The exhibit, called Creation Cycle, features pieces by 24 artists and embraces recycling as a guiding concept. But while upcycled art usually evokes the bottle caps and egg cartons that are so popular among kindergarteners, the scrappy sculptors and painters defy the cliché, breathing new life into discarded junk in a manner utterly refreshing and not at all juvenile.
But the creators behind the exhibit aim to do more than just put on a show. They seek to jettison materialistic notions and offer a new form of resistance to consumerism. These artists' palette is multifarious; they use fabric, glass, pipes, cardboard and even furniture and light fixtures that have been thrown out on the street – pretty much any old item that is found in desuetude.
"When someone sees a gorgeous lamp made of glass bottles that were collected on the street, maybe he'll think of some other use for the soda bottle that he throws out once a week," says Gil Zeevi, a medical student and the show's producer.
Liora Zeevi, the producer's mom and one of the participants in the project, cast aside the canvas in order to draw naked figures inside empty cigar boxes.
"The cigar box ignited my imagination with its perfect form," she says. "Whether it is full of cigars or empty, it invites me to fill it with something else. The box, which was originally made for men, is very befitting of feminine containment. The man empties the box and discards it, and the woman knows what to put inside."
Piece by Peter Poddubni (Photo: Lynn Counio)
Members of Junktion People, an artist collective, exult in the way they manage to reincarnate trash.
"We don't throw away, we collect," the caption under their work of art reads. "We believe that when people stop fixing things, it marks the beginning of the end. We give a second life to what cannot be fixed… because anything can become anything."
Creation Cycle is to remain open for a week. Art workshops for kids are to be held on the weekend, allowing parents to browse undisturbed.