Our massive oceans connect our vast planet together as one. As beautiful as this connection may be, it creates an overflowing issue in regards to trash. When trash ends up in the ocean it eventually travels far far away. One of the places a lot of this trash washes up is along Mexico’s Caribbean coastline in Sian Ka’an, a gorgeous UNESCO tropical nature reserve. One talented artist uses trash washed up here to create colorful and alarming works of art.
Brooklyn, NY-based Alejandro Duran is the artist behind the awesome trash-inspired artwork. Exploring the coastline beaches of Sian Ka’an, Duran has discovered trash from 50 nations and 6 continents. His powerful ongoing project called Washed Up examines “the tension between the natural world and increasingly overdeveloped one.”
Duran’s hope is that by using the beautiful scenery of Sian Ka’an littered with garbage he can visibly show just how bad the world’s ocean pollution problems really are. His art hits home because we have all used and thrown away the items he finds and displays.
In a statement about Washed Up Duran shared, “I have used this international debris to create color-based, site-specific sculptures. Conflating the hand of man and nature, at times I distribute the objects the way the waves would; at other times, the plastic takes on the shape of algae, roots, rivers, or fruit, reflecting the infiltration of plastics into the natural environment.”
No matter what Duran does with the trash he uses his artwork to voice the same important message: “More than creating a surreal or fantastical landscape, these installations mirror the reality of our current environmental predicament. The resulting photo series depicts a new form of colonization by consumerism, where even undeveloped land is not safe from the far-reaching impact of our disposable culture.”
Meet someone else doing something about our pollution problem: Vigilante Woman On A Motorcycle Chases Down Littering Drivers And Returns Their Trash
Duran’s work was granted the Juror’s Award from CENTER. He recently exhibited his work at Habana Outpost in Brooklyn, and this week his work will be on display at the XO KI’IN Retreat Center in Sian Ka’an.