Each day, New Yorkers consume massive amounts of coffee, toted in disposable paper cups -- and each day for the past few months, one artist has been transforming those cups into art. For five days a week since last September, Gwyneth Leech has been busily hand drawing on her used cups which she collected over the last several years. Sitting in the glass prow at the busy Flatiron Building, Leech has created both a performance and recycle-art installation for the public to enjoy as they make their way to work. More than 800 cups showcase her drawings ranging from playful colored dots to detailed city scenes.
At the base of the Flatiron Building, a glass enclosed prow comes to a point, creating an awkward interior space, visible from both sides of the street. Inside, Leech sits on work days from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., with art supplies and markers fanned out before her, drawing on each cup. The cup designs range from abstracts and patterns to scenes Leech sees outside the window. There are images of specific passersby, visitors, and hotdog carts that are stationed near the Flatiron, floating alongside vibrant polka dots and squiggles.
As Leech finishes each colorful cup, she strings them with fishing line from the ceiling of the space. They sway and turn gently, giving the viewers on the outside the 360 degree view of each piece of art. From far away, they appear like gauzy colorful curtains. At night, they are illuminated, creating a bright patterned mirage at the base of the iconic building.
The project is a collaboration with dealer Cheryl McGinnis, who often curates projects that engage the public — and putting an artist and interactive exhibition in one of the most trafficked commuter areas couldn’t get any more engaging! Leech began recycling coffee cups into art a few years ago (at jury duty, no less) when faced with the boredom of waiting. The project not only allows the artist to upcycle used cups, but there is also an seemingly endless supply from coffee-addicted New Yorkers.
The installation is only on display for just a few more days, with Ms. Leech packing up her cups this Saturday. Make sure to stop by, maybe she’ll even draw you!
Via New York Times
all photos via Gwyneth’s Full Brew