Portuguese artist turns trash into animal sculptures

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Portuguese artist turns trash into animal sculptures
Bordalo II collects the trash he uses to make his sculptures from Lisbon's rubbish dumps and curbsides. Patricia de Melo Moreira / AFP PHOTO.

by Levi Fernandes

LISBON (AFP).- Broken crates and worn pipes pile up in the studio of Portuguese artist Bordalo II, who uses rubbish to create surprising animal sculptures to warn about the dangers of pollution.

The bearded 31-year-old has decorated the Portuguese capital and other cities around the world with his colourful foxes, owls, monkeys and chameleons.

In Lisbon, one of his best-known works is a four-metre (13-foot) high raccoon assembled from old tyres, car bumpers and electronic components that gazes down on pedestrians in the riverside Belem district.

"Animals are the characters which the public can identify most easily with when I want to show the ravages of our society on nature," said Artur Bordalo, who prefers the artistic name Bordalo II, a tribute to his late grandfather, painter Artur Real Bordalo.

He uses materials in his work that are harmful to animals to raise awareness, he said, in an interview with AFP at his Lisbon studio, as he hand drilled a paw out of plastic cut from a rubbish bin lid for a rodent sculpture.

Bordalo II, who wore a grey hoodie and jogging pants that revealed his tattooed calves, collects the trash he uses to make his sculptures from Lisbon's rubbish dumps and curbsides.

When he is not travelling abroad, he works on his sculptures in his tiny studio on the ground floor of a building in a working class northern Lisbon neighbourhood while listening to electronic music.

"I have a busy schedule for the next few years. The problem is going to be finding time!" the artist said, smiling.

Lisbon to Los Vegas
Born in Lisbon in 1987, he took his first steps as an artist in the studio of his grandfather, a painter known for his watercolours of Lisbon who died last year.

Bordalo II went on to study art at the University of Lisbon but he decided to focus on his passion -- graffiti.

He said he got the idea to make sculptures from trash while doing graffiti.

"One day I started to assemble objects I had put aside to create a stand to paint on and then I realised I could use these objects to create something aesthetically interesting, while giving them meaning," he said.

"My productions depend a lot on wherever in the world I find myself," said Bordalo II, whose works have decorated streets in Berlin, Paris, Las Vegas and Baku in Azerbaijan.

The message he wishes to convey though is always the same.

"We must be interested above all in the state of the world and nature," he said.
Art in public spaces is an ideal way to change mentalities because "it has the power to mark spirits," he added.

'Plus for city'
In a sign of Bordalo II's mainstream success as an artist, Lisbon's' prestigious Gulbenkian Foundation, one of Europe's richest collections, is displaying one of his works in its garden until the end of the month.

The statue of a bear and her cub "draws attention to the ecological damage we are leaving to future generations," said the museum's spokeswoman, Ines Rapazote.

Bordalo II is part of a growing group of artists such as Vhils and Pantonio who have used Lisbon's streets to display their works, thanks to municipal policies that favour street art.

"Lisbon is one of the first world capitals to have created a legal framework that allows artists to paint on walls," said Pedro Farinha, of Estrela d'Alva Tours, which has since 2014 staged tours of the city's street art.

Bordalo II said Lisbon "understands that urban art is a plus for the city."

"Grey walls have nothing to tell," he added.

© Agence France-Presse

Today's News

May 27, 2018

Russian police arrest man who vandalised Ivan the Terrible painting

Moonwalking astronaut-artist Alan Bean dies at 86

Association of Art Museum Directors sanctions Berkshire Museum and La Salle University Art Museum

Vintage 1774 French wine sells for record 103,700 euros

Decades-long hunt for bronze sculpture looted by Nazis leads to posh German hotel

Picasso's ties to the kitchen explored at Barcelona show

First violins imitated human voices: study

Winnipeg Art Gallery celebrates groundbreaking for Inuit Art Centre

Indonesian artist Ichwan Noor's first Benelux solo show opens at Reflex Gallery Amsterdam

Han Nefkens donates eight pieces by Dutch fashion house Viktor&Rolf to the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen

Exhibition challenges architects and designers to envision what it means to be a citizen today

Archives of American Art announces digitization of material donated by Matt Mullican

Sotheby's New York Important Watches auction brings $9.1 million

Group of rare Edward Sawyer's Native American portrait Galvanos offered by Heritage Auctions

Remai Modern premieres new installation by New York artist Paul Chan

Amy Judd's third major solo show with Hicks Gallery on view in London

Taipei Cultural Center in New York opens [和heʼ] Contemporary Art Exhibition

Taravat Talepasand's first exhibition with Jack Fischer Gallery opens in San Francisco

Portuguese artist turns trash into animal sculptures

Turner Auctions + Appraisals announces Fine Japanese Prints & Decorative Arts auction

David Levine's 'Some of the People, All of the Time' challenges the meaning of a crowd

Morgan Lehman opens an exhibition of recent paintings by Amy Lincoln

Christie's New York announces 'An Evening of Exceptional Watches'

Exhibition presents a new series of clay pot sculptures by Francis Upritchard

CHART Art Fair announces exhibitors for 2018 edition

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez
Writer: Ofelia Zurbia Betancourt

Royalville Communications, Inc

ignaciovillarreal.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful