Posts Tagged ‘Street Art’

Catadores at the World Cup

Friday, June 27, 2014

Since Iran has been thoroughly eliminated from the competition, and the U.S. has safely passed to the next round, I have through the weekend to watch some good soccer without worrying about the fate of my nations. And that means more time to wonder what happens to all the World Cup trash. This piece on Brazilian catadores sorting tourist trash for recyclable materials warmed by heart.

Even more fascinating, however, is the Pimp My Carroça project, which I discovered via this fabulous CityLab article about street artists making trash cans look like backpacks worn by squat men. From what I can gather, the name translates roughly as “pimp my trash cart” and involves raising the visibility of Brazil’s trash pickers and the challenges they face using creative art projects.


(photo via Metalgassi)

Both the first article and the art collective note that Brazil boasts one of the world’s highest rates of can recycling, thanks in large part to the catadores.

To tell the story of this community, French filmmaker Rémi Pinaud (in collaboration with Pimp My Carroça) hopes to complete his project O Cafofo, or The Castle, a fictional film about a trash picker and his two daughters whose home in a high rise housing project in São Paulo comes under threat when the city starts “cleaning up” to host the World Cup.

You can support the project here.

Chewing Gum Artist Finds Tiny Canvasses Everywhere

Thursday, July 25, 2013

I love this street artist, turning discarded gum into canvasses, trash into an opportunity for whimsy. You are welcome in New York, Ben Wilson.


Chapeau, Douglas Brodoff. Thanks for sharing this video.

Dumpster divers on the high art seas

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Photo via New York Magazine

As you may have heard, a crew of 30 artists, gearheads and dumpster divers from Brooklyn rolled up to the Venice Biennial in a fleet of vessels made of New York City trash. They built the boats to resemble one the street artist Swoon saw in a dream.

While I have mixed feelings about the often self-congratulatory artistic happenings that come out of North Brooklyn and the street art scene in general, I can appreciate that my skepticism is both a bit knee-jerk and shared by the practictioners themselves. For example, I first learned about Swoon when I heard her speak on a panel on street art where divirsity came up a lot (in that self-conscious way it tends to in academic settings referencing hip hop culture), as did the fact that the mostly white street art scene (born of art schools) benefits from the same badass caché now afforded to grafitti (born of the ghetto) while the “risks” taken by the “outlaw” artists of today’s movement don’t match those taken by the bombers of the 80’s. Not by the farthest stretch of the imagination. Case in point: you’ll notice the NY Mag article uses Swoon’s real name repeatedly. Let’s see if she gets arrested for vandilism.

That said, potential jail time isn’t a prerequisite I use when judging art I like. And I truly enjoy the wheatpaste prints Swoon puts up around town. Sometimes, art is just pretty and fun. Bonus points for using trash.

“The culture of eating and building out of Dumpsters is not an endpoint, not what any of us wants to be doing,” Swoon says. “It’s about living off a bad culture that we wish didn’t exist and making the resources that contribute to that situation no longer available to you.”

For more on Swoon, I recommend searching the lovely and amazing clearinghouse, Wooster Collective. That’s how I found this Walrus TV video.

Hey, Victor, note that they may take these trash ships to the Copenhagen climate change meeting. Now that might spice things up!

Can’t get enough? More photos are over at PSFK.

Ride the Subway

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Remember Joshua Allen Harris‘ adorable air bear, air giraffe and eclectic air zoo? If the plastic bag polar bears in this Ad Council bit aren’t Harris’ work, they are based directly on it. It looks like air animals have gained an even more overt political voice—promoting public transport—than the obvious and embedded message (don’t litter).

I discovered this clip over on GreenMuze while browsing for more photos of the fabulous giant orange recycled bunnies I’d seen on Olympia Dumpster Divers this morning. Check them out.

The Big Rabbits in Portofino, Italy via GreenMuse

The Big Rabbits in Portofino, Italy via GreenMuse

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