Hello There! My name is Marty, and I’m a sustainable life practitioner, advocate, and for this website, a “Reuse Artist”. Which means I make stuff out of what is typically referred to as “Trash”.
Why do I do this? Two general reasons:
1. To make stuff that looks cool that I want to look at and enjoy.
2. To get people to rethink (mostly in vain) how they view and interact with the world. To fully grasp how we are trashing it by the second. And to walk away never to be able to look at trash —or any packaging— anywhere, especially on the ground (Litter), ever again!
This is, again, mostly in vain. As I’m only one person, fighting against basically (almost) every person, system, and idea that is out there. Which is all geared towards over consumerism, ludicrous wastefulness, and total apathy.
It’s a no brainer the life i’ve chosen. But it’s real tough when you are surrounded by mindless zombies. But I gotta try. Or else, what’s the point?
Here’s a bit (way more to read) of a backstory into how I’ve gotten to “the ever fleeting now” with my art.
"I can't find it!!" might have been something I called out to my mom as a tiny version of myself diving head first (with feet dangling in mid-air) into a bucket full of matchbox cars seeking out a very specific vehicle. A bucket to which at some point in the not-to-distant past to this event, held some sort of adhesive for putting up drywall, but had been converted into a toy box for us kids.
This is a dramatic re-imagination (minus big budget effects), but the scenario holds true.
As far back as I can recall, my mother reused everything she could. Just like that bucket —of which I’m assuming she still has a few today, decades later— for whatever utility purpose it could be used for from her non-creative perspective.
But don’t be fooled. These choices had NOTHING to do with protecting the environment, saving the rain forest, being mindful, or reducing ones waste. Not at all.
It had everything to do with the complete lack of money to purchase the items needed/wanted. She reused anything she could out of necessity. And while she might have been depressed at what she couldn't afford, or what she had to reuse, what she would inadvertently provide me with through these events, (that would surface later in my life) would be far more valuable than any item she could possibly ever buy.
The seeds in my subconscious to 'reuse’. Which would (eventually) allow me to grow into the person I am today.
In my early twenties, my interests in art, creation, mindfulness, observation, and life in general began to expand. I began to slowly gravitate towards items that the world viewed as trash, but I viewed as limitless potential to create something new.
I started to collect items that were around me, such as: used drum heads, beer bottle caps, Netflix Tearaways, and bus pass tickets, with no real plan for any of them. Only having a gut feeling that one day I would create something from this so-called “trash”.
Fast forward to present times (as this is long enough already!):
My philosophies, art, lifelong learning, reduction, reuse, mindfulness, and everything else, have fused into a big tumbling ball of proverbial trash. Which I climb on, jump over, smash things into, and sometimes get stuck in. All the while pushing it up seemingly endless terrain, and flying blindly down ever steeper mountains. Occasionally rocketing off a hidden cliff to embark on a completely different path. Or ending up smashing head first into a rock face! Which sometimes is desperately needed. But always incredibly painful.
Alas, the “Reuse Artist”. (At least that’s what I call myself.)
The materials I work with have been trashed or discarded. My work presents a fun and exciting challenge as the specific materials available are not ubiquitous. Even though the world is coated in trash, the debris I have access to is limited in color, size, shape, and amount.
Therefore, creating any piece entails a great deal of foresight into the color palate i have, size of the image, composition of the materials being used, and varying other areas of limitation. Typically I have just enough material to complete the piece I'm working on. Which is good. As all the trashed materials will have been reused!
But, trash is everywhere. I can't walk a quarter mile without seeing some form of garbage discarded by a human. We overuse, abuse, and discard our world without a second thought.
And my art probably won’t change that. It will mostly likely be tossed out (like most art) when I die.
However, I utilize used, discarded, and un-recyclable items in my work with the attempt for all of us to reframe 'trash’ as not being trash at all. By turning those items into art, I'm attempting to bring to light the idea that nothing we create should be wasted, or simply discarded after use.
Ultimately, if we make something, it should be made to be re-used perpetually. Not simply disposed of, to avoid polluting our land, air, water, and thereby ourselves, and the creatures we live with, as everything is connected.
Putting something in a bag, a can, the air, the water, or a hole in the ground, and walking away, is not an answer. It simply creates a whole new set of problems.
With my work and actions, I'm attempting to create something beautiful out of the castaways of our totally grotesque over-consumption. In the hopes of inspiring others (and myself!) to rethink the world we live in, how we live, what we use, and how we use it. To galvanize individuals into cleaning up, protecting, and preserving the world we all live in through speaking up, personal action, decision making, and simply being mindful of ones impact on everything else.
My motivations for what I do can be as simple as the goal of leaving this place in better shape than when I arrived. (Which is simple to say, but gigantically challenging to pull off.) But they can also be diverse and intense.
My battle with advanced Glaucoma and the threat of imminent blindness is one of the intense driving forces in my life. It has been with me since birth, and has advanced steadily as I’ve grown. There is no cure for this disease, as the treatments are like bandages; attempting only to slow down the disease, not truly cure/treat it. For me, being an artist and observing my progressing vision loss is frightening, and sometimes it gets the best of me. However, it instills a drive in me to reach farther, quicken my pace, and to be better. Not just in art, but to push, Push, PUSH positively forward in everyday life.
In the end, I make things that I think look cool. AND, I hope that my work and actions inspire others to take a second look at their lives. It’s never too late to RETHINK how we live, use, and reuse. It’s never too late to make a positive change in the world we inhabit. No matter how insurmountable the goal might seem.
Thank you for stopping by. And I hope you found something you enjoy looking at!
Rethink. Refuse. Reduce. Reuse. Repair. Recycle.