3D Street Art Made From Recycled Trash

In Portugal’s capital city, a local artist is using garbage to make people think. Arturo “Bordalo II” uses discarded auto parts, scrap metal, and garbage to create colorful, larger-than-life 3D murals of animals. The animals represent the habitats humans have destroyed in their accumulation and discarding of stuff. He wants to raise the awareness of the way humans are destroying the environment and polluting the Earth. Bordalo II creates animals that have suffered a loss due to destruction by humans.

Reclaimed Wood Transformed into Immersive Geometric Installations

Using discarded housing materials as her medium, Australian-American artist Serra Victoria Bothwell Fels creates large-scale geometric installations that you can climb inside. Predominantly made from the wood lathe found in old plaster walls, her work plays with the uniform structures of a crystal, repeating layered triangles that link together into a human enveloping whole.

Old Skateboards Stacked, Shaven, & Polished Into Colorful Wooden Mosaic Sculptures

An avid skater with an infatuation for all things skateboarding and art, Haroshi found a way to combine his passions and re-purpose old, broken skateboards at the same time. The sculptor collects broken skate decks and turns them into beautiful, 3D wooden mosaic art works. In this series called HARVEST, he re-purposed skate decks into colorful creatures, including pop culture icons like Mario. Some of his designs are 2D wall mosaics, others look like smooth colored statues. A fun fact about Haroshi’s 3D sculptures is that they also have a metal part from broken boards hidden inside their layers of wood, which he believes give soul to the statue. The idea for this came from 12th Century Japanese Buddha sculptor Unkei who would place a crystal ball inside the sculpture where the Buddha’s heart would be.

Humongous Turtle Made Out of Old Scrap Metal

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. Indonesian artist Ono Gaf creates large scale sculptures by welding together thousands of pieces of metal scraps from bicycles, cars, and machines. With his signature steampunk style, his most recent piece is this gigantic turtle. The 64 year old artist lives a very modest life in a tiny kampong with his wife, but is rich with happiness living out his dreams as an artist. He has held 11 exhibitions so far.

This Cumulus Accumulates: Designers Create Cloud Made From Over 53,000 Pieces of Trash

New York-based architects and designers STUDIO KCA take trash to high places with their massive installation, Head in the Clouds. Assembled with 53,780 plastic jugs and bottles loosely strung together around an aluminum frame, Head in the Clouds creates a dreamy, billowing structure complete with an airy interior pavilion accommodating fifty people.

Selçuk Yılmaz Transforms 4,000 Pieces of Metal Into A Majestic Lion Sculpture

As the saying goes, one man’s trash in another man’s treasure and that is certainly the case for Turkish artist Selçuk Yılmaz, who gathered 4,000 pieces of metal scraps for his latest creation. He spent 10 months hammering each piece and intricately arranging them to create a massive, beautiful lion. He calls the piece Aslan, which is Turkish for “lion”. The final product measures 10.8 ft x 6.06 ft and weighs 551 lbs. It is amazing to see a sharp, stiff material transformed into a smooth, flowing, life-like creature.

Repurposed ‘BaskeTREE’ Sculptures by Amy Santoferraro

Repurposed ‘BaskeTREE’ Sculptures by Amy Santoferraro

Amy Santoferraro looks at a cheaply produced kitsch object and thinks, “Wow, that would make really great art.” After experiencing this sculpture I began to realize that I am being blinded to the true visual beauty of kitsch. Somehow, that same type of cheap plastic makes it’s way into my life and I end up resenting it, first, because its doesn’t look nice next to my iPod, and second, because I am going to have to put it in a landfill and feel bad about it. The color of that old easter basket is actually kind of nice… and the texture of that dish-sponge is incredible… and that fly-swatter! Amy Santoferraro removes the immediate functional connotations from everyday objects and reinvents them as playful landscape compositions in a series she calls ‘BaskeTREE.’

Old Toys Get Remixed Into Classic Paintings & Famous Faces

1 Jane Perkins

With plastic toys in every fast food kids meal and birthdays and holidays galore, little plastic figurines and accessories are quite abundant in our landfills. Jane Perkins has an artful way of repurposing these little trinkets in her textile pieces, combining them with buttons, beads, and other small pieces that are often thrown in the trash. The British artist collects many of her found materials from Car Boot sales, which is the UK’s version of a yard or garage sale and insists that she never alters the colors of any materials. Once she takes her treasures home, she sorts them out by color and uses a hot glue gun to attach them in the perfect positions to re-create famous pieces, like The Girl with the Pearl Earring and the Mona Lisa, or stunning portraits of famous figures.

Curiously Awesome Altoid Tin Sculptures by Carolyn Ribstein

1 polymer clay on Altiod tins.

Arguably the best breath mint in the world, Altoids have been around since the 18th century. Curiously strong and delicious, they aren’t the most eco-friendly breath mint out there if consumers throw the tins away, but Carolyn Ribstein has repurposed them in a stylish way. Using polymer clay, she creates beautiful sculptures on the used tins. From Van Gogh’s Starry Night to her own designs, each piece is a work of art that takes a lot of patience and care. She first made jewelry out of the polymer clay; the tins started as unique home-made gifts for her friends and family members.

Sculptures and Tree Wraps Created From Thousands of Clothespins

1 gerry stecca

It’s hard to believe that there was a time when there were no clothes dryers and people used the sun’s energy to dry their washed clothing. Now dryers account for almost 6 percent of energy consumption in the U.S., releasing up to a ton of CO2 into the environment per household each year and in some states it’s illegal to hang your clothes outside to dry! (Time) In 2007, the last factory manufacturing clothespins in the United States was closed. They could not compete with the ever growing Chinese market. To bring awareness to these issues, artist Gerry Stecca creates magnificent sculptures out of clothespins.