This past year, Rome-based artist Christine Finley (C. Finley) transformed garbage dumpsters into beautiful pieces of street art with her Wallpapered Dumpster Project. Using leftover wallpaper from a set dressing job in Los Angeles, Finley decided to draw attention to the immense amount of trash that piles up in dumpsters with her own brand of “polite graffiti.”

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Urban waste and dumpsters are an often ignored by-product of city life. Finley’s wallpapered dumpsters are an act of environmental activism that seeks to address the enormity of the issue, while beautifying (and feminizing) the actual problem: overconsumption. Finley has tackled dumpsters in Los Angeles, New York, and across Europe. Each is met with delight and incites conversation amongst passersby, which has not only gained Finley international attention in the art world, but also accomplishes her plight of bringing our trash problemout into the open.

While papering near the New Museum here in New York, Finley created a “How To” video. Since street art has become such a cooperative effort that people are excited about, she wanted to invite others to create their own wallpapered trash in their towns. The more beautified dumpsters that are out there, the more we will think about what we throw into them, which stands to change our attitudes toward consumption and sustainability.

Finley’s work has been recognized as street art and featured in the books Urban Interventions (Gestalten) andStuck-Up Piece Of Crap – A Selected History of Stickers, From Punk Rock to Contemporary Art (Rizzoli). Her paintings are part of a recent film and performance called “Finite and Infinite Games.” She is currently the is artist-in-residence at Gai Mattiolo fashion house in Rome, Italy and has applied for a grant to bring the Wallpapered Dumpster Project to ten cities around Europe.

+ C. Finley