Recycling is a hugely important part of our effort to take care of and live in harmony with the planet we call home, but it doesn’t just have to be reserved to municipal authorities or waste management companies. There are awesome and creative ways to recycle your old stuff that can be taken advantage of by almost anyone.
In her “Plastic Classics” series, British artist Jane Perkins uses almost anything she can find – buttons, plastic toys, LEGO pieces, etc. – to re-create recognizable iconic paintings like DaVinci’s Mona Lisa and portraits of stars like Albert Einstein and Nelson Mandela. Although she has her artistic roots in textile work, she works almost exclusively with plastic parts.
Mr. Finch, a reserved artist in England who goes only by this name, creates beautiful woodland creatures and plants that seem to have come right out of old English fables. Hares, spiders and mushrooms are recurring characters in his dream-like pieces, which are also inspired by British folklore and fairytales. They are all sewn out of vintage textiles, each of which has a story to tell.
There’s a lot of amazing recycled/upcycled art out there, but French artist Edouard Martinet stands out with his unique, recognizable style and pain-staking perfectionism and attention to detail. The insects and other critters that he crafts from spare parts look like fantastic creatures out of an alternate retro universe. Martinet collects old spare parts at flea markets and car part sales. He then assembles these parts into beautiful insects and other animals.
A Dutch artist named Sander Reijgers is recycling inflatable sex dolls into the most bizarre clothing. Perfect for a rainy weather, these waterproof hoodies were made by customizing existing tracksuit tops with heads, breasts and other pieces from 50 blow-up dolls that Sanders received from a “sponsor”.