Artur Bordalo was born in Lisbon in 1987. During his youth, he tumbled between two worlds. In one world he watched his grandfather, an artist himself, painting with water colors and in the other world he practiced producing graffiti and experienced the consequences that are bound to the illegal activity. Gradually, the habits he had displayed changed, shaping and developing them into artwork he produces today. As to what inspires Bordalo, according to Dea in an article on “WideWalls.com,” he is part of a very consumer based, materialized and greedy generation.
His artwork challenges the notion of the education taught in schools and how it is directing society towards overconsumption. Bordalo shows the viewers a figurative painting full of exuberance and liveliness, where he paints his own illustrations of city entertainment and urban landscapes. He explores mixed media on wood base stands and are made into a series of collages of garbage. Not only is it a way to recycle; also, being a way to critique of the world around humans, where people care about having nice things, which end up basically as waste in the end.
Artur Bordalo’s series of artworks draw viewer’s attention to the environmental issues that the materials that are not reused, pollution caused from industries, waste production and its impact on the biodiversity’s in environments, are responsible for. These are issues that are easily to be forgotten, become trivial or become necessary evils.
Human waste, landfills and single-use waste destroy the environments in happens to drift upon.
Animals pay the price by confusingly eating the waste that they may wonder across, when a person could have been more cautious. According to Claire Le Guern in “When The Mermaids Cry: The Great Plastic Tide,” “The overwhelming percentage of debris collected was plastics and smoking paraphernalia. The 2008 report states that plastic litter has increased by 126 percent since ICC first survey in 1994. The top 3 items found in 2008 were cigarettes butts, plastic bags, and food wrappers/containers.” In Bordalo’s work he incorporates two of the three top waste items found in environments to show the correlation of the waste that needs to be reduced or substitute these pollutants. The artwork Bordalo creates focuses on emphasizing the damage that is being caused by them and what is being worked on to cause minimal environmental damage. Bordalos idea is to depict nature itself, animals created out of materials that are responsible for its destruction called “Trash Animals,” is a series that he designed to showcase the destructiveness of human waste. These works were built with waste materials: the majority found in landfills, wastelands, abandoned factories or just randomly. Some materials were obtained through recycling process companies. Materials such as, “damaged bumpers, burnt garbage cans, tires and appliances are just some of the objects that can be identified when you go into detail” (WideWalls.com). With a little ecological and social awareness, they are camouflaging the result of our habits. The waste is thrown anywhere by individuals that could care less about the environment and animals that are impacted.
Tens of thousands of different animals are killed every year from plastic bag litter in the environment as they often mistake plastic bags for food or eat food along with the bags. Animals suffer due to the poor decisions of what is done to the materials that should be recycled, since not all the waste is properly sorted and properly disposed of. As stated by Laura Parker in “Here’s How Much Plastic Trash Is Littering The Earth,” “Of the 8.3 billion metric tons that has been produced, 6.3 billion metric tons has become plastic waste. Of that, only nine percent has been recycled. The vast majority—79 percent—is accumulating in landfills or sloughing off in the natural environment as litter. Meaning: at some point, much of it ends up in the oceans, the final sink.” Reconstructing and gaining control of plastic waste is now such a crucial task that it calls for a comprehensive, global approach, which involves rethinking the chemistry of plastic, product design, strategies to recycle and consumer usage. Once ingested, plastic bags, cannot be digested or passed by an animal so it stays in the stomach and cause health problems. The ability to adjust and create sustainable resources must be emphasized, like Bordalo’s art work inspires to do.
Plastic is not the only material that is causing issues within environments, rubber, metal, concrete, almost all non-biodegradable materials. According to “Bordalo II: Turning Trash Into Stunning Animal Art Pieces” by Interesting Engineering, “He uses his skills to remind people that ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.’ He hopes to remind people of how much waste they emit daily, and even encourage them to reuse or reduce consumption in order to save our planet.” Bordalo uses specific types of waste to make the viewers reflect on what humans are doing about recyclable waste, unrecyclable waste and how individuals can do their part to make the earth cleaner. As explained in “5 Ways Plastic Pollution Impacts Animals on Land” the best ways to help are to: reduce waste are to reduce the amount of plastic used in everyday life, eliminate single-use plastics, switching over to reusable products and finally for plastics that are cannot be eliminated, “be mindful of how you dispose of it to reduce the chances it may endanger an animal later on down the line. Cut those plastic drink holders so the rings won’t entangle an animal.” Bordalo helps play a role in helping bring awareness to what is happening to the waste and why such little effort is provided in cleaning up our mess.
Bordalo’s artwork is new, fresh, pushing the boundaries of how murals can inspire and create change throughout the world. Waste products such as plastic containers, appliances, car parts and other man-made objects find their way into natural environments and begin to cause havoc. Artist comparable to Bordalos help see what is going on and bring awareness to the causes of man-made waste. As an environmental artist, Bordalo uses what is available in his surroundings and creates a sculpture of an animal that is impacted by the waste product. They also inspire the notion of pushing the limits of what is possible with our environment and the art we can create if we just put our minds to it.