Because one man’s trash is another man’s wicked cool artwork.

Just because something’s no longer able to carry out its intended function doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily useless. From old bike parts to discarded computer components, we explore the work of artists able to see beyond the bin to envision artwork that’s innovatively novel and environmentally friendly – and perhaps even beautiful. Let’s just hope they washed everything first.

Justin de la Doux


This (very, very scary) lamp, designed in the shape of a (very, very) scary sea angler fish was made by one Justin de la Doux. Crafted out of knives, bicycle parts and even a shovel, it’s guaranteed to get people talking when they come to visit. Or, if you’re a more antisocial type, you could place it in a window to keep pesky friends, family and low-flying birds away. Bliss.

Leonardo Ulian


London-based artist Leonardo Ulian solders computer circuits, components and microchips to create the delicate technological artworks in his Technological Mandalas series. Inspired by “what has been hidden from the eyes of the consumer” in the electronics industry’s ongoing “search for perfection”, Leonardo’s mandalas do not serve any technological function (as the parts once did when they were part of a bigger piece of technology), but rather operate on a purely aesthetic level.

Carolina Fontoura Alzaga


In her CONNECT series, Los Angeles-based artist builds functioning chandeliers out of discarded bicycle parts like chains and wheels. You can even buy one at her Etsy shop! As impressive as they are, we’re not sure if we’ll see old Queenie putting one up in Buckingham Palace anytime soon though.

Scott Gundersen


If you’re ever stuck for a drinking buddy, Scott Gundersen is your man – the Michigan-based artist is in the habit of collecting thousands of used and recycled wine corks to make his large-scale portraits. If you’re a fan of a glass of Pinot or two of an evening, why not save up the corks to make a portrait of your own, as per the how-to video below? How very adult Art Attack of you.

Peter McFarlane


Sculptor, mixed media and installation artist Peter McFarlane uses objects that most people would consider as bin-worthy for the central basis of his work. Annoyed with the speed of computer redundancy he frequently saw at his day job as a computer sales consultant (we’re going to assume he’s not an iPhone fan), Peter decided to give circuit boards a new lease of life. Inspired by nature, he initially created a series of circuit board landscape paintings, and later expanded the concept to include 3D circuit board sculptures.


The Junk King


We’re probably all a little guilty of hoarding to some extent, whether it’s old magazines, clothes or half-empty bottles of shampoo in the shower. However, I’ll bet actual money that none of you have anything on Texas’ Junk Man (also known as Vincent Hannemann). Having steadily amassed all manner of discarded rubbish since 1988, he managed to stockpile enough to transform his thousands upon thousands of finds into one giant Cathedral of Junk. Bet that draw full of dead batteries you’ve got in the kitchen isn’t looking so bad now, is it?

Words: Charlotte McManus


About Charlotte McManus

Editor for and Freelance writer - The Creator's Project, SUPERSUPER!, Don't Panic, FAULT, Flux, Who's Jack & more.

Posted on 24/05/2013, in Art and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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