40 posts tagged Upcycling
40 posts tagged Upcycling
Toronto, Ontario-based artist David Irvine, of The Gnarled Branch, creates what he refers to as ‘Re-directed Paintings.’ He takes unremarkable paintings found in thrift store and flea markets and whimsically enhances them by strategically painting in pop culture characters and references. Old paintings that had been gathering dust and may well have ended up in a landfill are revived and transformed thanks to Irvine’s skilled and playful hand.
Head over to The Gnarled Branch Facebook page to check out more of his cleverly altered paintings as well as lots of his other artwork.
Today’s visit to the Archie McPhee Library explores a book that’s much more than a book, it’s A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel [Buy on Amazon] by British artist Tom Phillips. This amazing altered book began its literary life as a novel entitled A Human Document, written in 1892 by English writer W. H. Mallock. Fast-forward to 1966 when Tom Phillips bought the book for threepence at a junk shop in South London. He spent the next seven years painstakingly drawing, painting and collaging over each of the book’s 367 pages. Phillips left gaps in his artwork revealing some of the novel’s original text on each page. These exposed words tell the story of a new protagonist named Bill Toge, whose name only appears when the word “together” or “altogether” appears in W. H. Mallock’s original text.
When asked about the book, Phillips replied:
"It is a forgotten Victorian novel found by chance …I plundered, mined, and undermined its text to make it yield the ghosts of other possible stories, scenes, poems, erotic incidents, and surrealist catastrophes which seemed to lurk within its wall of words. As I worked on it, I replaced the text I’d stripped away with visual images of all kinds. It began to tell and depict, among other memories, dreams, and reflections, the sad story of Bill Toge, one of love’s casualties."
That’s how A Human Document became A Humument, but this extraordinary work of art is very much a work in progress. Philips has never stopped working on his splendidly altered book. Four revised editions have been published over the years, with the most recent Fifth Edition published in 2012. Each subsequent revision contains at least 50 new pages replacing their earlier versions. Phillip’s long-term goal is to eventually rework and replace every single page from the original 1970 edition.
In 2010 Tom Philips released a digital version of A Humument in the form of A Humument App for the iPad and iPhone.
[Images via Humument.com]
South Dakota-based artist John Lopez (previously featured here) creates awesome life-size sculptures of animals by welding together pieces of scrap metal, often pieces of abandoned farm machinery collected from local ranchers and farmers that he’s known since he was a kid. The creatures he creates are so lifelike that it’s hard to believe their myriad parts and pieces were ever used for anything else.
This awesome AT-AT sculpture was created by Denver, CO-based artist Derek Keenan using reclaimed skateboards. It measures 16 inches tall by 17 inches long and features articulated joints.
[via Super Punch]
A group of enterprising employees at a scrapyard in Jinan City, China are using salvaged materials from their own facility to create an awesome army of giant Transformers. It all started back in 2010 when one ambitious part-time employee at the scrapyard created a towering recycled replica of Optimus Prime (previously featured here):
"The PR and marketing student said he wanted to make something ‘eye-catching’ using discarded parts. “I thought if people could see something spectacular made from junk, it would highlight what we do here and we could get more customers,” he said. Li was right. The robot became immensely popular, winning a lot of praise from locals."
That first scrap metal Autobot received so much press and attention from passers-by that Li decided to build a second one. After that other workers decided to get involved and keep the effort going. In the space of just 4 months they’d built over 40 Transformers whatever materials they could get their hands on at work, such as parts from old cars and motorcycles. And they aren’t simply stationary figures - all of the mechanical limbs are posable.
They start off by downloading an animated image from the internet. “Before starting the robot manufacturing, we do not delineate our drawings,” said Guojun Long, one of the craftsmen. A large amount of what we do depends on our imagination, because each robot looks different and the same parts cannot be used.”
Each recycled robot is for sale, priced around 100,000 yuan ($16,000 USD). And just in case you’re worried that the yard might sell out of giant scrap-bots before you can get over there yourself, don’t worry, they workers are still making more.
London, Ontario-based artist Dave Vancook turns previously unremarkable thrift store paintings into geektastic through the careful addition of characters and vehicles from Star Wars. A cheesy bullfighter becomes Boba Fett on an awesome holiday in Spain while Greedo heads over to the Scottish Highlands for his own minibreak. Meanwhile Darth Vader stops to smell the roses and an Imperial Stormtrooper sits down to café au lait outside a French bistro.
[via Laughing Squid]
British artist Dean Patman has been fascinated by animals ever since he was little. As a child he drew them, but now he uses everyday objects like spoons, forks, teapots and knives to create impressively life-like animal sculptures.
"I’ve always been a little nutty about animals." he says, "At school my teachers soon learnt that the best way to motivate me was to make it about animals. I especially loved being able to draw or model them."
Visit Dean Patman’s website to check out more of his awesome found object animal sculptures.
New Knoxville, Ohio-based artist Gary Hovey sees silverware as much more than household utensils that simply sit in a draw when they aren’t in use. Hovey instead uses silverware - forks, knives and spoons alike - to create elaborate stainless steel animals sculptures.
"Upon first glance, the many wildlife figures, like birds, fish, and bears, have realistic shapes. It is only upon closer inspection that the details and texture of the materials become more clear. Each piece of flatware contributes unique qualities: fork prongs create layers of feathers and fur; spoons add rounded curves; and knives produce a shiny flat surface."
Visit Gary Hovey’s website to check out many more of his awesome cutlery creatures.
[via My Modern Metropolis]
British artist Bruce Munro uses massive quantities of reflective materials, such as used compact discs, to create beautiful large-scale outdoor installations that transform natural landscapes into vistas of shimmering light.
Often made of humble materials, Munro has often come back to the use of compact discs, a decision that the artist explains, “Initially I used discarded materials to save on costs. Soon material choices also became the subject matter of the installations,” he says of Light. “For me, there has to be a reason—however idiosyncratic—for everything I do and these days I am drawn more and more to the idea of creating an experience that is gentle on the landscape.”
Click here to view time-lapse video footage of the construction of Blue Moon on a Platter, the second installation pictured above, which features a 5-foot-wide orb made of coiled optic fibers at the center of a 92-foot-wide platter made of CDs.
Wilmington, Delaware-based artist Brian Marshall creates awesome robot sculptures by reusing just about any metal object he can get his hands on. Forgotten boxes in the backs of attics and garages are his treasure chests. For Marshall, building lively little robots out of old cutlery, spice tins and car parts isn’t simply a hobby, it’s an obsession. That’s why he created Adopt-a-bot: the Found Object Art Robot Assemblage Orphanage.
"Each robot is constructed almost entirely from reused materials. These materials are cleaned and polished to varying degrees depending on the persona I am attempting to achieve. Even the nuts and bolts that are used to hold together each creation are from a recycler. With simple, fun designs that contain easily recognizable pieces, it is my hope that viewers will not only find a personality to connect with, but that they will also see the value of and possibilities for reducing, reusing and recycling in our world today."