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For The Love of Art - An Artist Uses Discarded MetroCards to Create Mosaics

Many of easy get easily attracted and lost to a piece of art, that from a distance, you view it is a painting but as you take a closer look you actually see that it isn’t a painting at all. The creativity behind its creation, the complexity, materials and objects of different colors and shapes put to use to create a fascinating piece of art, would make one wonder what could be the reason behind such work. This form of art, where an artist uses a surface to arrange hundreds to thousands of tiny objects to create a piece of art, is commonly known as Mosaic Art.

The French artist Henri Matisse, once said that “creativity takes courage”, and it surely does. For ages now, Mosaics Art has been put to practice with many artists using the commonly recycled and repurposed materials such as glass, tiles, beads and seashells among others. However, out of the ordinary, the artist Juan Carlos Pinto decided to use MetroCards to create mosaics. This is right after an incident where he claimed to have been broke and didn’t have the money for the metro fare. The fare was hiked and he was caught hopping the turnstile. What he claims to be out of humiliation and anger, had him gather MetroCards that were on the floor and started piecing them together to protest over the raise. “There were a lot of MetroCards on the floor, so I picked them up and made a portrait of John Lennon”, little did he know that this would be a new beginning as a Mosaic Muralist. Since 2002, this Brooklyn based artist has been creating Mosaics portraits including those of Frida Kahlo, Robert De Niro and The Mona Lisa. He pastes the card clipping onto his canvases, and the blue, yellow, black and white colors form a base of his portraits.

Guatemala born, Carlos says he did not pursue art studies but since he arrived in New York, he has had so many chances to study art. His inspiration came from the mosaic muralist Isaiah Zagar, who told him “the streets are your canvas; it will give you walls to communicate to people your thoughts and feelings, and materials you need to do your work.”

Carlos’ works showcase the different ways artists and amateurs use creativity to recycle materials that could be discarded to create masterpieces. Examples of Mosaic Muralists that are proving successful are the likes of Jim Bachor who creates porthole art by filling portholes with Mosaics and Enzo Valentinuz who uses broken stones.

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