How does that saying go again? "One man's trash is another man's... mural?" A talented young street artist from Lisbon has created a serious of mammoth-sized sculptures on the streets of his hometown: collecting local garbage and ingeniously constructing it into eye-popping 3D works of art.
Artur Bordalo, (otherwise known as Bordalo el Segundo or Bordalo II, in memory of his grandfather who was also a Lisbon-based artist), spends his days scouring the streets and rubbish dumps of Lisbon looking for artistic inspiration. Using anything from old tyres, twisted car bumpers, rusty hub caps and tangles of electrical cables, the artist has now created a series of giant artworks called "Trash Animals", turning the mundane, the ugly, and the discarded, into beautiful birds' feathers, fluffy racoons' fur and even the scales of a fish.
While his works are also exhibited in museums and galleries, they're mostly to be found outdoors: in urban and rural spaces, plastered high-up on walls, down back alleyways and on the sides of buildings just where you'd least expect to find them. But Bordalo II doesn't just want to give his fellow city-dwellers something nice to look at as they go about their daily lives. By choosing to sculpt animals in particular out of pieces of discarded junk - constructing the creatures out of the same materials that are threatening their livelihoods - he wanted to make them think too.
And while the artworks will begin to fall apart over time, the trash that makes up the sculptures will remain. This stark contrast between the permanence of the waste and the impermanence of the artworks themselves is also a part of Bordalo's creative concept. The trash comes from the street, and will eventually go back to it, he admits. By intercepting it along the way, and repurposing it into something visually striking, he wants to raise the public's awareness of our waste production and the consequences of our throwaway culture.