Garbage cans, busted appliances, and even entire cars are free game for Bordalo II, a Portugal-based street artist who turns urban trash into amazing larger-than-life animal sculptures. These giant and colorful 3D murals are immediately eye-catching and a sure-fire hit with both kids and adults. But beyond their adorable exterior lies a darker message that speaks to society’s wasteful habits and the negative impacts of trash on the environment and our animal friends.
We’ve featured Bordalo II’s works around the streets of Lisbon previously, and the prolific artist has continued to spread his environmental message around the world from the Unexpected art project in Ft. Smith, Arkansas to the Street Art Jam 2016 in Estonia. His lifelike animal sculptures are made almost entirely from trash and other locally found waste materials that he upcycles into new forms. The mixed-media base is then spray painted to bring life to his works of art.
His animal artworks are part of a series that he calls “Big Trash Animal” designed to bring attention to how a wasteful society harms animals. His newest additions to the series highlight animals both small and large, from tiny rodents to foxes. These artworks, which he hopes renders environmental destruction more visible, span more than just the sides of walls—the artist has taken his craft to freestanding works, fences, and even to the side of a drifting, decrepit ship.
Images via Bordalo II