Basharat Bashir

Trash Art: An Emerging Trend in Contemporary Times

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Contemporary artists are pushing the boundaries of traditional art forms by using discarded materials to create stunning pieces that not only captivate the eye but also deliver a powerful message. This emerging trend, known as trash art or found object art, is gaining popularity among artists and art enthusiasts alike, as it promotes sustainability and highlights the importance of reducing waste in our society.

Trash art involves the use of waste materials, such as plastics, metals, and paper, to create sculptures, installations, and other forms of art. The process of creating trash art involves repurposing discarded items and transforming them into something new and meaningful. Artists who engage in this practice see the potential in materials that others consider worthless, and they use their creativity to bring them to life.

One of the most well-known trash artists is Vik Muniz, a Brazilian artist who creates portraits of famous figures using garbage, such as chocolate syrup, sugar, and trash. Muniz’s work is often playful and witty, but also carries a deeper message about the relationship between art, society, and the environment. He has been exhibited in major museums around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Tate Modern in London, and has won numerous awards for his contributions to contemporary art. Muniz’s work has inspired a new generation of artists to explore the potential of found objects and repurposed materials in their art.

Another prominent trash artist is El Anatsui, a Ghanaian sculptor who is internationally recognized for his large-scale installations made from recycled materials. Anatsui’s signature style involves transforming found materials such as discarded bottle caps, metal scraps, and other recycled materials into intricate, shimmering tapestries that resemble fabric or textiles.

Anatsui’s work explores themes of cultural identity, colonialism, and globalization, and has been exhibited in major museums and galleries around the world. In an article published in The Guardian Anatsui stated that he had explored and worked with various found materials including used wooden objects – mortars, doors, windows and so on, but he didn’t quite find the freedom he was searching for until he started working with bottle caps. He further stated,  “bottle caps were far lighter, and with which I could create bigger and more versatile sheets. I kept discovering new things about the material, and 20 years on its still yielding new ideas. I use the bottle cap to create dense forms, loose forms, very transparent forms that you can see through. Painting on them, you can do thick impastos, then smooth washes with acrylic, and then very transparent washes with watercolour – all of these things are possible with bottle caps.

El Anatsui explores the function of the object he uses for his artwork along with its historical characteristics. To him the object determines the attitude of artist as well as the artwork. In the article he further asserted, “All this time, I’ve been thinking about the history or function of the object, and that affects how I handle it. With the bottle caps, the story I’ve been telling is about transatlantic trade and the goods – including human goods – which were sent from Africa to America to produce rum and other things, which came back to Europe and then finally to Africa. So, the drink represented here by bottle caps links all three continents.

Anatsui himself believes that artists should work with the material that is easily available, that would reflect artist’s environment, circumstances and history.He argues that, if an artist uses only very rare materials, it can stifle creativity, because he won’t want to make any mistakes with a precious material. With something that’s so common, however, one can experiment without any hindrance.

El Anatsui is a genuine example of artist who gives meaning to trash and with that opens new dimensions for his audiences around the world. He has received numerous awards for his contributions to contemporary art, including the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Anatsui’s innovative use of recycled materials in his sculptures has inspired other artists to explore the potential of waste materials in their work.Anatsui’s works are visually stunning and convey a powerful message about the impact of waste on the environment.

Trash art is not only visually appealing but also has an important message to convey. By using waste materials to create art, artists are drawing attention to the issue of waste management and encouraging people to think about the impact of their actions on the environment. Trash art is a way to raise awareness about the importance of reducing waste and promoting sustainability.

In recent years, trash art has become increasingly popular, with more and more artists incorporating found objects into their work. This trend has also led to the creation of trash art festivals and exhibitions, where artists can showcase their work and inspire others to get involved in the movement.

trash art is an emerging trend in contemporary times that is gaining popularity for its innovative use of discarded objects in a way to create awareness as well as artistic impression.

Creativity in Visual Arts: The Importance of Originality and Innovation

Cadeau 1921, editioned replica 1972 Man Ray 1890-1976 Presented by the Tate Collectors Forum 2002

Creativity is a fundamental aspect of human thought and expression, and it plays a vital role in the field of visual arts. In visual arts, creativity refers to the ability to produce original and innovative ideas and concepts in order to create works of art that are unique, expressive, and aesthetically pleasing. For an artist skill and creativity is a combination that leads the way for development of artistic career. In visual arts, there are various procedures that artists can adoptto incorporate creativity into their work.

At its core, creativity involves using imagination and originality to generate new ideas. In the field of visual arts, this can involve experimenting with different materials, techniques, and styles to create works that are fresh and original. This may include experimenting with color, composition, form, and texture to create something that is visually appealing and thought-provoking.

One of the key benefits of creativity in visual arts is that it allows artists to express themselves in unique and meaningful ways. By tapping into their imagination and exploring new ideas, artists can create works that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also convey a specific message or meaning. This is important because it enables artists to communicate emotions and ideas through the visual medium, connecting with their audience on a deeper level.

In addition to enabling self-expression, creativity is also essential in visual arts because it helps to keep the art form fresh and exciting. Without creativity, visual arts could become stagnant, with artists producing works that are formulaic and predictable. By incorporating creativity into their work, artists are able to push the boundaries of what is possible in their chosen medium, introducing new techniques and styles that inspire others and keep the art form vibrant and relevant.

Furthermore, creativity in visual arts requires artists to be flexible and adaptable in their approach. This is because the creative process is rarely linear or straightforward. Instead, it often involves experimentation and trial and error, as artists work to refine their ideas and create something that is truly unique. This requires persistence, dedication, and a willingness to take risks and explore new ideas.

In order to foster creativity in visual arts, there are a number of strategies that artists can use. One approach is to experiment with different materials and techniques, such as combining different media or trying out new tools and equipment. This can help artists to discover new possibilities in their work, and to create something that is truly original.


Another strategy is to seek out inspiration from other artists and art forms. By exploring different styles and mediums, artists can gain new insights and ideas that can help to inform their own work. This may involve attending art exhibitions, reading art books and magazines, or simply engaging with other artists and creatives.

Finally, artists can also foster creativity by staying open to new ideas and perspectives. This means being willing to take risks and try new things, even if they seem unconventional or outside of one’s comfort zone. By embracing new ideas and approaches, artists can continue to grow and evolve in their work, and to create works of art that are truly original and meaningful.

Creativity is an essential component of visual arts, enabling artists to produce works that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also meaningful and thought-provoking. By tapping into their imagination and exploring new ideas, visual artists can create works that are truly unique and that connect with their audience on a deeper level. Through experimentation, persistence, and a willingness to take risks, artists can continue to push the boundaries of what is possible in their chosen medium, keeping the art form fresh and exciting for generations to come.


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