This year's Armory Arts Week has just come to a close, and Inhabitat was on hand to check out all the art happenings and great galleries. Each year, galleries and artists from all over the world invade several venues in Manhattan, bringing the most innovative art to New Yorkers and visitors alike. We've rounded up some of our favorite artists who expertly use upcycled and natural materials in their work exhibited at the SCOPE New York art fair.
Artists Fernando Mastrangelo and Ted Lawson, represented by Emmanuel Fremin Gallery, creates incredibly detailed sculptures our of organic materials like salt, sugar, corn, and even cremated human ash! For the fair, the artist created a wall sculpture entirely of salt and bonding agents. A swirling feat of geometric mastery, the circular sculpture is made up of hundreds of 3dimensional boxes, all of cast salt.
Strings of buttons were transformed into a penny farthing bicycle by Augusto Esquivel. Working almost exclusively in buttons, the artist likes to push the boundaries of such a common object, creating large scale hanging sculptures of colorful objects out of buttons. Using each button like a building block, he carefully hangs them my clear string to make up the whole of bicycles, wagons, and gumball machines.
Sheila Gallagher’s massive collages were shown in a Lower East Side Gallery this past year, and made an appearance at this year’s fair. Made from an array of recycled plastics, the conglomerations transform discarded bottle caps, LEGOs, pill bottles and toys into gorgeous colorful patterns of flowers and vines.
Metal artist Cal Lane carves intricate details into disused industrial metal objects, making even the most rusty object comparable to lace. Using a blow torch, the New York based artist carves flowers, birds, windows and other patterns into fuse boxes, shovels and even dumpsters!
We’ve seen many artists upcycle old books into art, and Alexander Robinson is a welcome addition. Using the actual book as a shadow box frame, the artist makes layered collages from vintage book plates, creating new narratives and visual interactions between great characters from literature.
Troy Abbott combines ancient bird cages with recycled technology. Abbott’s piece blur the lines between tangible and representational. For SCOPE, he created a series of recycled sculptures that featured small LCD screens that played video of pet birds, fusing the technological with vintage metal and electronics.
Using hundreds of popsicle sticks, Michael Murphy makes abstract sculptures of common themes. The massive red crucifix depicts Jesus on the cross, ingeniously using the popsicle sticks as a cross hatching tool. Murphy’s other piece, a stag head, uses layers upon layers of the sticks to build up the form, which is crowned with recycled popsicle stick antlers.
Artists continue to impress with their innovative use of recycled materials, bringing another great art fair week to a close!
Images © Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat