10 Ugliest Pieces of Recycled Art

Written by Simone Preuss of Environmental Graffiti, the Magazine Created by You

All recycled art seems funky, ingenious and fun. Until, that is, digging a bit deeper, we unearthed some pieces that are either in bad taste or just plain ugly. Or are they so hideous that they become cool again?

You decide. Here’s our Top Ten.

Number 10

Let’s start with the giant bottle sculptures made from recycled bottles. Surely a good idea but not too easy on the eyes. Seen at Evanston Art Center, Illinois.

bottle art
via pakattacks

Number 9

Staying with outdoor recycled art, here’s an unidentified sculpture at Cismigiu Park in Bucharest.

Romanian Sculpture
via travelblog

Number 8

These turtles made out of old military helmets could join the ranks of garden gnomes when it comes to shocking garden accessories. The question is- who of the two would be more militant when it comes to garden etiquette?

Turtle Helmets
via funksational

Number 7

This next piece could be a jellyfish, a sea anemone or something else entirely. Definitely something that has come from the depths of the sea. Or what do you think? You can’t deny it is thought-provoking.

via ecofriend

Number 6

We understand the need to do something with all of the bottle lids that accumulate, and we get the idea – lips, lid, face, etc. But one question remains – what do you do with this?

Lid Face
via recycledcrafts

Number 5

Take a few empty cans, some plastic strands, flowers and a ukulele and you’ve got a Hawaiian-themed recycled robot. Oh wait, you can also buy this sculpture for $180, no kidding.

via thebigidea

Number 4

These cupid dolls are made from recycled “Sweetheart” bread bags and some unidentified pink plastic. We get the message (love conquers all?) but wouldn’t shell out $35 for them…

cupid dolls
via greatgreengoods

Number 3

What is it with dolls? We can identify with the headless chicken feeling that these sculptures inspire but honestly, would you put them up in your living room?

Naked Dolls
via greatgreengoods

Number 2

Looks like fashion designer Tsumura got a bit too wired when he decided to combine recycling and art and create these out of fabrics, old plugs, LAN cables and iPods. We understand there’s tons of that stuff out there that need a new life but maybe it could be reused as it is, preferably under the desk?

via japantrends

Number 1

Our favorite – the tire Buddha. Or should we say tired? Good that nothing can upset a calm soul.

via greenopia

Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for recycled art. But it should be stylish or fulfill some purpose. Otherwise what’s the difference between the before and after?

Written by Kelly Rand

Kelly covers visual arts in and around Washington, DC for DCist and is editor of Crafting a Green World. Kelly has also been published by Bust Magazine and you can find her byline at Indie Fixx and Etsy’s Storque and has taught in Etsy’s virtual lab on the topic of green crafting.

Kelly helps organize Crafty Bastards: Arts and Crafts Fair, one of the largest indie craft fairs on the east coast and has served on the Craft Bastard’s jury since 2007. Kelly is also co-founder of Hello Craft a nonprofit trade association dedicated to the advancement of independent crafters and the handmade movement. Kelly resides in Washington, D.C. and believes that handmade will save the world.


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