Artist Turns Trash Into Animals To Remind Us About Pollution

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Artur Bordalo II is a Portuguese artist notoriously known for blending trashed objects into artworks. Based in Lisbon, the 30-year-old sculpts colorful 3D animal murals out of recycled trash. The street artist uses materials such as scrap metal, tires, tubing, and crushed bumpers and turn them into delicate feathers, soft fur, and complex exoskeletons as an homage to the objects that he represents. The resulting art pieces emerge from urban spaces, apartment buildings, underpasses, and forgotten corners like optical illusions that wow those who had viewed Bordalo’s masterpieces.

Bordalo II blends 2D and 3D art to bring attention to the pervasiveness of environmental degradation. He criticizes humans’ throwaway culture by transforming natural habitats into graveyards of non-biodegradable waste. His amazing pieces serve as sad monuments to the animals that once lived in those spaces. By turning scrap materials into stunning animal sculptures, Bordalo can be playful but also harbor critical or cynical undertones. The texture in his artwork is impressive, creating another layer in its surroundings.

His figurative paintings are influenced by his grandfather, Real Bordado, whom he saw painting while growing up in Lisbon. He uses Bordalo II as his artist name and as an apparent ode to the older Bordalo. His artworks give a literal face to humans’ garbage and the species affected by humans’ consumer behaviors.

For Bordalo II, he belongs to a generation of extremely consumerist, materialist, and greedy. He laments on the production of high waste and unused objects due to the excesses of humans. He defines “waste” as “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” His every masterpiece is a product of creation, recreation, assembly, and development of ideas with end-of-life material that are associated with sustainability, ecological awareness, and social

The artist had done several shows in Portugal and Switzerland between 2011 and 2015. He had been featured in collective exhibitions and art festivals around the world including Life is Beautiful Festival in Las Vegas and Ocean Climax Festival in Berlin, Germany in 2015.

He developed an original technique that involves sticking rubbish pieces to a wall as a collage in the shape of an animal and spraying some paint to complete the piece. Bordalo II is an example that one’s man trash is another man’s art. The Portuguese have emerged a leading figure in Lisbon’s street art community that helps with decorating sad urban landscapes. His recycled murals call attention to the detrimental effects of humanity’s waste.

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