Brooklyn is an enormously diverse borough filled with people who possess a myriad of backgrounds, beliefs, and habits. NYC artist Jennifer Maravillas seeks to represent the vibrant nature of the streets with her project, “71 Square Miles“. The piece incorporates trash and torn magazine pages that were actually found on Brooklyn streets, cut up into shapes to represent individual city blocks.
Maravillas decided to use trash as her medium not only because it creates a visually engaging quilt-like effect, but because it is a material that will never be in short supply. By adding scraps to her 10 x 10 foot map, she is able to “represent the culture of the neighborhood” through a rainbow of colors, texts, and images. Each block in her map features refuse she gathers from her walks.
“My inspiration was to explore the city, meet people and get to know the entire borough instead of just the little pockets,” she tells Animal NY.
For Maravillas, trash is a remnant of human life and a byproduct of urban living. Each bit of paper is a piece of evidence that speaks to a very small part of the existence of a giant, bustling metropolis. She is documenting her work as she slowly fills the map through her blog.