Plastic art and design
“I love Los Angeles. I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic” – Andy Warhol
Plastic: an omnipresent material in our lives, as much exalted as condemned, poor but also chic, sometimes pop, sometimes elite. A “miraculous” material that transforms from raw material to an aesthetically perfect object with high utility.
Many artists and as many brands in the world of design could not help but turn to the plastic material for its extraordinary versatility and apparent simplicity. As a matter of fact, if conventional materials sometimes do not allow one to go too far with the imagination, plastic allows one to experiment and give a contemporary twist to any artifact.
For many years, it has been the symbol of revolutionary innovation, shaping the imagination of designers and architects everywhere. However, with the noble idea of exploiting the peculiarities inherent in the material itself, like lightness, transparency and ductility, we found ourselves faced with the serious problem of plastic waste.
The world of applied art has been interested in waste since the second half of the 20th century. Recovering and preserving waste, transforming it, processing it. This inherently ironic dimension of waste was immediately understood by many artists, who often arrive at a metaphorical interpretation of the condition of contemporary humans, marginalized by consumer society and simultaneously overwhelmed by their own waste.
In the words of one who is rightly considered one of the greatest artists of his century, Andy Warhol: “Waste constitutes a veritable world, mirroring that of commodities, an immense reservoir of great creative value, as well as a faithful document of our habits and lifestyle. They are the mirror of our consumer society, which, by reflecting itself in it, can become self-aware”.
In this century, the global crisis related to plastic waste threatens to wipe out all the imagery related to a material that has positively made history; it is necessary to follow the example of several famous artists and resort to the great power of creativity in order to hope for universal cultural change.
Art and design can indeed be perfect accomplices on the level of quality by giving birth to innovative projects that favor eco-conscious materials such as bioplastics and foster new attitudes of daily use.
Have you ever been impressed and deeply affected by a painting, sculpture or installation? Can you remember them vividly, even years later?
That is the great power of art: to excite and make people think. If the artworks are made entirely of plastic and even from its own waste, the intended message seems very clear: “plastics and their waste can take on incredible value, just like a work of art!”