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The Trashy Art Project on Means Street
An artistic expression of society’s consumption-based disposable behavior


The Idea

The project is an artistic expression, an interpretation of our society’s consumption-based disposable consumerism. After observing the litter everyday on my neighborhood walks, I was inspired to not only collect and remove it from view, but also to create greater awareness of our wastefulness, excesses, and lack of responsibility from the images and messaging hidden in the litter itself.

The Collecting Process

Each day I collected the trash on a short strip of pavement just outside my studio door, 300 steps to be exact. Making this project even more interesting, this strip is located next to the Salvation Army drop-off center and is part of a newly designated Historic Landmark District in the City of Atlanta.

 

Some Self-imposed, Self-protection Rules

Using these rules, a week of trash was assembled, and then weighed, and assigned a number.

The Creative Process

Before beginning work on each piece, all the litter was cleaned and sorted by type; paper, plastic, metal, wood, color and texture. Then finding, hopefully inspiration in the material, it was assembled into the final artwork on a 32” X 32” base, with nothing added. No glue, paint, tape, or typical artist tools or material were used.

After completing a piece to my satisfaction, it was photographed for production as a digital print. Then the piece was reduced to trash again by disassembling it and sorting into recycling, reuse and disposal categories. The most interesting "finds" were set aside for a masterwork that was created at projects end.

Conclusion

Every day I went on a treasure hunt and in the process my neighborhood became a cleaner place. At the end of a year 52 photos 32” X 32” have been printed from the artistic expressions created from 52 weeks of trash. They are currently on display in my studio, along with the masterworks from the interesting items retained each week. These art works are a statement about our culture and the human condition. Enjoy.