Junk art


A name derived from the concept that throw-away materials are suitable as art mediums because art is reflective of culture, and junk is reflective of the 20th-century behavior of many people who carelessly throw things away or behave carelessly towards material goods assuming they can be replaced. Junk Art is rooted in the tradition of cubist collage and construction, and Kurt Schwitters, German artist, was one of the pioneers. He used items he found in the streets. Junk Art gained a reputation as a legitimate art form after World War II with the huge increase in easily-replaced manufactured items. Representative artists include Lee Bontecou, Richard Stankiewicz, John Chamberlain, Mark DiSuvero, Robert Raushenberg, Louise Nevelson and Jean Tinguely. Stankiewicz worked with discarded industrial items; Bontecue with canvas from weathered tarpaulin; Nevelson from wood of destroyed homes; and Chamberlain from smashed automobile parts. Watts Towers in Los Angeles is an isolated but exemplary piece of junk art in that it is an accumulation of discards that ???grew??? between 1921 and 1954. Simon Rodia, an Italian, was the artist. Sources: Robert Atkins, "Art Speak"; "Phaidon Dictionary of Twentieth Century Art"