With a bit of paint and ingenuity, one city's trash can become one man's treasure for self-expression. Lisbon, Portugal artist Bordallo II hunts for piles of junk all over the city, painstakingly rearranging shingles, plastics, tires and scrap metal before spray-painting it all to mimic various animal forms.
Growing up, young Bordallo II watched his grandfather paint in the city. Now, young Bordallo II makes these unexpected urban collages out of trash as a way to beautify the city, and to recycle, as the artist's Facebook page explains:
Bordalo II presents us a figurative painting full of vivacity and movement, where he paints his own interpretation of urban landscapes and city entertainment. He's exploring his own mixed media on wood stand base, and are thus made a series of collages of objects (garbage). It is not only a way to recycle, but also a critique of the world we live in, where we often have nice things, which are based on junk without realizing it.
It's urban camouflage at its best: Bordallo II's work turns the urban environment into an imaginary wilderness, filled with giant parrots, ladybugs and crocodiles, making the mundane into something quite magical.
To see how effective Bordallo's technique is at concealing urban ugliness, take a look at this "before" and "after" image. Of course, spray paint is the healthiest of products, but it is a trade-off that could be bargained for converting forgotten urban eye-sores into something visually more appealing.
We may think beautifying our cities means ridding it of garbage, but this artist's unconventional approach demonstrates that moving things around and a mere (several) coats of paint may also do the trick. See more over at Bordallo II's website and Facebook page.