Instead of contemplating a series of sketches or attempting to envision how an artwork will come together, Portuguese artist Bordalo II (previously here and here) begins each of his animal sculptures in a grimy hunt for raw materials in junk yards or abandoned factories. Car bumpers, tires, door panels, mountains of malleable plastic bumpers, and even entire vehicles are stacked and bolted to the sides of buildings to resemble everything from pelicans to foxes and tiny rodents. The pieces grow on-site, taking form as he interprets the available materials. As a final detail each animal is finished with a flourish of spray paint that bestows a near lifelike quality.
Through his art, Bordalo II hopes to draw attention to our culture’s uncontrollable production of waste. “The idea is to depict nature itself, in this case animals, out of materials that are responsible for [their] destruction,” he shares with Colossal. In this way he hopes to make environmental destruction more visible. “Sometimes people don’t recognize that their simple routines are too much, we are using too many resources too fast and turning them into trash, waste, and pollution.”
Bordalo II was one of many artists recently involved with the Unexpected art project curated by JustKids in Ft. Smith, Arkansas where he created a new fox and opossum. He also constructed a flying squirrel at Street Art Jam 2016 in Estonia, and several pieces for the Aruba Art Fair. You can follow his recent work on Instagram.