California-based artist Gregory Kloehn was tired of making sculptures for rich people. “It just sits there,” he said. “I kind of think that if you’re putting so much effort into something it would be nice if it actually did something.”
With the help of a close knit art community, Kloehn began his Homeless Homes Project, a collaborative endevour that provides sturdy, innovative and mobile shelters for the homeless.
They look like sculptures, but they actually serve a purpose.
Kloehn starts the process by installing beds, sinks, stoves, and storage shelves on regular old dumpsters and shipping containers. All of the ‘amenities’ are made with repurposed materials found on the streets.
To prove that his dumpster homes are fit to live, the artist put it to the test. He has actually lived in one that he built for himself, and fitted with such conveniences as granite counter topped kitchen, a microwave, a mini-stove, a fridge, and even a cushioned sofa.
With a successful run, Kloehn is a now a full-time home builder. So far he has built 10 tiny homes, some of which have already found tenants. (via Amusing Planet)
Mark Andrew Boyer, a Graduate student at UC Berkeley’s Journalism school, met Bob Anderson (the man featured on Boyer’s photographs), a former professional boxer, while on a walk through The Albany Bulb, a landfill situated on a fist-shaped peninsula that juts into the San Francisco Bay.
The Albany Bulb, serves the community’s poorest, as many homeless men and women call it, home.
“I was walking on the shore and heard some hammering in the distance. I followed the sound, and there was this guy building this huge structure.” -Boyer
That guy, as Boyer recalls him, is Bob Anderson, a man who has lived in the landfield since 2011 when he was forced to move out of his Berkley home after his mother’s death-since then he has become homeless. Before that, Anderson had been a professional boxer living and fighting in Las Vegas.
Bob is certainly not your average homeless man.
Anderson’s current place stands strong and tall amongst the highest of trash mounds found at The Albany Bulb. Its astonishing look- one that contains unintended artistic merit- captured the eye of Boyer whom was later compelled to photograph the life of Anderson is his landfill mansion.
The journalist spent a week with Anderson photographing him and his three-story domain, which upon closer inspection was even more amazing than it looked from the outside.
“There could be a shipping pallet next to a mirror next to a piece of plywood next to a mandolin that he’s shoved in between the cracks. It’s a really interesting mix of objects, it’s ever changing. Every time I went back it looked completely different. I went out for a walk once and he had stuck a wind surfing sail on the top of it.”
“Takeesha was working one of the streets in an empty industrial area. She called me over and said, ‘Hey, take my picture,’” Arnade recalls. “I was relatively cautious initially because I didn’t want to be insulting, but she opened up and started telling me her life story.”
A former Citigroup financier of 20 years, Chris Arnade, became disillusioned by the narrow-mindedness and greediness of the corporate world. As a way to escape his unhappiness in Wall Street, he started taking long walks with camera in hand. He strolled through Hunts Point in the Bronx, one of the city’s most dangerous neighborhoods. It was there, while on a walk around town, where he met a very friendly and honest prostitute named Takeesha.
She opened up, he photographed her. Astonished by her honesty, Chris insisted in creating a positive and honest image of her friend Takeesha.
From then on his life changed for the better. He traded his job for his new-found hobby: Taking honest and vibrant photographs of prostitutes, homeless people, and drug addicts in the South Bronx. He would not only take photographs of them, but he would also get acquainted and makes friends with these ‘rejects of society.’
“Hunts Point is a dark cloud with a silver lining. It’s people who are seemingly in the lowest of the low positions who are still somehow resilient. Those moments of resilience can be very optimistic.”
Although there are many whom are against his work (some calling it ‘exploitative’), Arnade stands by his images and his daily walks with pride. In a way, this is Arnade’s way to give back. See, Aranade grew up with the Catholic Church, a doctrine which taught him to do good in order to make up for the sins he’s committed in the past. Although always a very honest man, Arnade’s past with Wall Street haunts him daily, and his new found love of the camera and new friends make up for the piled guilt he felt for many years.
I want to make conventional portraits for unconventional people.
His images are simple, yet quite powerful. He captures these reject’s livelihood in a very honest and nonchalant way. The background is their native space and not a studio. Their clothes is not borrowed, but its theirs. Arnade’s images are crammed with damaged, but optimistic outlooks- he does not what to portray anything different; vulnerability is key. (via PolicyMic)