Is It Recycling or Is It Art?

Paul Reimert is making a statement. Put off by the proliferation of mass-produced kitsch which, after being declared "sweet" or "cute" serves as gift or decor, Paul Reimert is fighting back. He uses the broken or cast-off ceramic figurines to create life-size mosaic statues reminiscent of Michelangelo or Degas. His careful use of size, shape, color and pattern give his figures a surrealistic verisimilitude. Even while the eyes are still dazzled by the bright figures, the subconscious is appreciating the sallow, hanging skin of "Friedrich of Brandenburg" or the taut tendons of Lola Running" (see more works "here). Paul Reimert applies the recycling principle to the entire construction: the statues are built up of used packaging styrofoam on a base of found or scrap metal. The glue and the heating elements of his glue gun are the only virgin materials in the process. Reimert is Dutch, but currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany. As his fame has spread, he no longer needs to haunt flea markets to find his raw materials: visitors arrive from near and far bringing so much old ceramics that he can hardly store it all. Producing as fast as he can, his waiting list is a year and a half now, and he imagines that at the end of his career it would be nice to see all the pieces reunited like a Chinese terracotta army. It is also interesting to imagine these pieces in the museums of the future: will our garbage reincarnated become the treasured cultural relics of our era? [By © C. Lepisto]

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