with found objects
Lithuanian artist Agne Gintalaite has always been attracted to the “garage towns” of her native Lithuania—large areas filled with storage units for cars that were terribly inconvenient and often bus rides away from the owners’ homes. In her series Beauty Remains, Gintalaite explores the multitude of garage doors she has discovered on her explorations, the brightly colored wooden and metal doors that look as if time has tried to claw them to pieces, yet their vibrancy withstands each passing year.
Her project began after a recent trip to IKEA revealed a sprawling garage town near the megastore filled with hundreds of examples of these doors that outlasted the time when IKEAs were nowhere to be found. “By documenting these objects that are, most likely, about to disappear from Lithuanian society, I wished to communicate to the viewer the ambivalent, aesthetic, but also human significance of these garage doors,” said Gintalaite. “Beautifully painterly, these doors do not need be explained to the beholder. It is the fascinating play of colour and texture that I attempted to capture with my camera.”
In documenting these doors the artist also found herself documenting human dignity as the owners continue to hold onto their property in areas in which big businesses increasingly impede on the urban landscape. “As long as they last,” said Gintalaite, “this uncanny beauty remains.”
Gintalaite received her BA in Art History and Theory from Vilnius Academy of Arts in Lithuania, and is currently a freelance photographer and art director. You can find more of her work on her Tumblr and Behance. (via My Modern Met)
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Digging through electronic refuse and found metal in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi, Cyrus Kabiru refashions found materials into different wearable forms. Often these take the form of flamboyantly composed glasses, large eyewear that can often mask the entire face.
Kabiru explains that his glasses obsession started at a young age, and blossomed as his father crushed his dreams of owning his own pair. “When I was young, I used to admire real glasses but my dad was a bit harsh and he never wanted me to have real glasses. That’s the reason I started making the glasses.”
His creations situate themselves in several different areas of art, shuffling between performance, sculpture, and fashion—embodying the playfulness of the youth generation in Nairobi. “When you walk in town and you see someone with my glasses, the glasses will [get] all your attention,” said Kabiru. “If you have any stress it is like a therapy.”
In addition to his found object sculptures and glasses, Kabiru is a self-taught painter, his subject matter being humorous portrayal of contemporary Kenyan life. His most recent series uses thousands of bottle caps sewn together to depict African nature. “I really love trash. I try to give trash a second chance. I change it to be something else, which is like it will stay for more than 100 years now.” (via prosthetic knowledge)
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Kim Alsbrooks (previously) began painting historical portraits on crushed cans in 2004 while living in the South. The series “My White Trash Family” was born out of the frustration of prevailing ideologies of class distinction, ideas she decided to challenge by placing portraits of the past onto everyman’s consumerist leftovers. These paintings are typically depicted straight from 17th to 18th centuries, and tend to match the material environment they are placed upon (either through color choice, content, or both).
For each painting a gesso layer is applied first, followed by a drawn image in graphite, and finally oil paint and varnish. Alsbrooks only uses detritus she finds on the streets, faithfully sticking to cans that have already been trampled and crushed flat. Difficulty comes in finding the perfect cans, as they must be free of wrinkles that would impede upon on the paintings she places within the center of each surface.
Alsbrooks estimates that she has painted more than 700 of these portraits over the last 11 years, and the series will culminate with an exhibition at the Racine Art Museum in September of this year alongside jewelry maker Nikki Coupee. Alsbrooks often elaborates on the background of the portraits she paints, descriptions behind the portraits’ selection can be found on her blog here.
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Highlights below. For the full collection click here.