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Tuesday, 27 January 2015 00:06



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Mary Ellen Croteau


On Value

What is the value in consumerism? The value of the trash it produces? The value of art made from trash?

Several years ago, I began collecting plastic bottle caps, whose colors are so vivid and beautiful, but which are not recycled because it is not cost-effective.  They reminded me of artist Chuck Close’s circles of paint, and I decided to do a large self-portrait using only bottle caps. The piece is titled “CLOSE”, and is 8'x7'.  No paint was used.  Color variance was achieved solely through nesting different colors in one another.

Because plastic is also having a catastrophic effect on the oceans, I have recently completed two other large works with plastic bottle caps, "Shells, Oil Spill," from a found photo of a refined oil spill in China, and "Tsunami," also from a found photo, constructed of mostly plastic water bottle caps.

I am now working on a series of eyes using the same technique. What do we see when we look at our world?  Do we see the trash piling up?

Plastic is made from petroleum. Think of it this way: we go to war so we can have plastic bags and bottles to throw away. Individual plastic bags and drink bottles are the worst of the worst, and should be assiduously avoided.
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Mary Ellen Croteau

Itch #10, 2012

Photograph, from the "AD ME" series

Website: www.maryellencroteau.net
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