Many artists use plastics to create interesting and beautiful pieces. In the course of my regular work, see stories about plastics in art pretty frequently. Two recent stories are worth sharing with blog readers. First, check out this story, and the brilliant, colorful photos, from the Columbus Dispatch. The story is a Q&A interview with Bruce Siple, a Clintonville, Ohio, folk artist whose home features elaborate displays comprised of tens of thousands of pieces of plastic, arranged in symmetrical, multilevel formations. Before Siple was married, he lived in an apartment that his friends called "the Plastic Palace." Here's a snippet from the story:
Q: Why plastic? Is this some kind of tribute to the famous line in The Graduate? A: No, I was really attracted to plastic because it was a fascinating subject -- so accessible, so cheap. It passes through our lives like a river, and people don't pay any attention to it. Even when it's used in packaging, there's a lot of really articulated plastic, stuff that's highly conceived and executed and does a very specific job. Maybe it's a cap on a milk carton, and we tend to just throw it in the trash without even thinking about it. But once it gets a stage, it becomes something completely different, especially when it's put together and put in a different context. As I've gone through life, I've sort of amplified on that. I just began to see the beauty in it. The more I got, the better it looked to me. And here I am, with tens of thousands of pieces. I can't give you a motivation beyond that.The other story worth reading -- again, with some interesting photos -- is about an exhibit featuring the work of four Los Angeles artists who created fashionable outfits made from recycled plastic shopping bags. "We chose to focus on the crinkly plastic shopping bag that you get at Home Depot and grocery stores. It is such a great medium to work with, very versatile, great texture," said Eveline Morel, owner of EM & Co., the boutique that featured the exhibit, in a news release. "The dresses are very wearable, they're layered onto a silk slip, have lots of holes, keep you from overheating... to clean them, you can just hose them down, no ironing required." I definitely wouldn't iron those dresses. But from the photo, I can't really tell that they're made of plastic bags. I've seen plastic bags used to make hula skirts, but nothing this nice. Check it out.