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Trashy Artists: 2 To Pick Through

It’s doubtful that most would see a thrown out wrapper as a masterpiece.

However, garbage in all its cast off splendor has inspired many to delve into the material to produce more than a full wastebasket, but for reflective statement pieces.

Nico van Hoorn is into trash.

Some of his works have been entirely formed around what some may find less than appealing.

One series titled TRASHLOG was created by walking around for about 30 minutes each day and collecting litter. Beginning on May 5, 2002 and continuing through May 4th, 2005 the 3 year project was developed by strictly gathering what was discarded on the streets.

The artist stated that he didn’t even have to check trashcans since there was more than enough provided on the ground.

There were some requirements for the refuse selections, however. Including a size restriction they also had to be of metal, paper or plastic origin. Also, flat items were preferred since many of them were to be scanned and displayed in an online gallery.

He has even been known to document the horrors of illegal trash dumping. Check out his crime scene photos, but beware – they are unnaturally explicit.

Trashy Artists: 2 To Pick Through

Image source: nicovanhoorn.nl

Watch a typical day in the collection process:

Another artist known to pick up rubbish is Tim Gaudreau, who gathered garbage for 1 year for an exhibition. However, the waste that he collected and displayed was his own.

Self-portrait as Revealed by Trash: 365 days of photographing everything I threw out is an eye-opening piece into his reflection through a personal trash journal.

Each day for the year long recording process he took a picture of anything before throwing it away. If not camera ready he would jot down paper notes about the item, which in turn became part of the presentation as well.

Trashy Artists: 2 To Pick Through

Image source: orionmagazine.org

He said that prior to beginning the experiment, he thought of himself as environmentally responsible. He recycled, didn’t buy unneeded items and said that he really was not a mass consumer. He stated that the work had an effect on his consumption, as he was surprised at how much he was actually using and tossing out, especially with regard to things like food packaging.

Upon concluding the mission he had accumulated more than 5,000 photographs of various inorganic items.

He realized that no matter how eco savvy you intend to be, you still throw things away.

Though knowing litter and waste make a big dent in the environment, seeing what the average person or even on a larger scale, what the average streets produce in a given amount of time is astonishing and incites contemplation.

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