Green Art: 10 Artists Working with Recycled Materials

David Edgar, "Green Fiesta Jellyfish Lamp"

David Edgar, "Green Fiesta Jellyfish Lamp"

The people of the United States alone toss out millions of plastic bottles every hour, and in a year, enough plastic film to shrink wrap Texas (which would be both a hilarious and horrifying feat.) Everyone knows it’s important to recycle, but it’s often hard to realize the consequences of forgetting about one little bottle; maybe we should consider not buying this stuff in the first place. (I drink out of the tap all the time, heck, I’d drink out of the hose.) Without getting on a soapbox, the following artists have made powerful statements about the ways in which we waste…. by re-using materials that would otherwise be thrown away, and removing paper and plastics completely from the recycling loop…. as even the act of recycling uses massive amounts of energy.

André Tempel

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André Tempel‘s alien sculptures look like they belong in the lair of an evil mastermind bent on destroying the planet. His works look like colorful WWII underwater mines, or rotors fitted with revolving saw blades. I feel like Frankenstein’s creature is about to emerge from this orange capsule.

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KOKOFREAKBEAN

KOKOFREAKBEAN is a maker living in San Antonio, Texas. KOKOFREAKBEAN creates videos of fractured childhoods and psychotic emotions, wrapped around a bouncy ball that won’t quit. If you push the play button, there won’t be many options left. It’s do or die, and this artist likes Kevorkian.

Kwong Kyung Yup

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Kwong Kyung Yup‘s latest series of paintings have calmness and warmth despite her subjects looking like victims of some tragic accident, bearing eye patches, bandages, and occasionally, tears. Her subjects seem to pierce through her canvas with knowing looks, her titles like “Audios,” “Bleached Memory,” “Childhood,” and “Memory of Love” suggest pain the artist might have felt in coming of age.

Stuart Semple

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After dying and coming back to life, Stuart Semple decided to become an artist. After years of hard work (and a controversy beginning with one of his sculptures, and ending with his smuggling his work into Charles Saatchi’s gallery), Semple has been able to get his name out. I love his quirky sensibility and use of color. (You might remember his happy pink clouds which he floated above the streets of London last year.)

Asger Carlsen

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Asger Carlsen is a camera user with escaping needs and wants. In the dialogue of grains and tones, the subjects escape through a hole in the sky. The moments captured deface, defile, and subvert – in the best way possible. I want more.

Love is Patient: Kelly Castro and Santiago Ortiz

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Mathy art. Photographer Kelly Castro (pictures) and artist Santiago Ortiz (collage) bring you “Love is Patient,” this interactive collage of photographs that’s based on a principle called the Voronoi algorithm, which involves polygons and points equidistant to other points, (I won’t even try to explain, try wiki if you feel inclined.) Ultimately, you get this cool ever-changing mash-up of black and white portraits where you’ll never see the same face twice.

Dave McDermott

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Artist Dave McDermott’s minimalistic approach to collage is what drew me into his work. This Santa Cruz, CA native is now living in New York. McDermott has a very unique interpretation to collage, giving two dimensional black and white photography color and dimension.