Guest Post: Art Goes Green

There seems to be a misconception in today’s society that in order for something to be “good” it must be worth a lot. In this regard, art is capable of breaking that monetary barrier by being able to transform something that may literally be worth nothing to somebody, i.e “trash”, into something that can be aesthetically pleasing to everybody. There is plenty of artwork being created by contemporary artists now a days that utilize “garbage” as a major component in their creative process of creating a finished piece of artwork as well as allowing the garbage itself to speak to the viewer as to what it is commenting on with the material. While most people would think of the famous Vik Muniz, who utilizes site specific throw a ways to create wonderful portraits of the native people he is visiting from the materials they work with, when they think about doing amazing things with “stuff,” A recent installation artwork that I had stumbled upon where the artist name was HA Schult‘s uses his Trash People around the world which invokes thought on just how much trash plays a roll in peoples everyday lives.

Trash People by HA Schult.                                                                                                                 Trash People by HA Schult.

Images courtesy HS Shult

HS Shult

Garbage seems to be the primary medium for this particular artist. He strives to make the viewer environmentally aware on just how much trash really does effect us and clearly shows this by the installations that he does. “We produce trash, are born from trash, and will turn back into trash.” The amount of garbage necessary to create these sculptures almost enough to make the figures themselves unnecessary but by having them it directly acts as an avenue that allows the viewer to become more emotionally attached to this personified material. And even though there are hundreds of the figures, he is able to make a statement at the cost of nothing more than going and digging for garbage. Now I am not telling you to go dumpster diving in search of materials, although if one wanted to I am not stopping you, however creating something interesting and meaningful does not need to cost anything other than time and the willpower to pursue an idea.

“The artist’s world is limitless.  It can be found anywhere, far from where he lives or a few feet away.  It is always on his doorstep.” Paul Strand

Art and You

So I know you are asking yourself well how do I get out there and do something creative. How do I go out there and create something of my own. Well utilizing the artist above, why not create a portrait of yourself. Does it have to be a literal portrait? Of course not. What if it was something that represents you and what you like to do or are interested in. Objects that are meaningful to yourself may have some value or interest in the person who also knows about these objects. Allowing others to enter into your work makes the work that much more meaningful to not just yourself but people around you. Here are some examples from a famous still living working artist Claes Oldenburg. However, If you are one of the people out there who are not quite the creative type, you are still in luck! spare parts is a great organization that allows teachers to inspire others by accepting donations for raw materials or art materials so their students can be creative as well! Check out the spare parts donation page for more information about what collect.


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Marc Korinchock is a spare parts’ intern. Learn more about him here!