Whatcha Gonna Do with All that Junk?

(Image above: Dirty White Trash by Tim Nobel and Sue Webster)

You know the saying: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. And in some cases, it becomes another man’s art. For this edition of Green Scene, we dug up some of the coolest recycled art out there, from trash heap shadows to a sprawling, scrap metal city.

(Images above: Forevertron by Tom Every, Trash People by HA Schult, Ballbasket by Elizabeth Lundberg Morisette)

Whether it’s artist Elizabeth Lundberg Morisette’s whimsical Ballbasket (get it?) or Tom Every’s fantastical scrap metal world Forevertron, junk artists are out to shake us out of our usual views on ordinary objects and question their purpose and our relationships to them. Other artists, like German master HA Schult, choose to invade cities rather than create them. Schult’s traveling band of “Trash People” have stood on the streets of the world’s famous cities, from Cairo to New York City. Assembled from crushed aluminum cans, computer parts, and whatever else Schult finds, this silent, telling junk army draws viewers to think about not just trash as art, but what we are in this modern age. “We live in a trash time,” according to Schult. “We produce trash and we become trash. [The] ‘Trash People’ are images of ourselves. Like the pyramids of Giza send messages to us from times past, ‘Trash People’ will travel as a ‘now time expression’ to the world’s most important spots.”

(Images above: Sniff One by Robert Bradford, Filter Rabbit by Tom Deininger, Very Hungry God by Sobodh Gupta)

From a distance, these sculptures look deceptively normal. But step closer and conceptual artist Robert Bradford’s technicolor puppy dissolves into a mishmash of buttons, refrigerator magnets, and plastic toys, while Sobodh Gupta’s giant, gleaming skull breaks down into a frenzied assembly of metal parts. Or, if you’re that little rabbit, you look pretty adorable but reek of tobacco. Believe it or not, American artist Tom Deininger created this cute critter out of used cigarette filters that he collected from beach parking lots!

We’ll admit, when it comes to our trash, the most creative we get with it is recycling. But what about you, ModLovers? What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done with your old junk?


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  1. Avatar
    Mat 11/05/2009 at 7:08 pm #

    Hi. WOW. That first picture is WOW.

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    Hailee 11/05/2009 at 7:42 pm #

    I LOVE the silhouetted trash heap. It’s amazingly brilliant

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    jill 11/05/2009 at 7:44 pm #

    The “filter rabbit” is featured in an amazing exhibit at the Peabody Essex museum in Salem, MA (my turf!) right now. It’s called The Trash Menagerie and it features animals and other natural forms created out of recycled materials. Totally amazing.


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    Victoria 11/05/2009 at 8:46 pm #

    That is simply amazing and probably each of those took a while of collecting before creating. Thanks so much for sharing such beauty with us.

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    Sarah 11/05/2009 at 8:57 pm #

    Love love love!!!

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    Kristin 11/05/2009 at 10:05 pm #

    That trash-pile in the first picture is brilliant!

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    Kirstin 11/05/2009 at 10:59 pm #

    OMG!!!! I love it! Especially the button Dog.

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    monica burnett 11/05/2009 at 11:00 pm #

    wow, this post made me say “OH MY GOD!” out loud, silly!

    amazing, i love the first one.


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    Pam 11/05/2009 at 11:07 pm #

    That’s so cool.
    It inspires me to do something like that.

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    Mary 11/05/2009 at 11:57 pm #


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    Cherish 11/06/2009 at 5:30 am #

    We have a great recycled sculpture here in Vancouver, Washington. It’s brand new to us, I just blogged about it. Please visit & check her out!


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    L 11/09/2009 at 12:45 pm #

    love it!

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    Gigi 11/10/2009 at 12:13 am #

    This is amazing!

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