using commonly wasted products.
Schimmel used tax forms and political junk mail to create this stunning masterpiece shown above! Her collection includes many other amazing recycled art pieces, each unique and exquisite. All of her work is not only truly amazing but 100% eco-friendly!
Main Recycled Materials: Plastic Bags
Artist: Tone Holmen
These creatively constructed Polar Bears were first exhibited at the London Zoo on August 8th, 2008. Tone Holmen is a Norwegian eco friendly artist whose work addresses the climate change, maps, geography and landscape. Holmen notes that the theme for her artwork is, "climate change and how it affects our Earth." She has a special interest for the polar areas and the melting of the ice and glaciers.
According to Holmen, "The polar bears are made of used wood, chicken net and polystyrene to shape the body, I made strips of used plastic carrier bags and knotted them on to the chicken net to make the fur." Who knew that something so simple could make something so wonderful.
Tone has since made a few more of these creative recycled art pieces, some of which are kept in the garden of her London home, some with her agent, and for public viewing you can find a few these Polar Bears on display at Tesco's in Durrington, Worthing.
Main Recycled Materials:Toys
Artist: Robert Bradford
Artist Robert Bradford is well known for his use of children's toys, most of which are found at garage sales. He uses the recycled toys to create fun, unique, amazing art sculptures. Bradford's creative designs have been an international success. He began creating these masterpieces back in 2004. His inspiration came from a box of his children's toys which sat beside him in his work space. Some of his creative artwork includes up to 3,000 toys used for the amazing construction. It is also noted that some of Bradford's work is sold for up to (US) $19,000.
Bradford's work is often noted for its use of recycled materials. However, he notes that recycling was not intentionally his main purpose. Rather he simply prefers to "use materials that are not bland i.e. have some kind of history of weathering or use". Bradford has created many creative sculptures over the last few years; each piece is quite unique and fun. It was extremely difficult to choose only one of his masterpieces for this list! Other notable recent sculptures include a life size toy soldier and toy angel, two additional creative, amazing pieces of art!
Very Hungry God
Main Recycled Materials: Kitchen Utensils
Artist: Subodh Gupta
This creative recycled art sculpture was constructed in 2006 by Indian artist Subodh. Very Hungry God made its debut in Paris but it is now in the private collection of Francois Pinault, a billionaire French businessman with the biggest collection of contemporary art worldwide. At the time of this writing the amazing recycled art sculpture was on display outside of Pinault's Palazzo Grassi by the Grand Canal in Venice.
Gupta gets his inspiration from his childhood; he likes to include familiar items from his youth. This giant skull sculpture was created from stainless steel kitchen utensils, indeed an amazing way to construct creative recycled art!
Photographer: J. Gracey Stinson
The image of this life size recycled snowman was taken a couple of years back at the Santa Claus Parade in Orillia (Ontario, Can.) It was constructed by a local daycare center and made from Oscar Mayer "Lunchable" containers and empty recycled Kool Aide drink packages! What an awesome idea to use recycled children's lunch products, especially being put together by a daycare. Additionally, this unique piece was a creative way to teach kids to recycle. As for what happened to the recycled art structure after the parade, no one knows!
Main Recycled Materials: Scrap Metals
Artist: Tom Every
Artist Tom Every, known as Dr. Evermor, not only built a sculpture out of recycled materials but an entire park. The above photo, entitled Forevertron, is actually the world's largest scrap metal sculpture. This amazing recycled art is constructed from scraps that are up to 100 years old and include historic components like a decontamination chamber from the Apollo space mission.
Every spent over 10 years collecting the different pieces of scrap metal. In 1983 he began building Forevertron, the park also includes other recycled art displays including gigantic insects and a bird symphony. Forevertron itself stands 50 feet tall, 120 feet wide, 60 feet deep and weighs 320 tons. It is truly an amazing sight to see. The park is located in Wisconsin off Highway 12 in North Freedom, Baraboo, near Devil's Lake.
Main Recycled Materials: Motorcycle Parts
RoboSteel is a company that designs and creates amazing artwork from recycled cars, motorcycles, and airplanes. RoboSteel was approached by the Carole Nash International Motorcycle and Scooter Show to create this life sized sculpture made 100% of motorcycle parts. The creative and amazing recycled art sculpture, Motor Cycle Man AKA RoboMan, stands over 6 feet tall and consists of over 1000 motorcycle parts from manufacturers such as Yamaha and Suzuki. It took RoboSteel over 750 hours to construct this masterpiece! According to the RoboSteel website "the kind folks at MCI Exhibitions Ltd who run the NEC bike show have decided to offer the sculpture as a prize." Still waiting to see who is the winner of this amazing recycled art sculpture.
Main Recycled Materials: Computer Parts and Aluminum Cans
Artist: HA Schult
This is one of the largest displays of recycled art world wide. This amazing creation comes from the creative and bold artist, HA Schult. There are 1000 trash men in total, all of which are constructed out of aluminum cans, computer parts, and plastic. Schult began creating these life size sculptures in 1996, it took over 6 months and 30 assistants to complete this amazing project.
Schult made the decision to have the collection of recycled art figures travel the globe and show at the world's most prominent locations. To date, they have been displayed at over a dozen locations including the Egyptian Pyramids, China's Great Wall, La Grande Arche in Paris, New York NY and many more.
Schult's creative ideas stem from his response to contemporary issues. His work stands to make a statement and comes with a message. This traveling collection of recycled art is a bold and creative expression that physically allows the world to see the amount of waste they produce, now that is a message both strong and clear!
It is wonderful to see so many people use their creative abilities to make such huge contributions to the world, not only by sharing their talent but by sharing a message; a message which allows the world to see the extended lifecycle of materials that when put to use can be helpful instead of harmful. By finding creative ways to use recycled materials the above artists have created some of the most creative and amazing pieces of artwork. Each which makes its own bold and unique statement. Hopefully, it can be an inspiration to us all; a reminder that great things come from recycling and doing our part to save planet earth.