MILAN – There are so many types of works of art. There are those found in international museums, which carry the signatures of great artists from the past, and those that we can find in everyday life, made by “household artists” who can use the few materials available to them. Vinicius Ribeiro is an eclectic artist who spends some of his time rummaging through New York’s dumpsters, constantly searching for suitable materials to use for his artworks. Don’t be misled though, as the artist has a decent and problem-free life. Yet he sees hidden potential in the majority of “rubbish”.
We need more awareness
Over the past few years the recycling of waste material has produced some great results. However, plenty of people are still incapable of properly dividing up the various types of waste, in most cases dumping them into the undifferentiated bin. Over the years, Ribeiro has tried to reverse the trend by offering outstanding works made out of recovered materials in order to raise people’s awareness of the subject. The art of recycling is generating attention once again thanks to the green masterpieces produced by Ribeiro. “At the beginning, people used to look at me and think I was a garbage collector,” says the artist. “This is a big misunderstanding, because I only collect material that’s useful for creating my pieces of art from the garbage. I collect everything in which I can see potential.” The 38-year-old artist is speaking from his small yet well-decorated apartment on West 40th Street.
In the artist’s home you can find tasteful tables, lamps, mirrors and chairs, furniture that looks like it was bought at high-end designer stores. However, they are just pieces that were rescued from the garbage and refurbished by Ribeiro. The artist admits that the only item of furniture or decoration in his home that wasn’t dragged in from the street is his bed. Born in Brazil, Ribeiro grew up in a very traditional family. “My family didn't give me much freedom,” he says. “I couldn’t dream of being an artist and, as such, I couldn’t be myself. So I moved to New York in 2001 with such high hopes. I’ve worked and done so many things to pay the rent, to survive, and over time I’ve devoted myself to this art.”
by editorial staff