Chris Jordan’s Rubbish Photography

Artist Chris Jordan takes everyday items and scary statistics to make some thought-provoking digital photographs.

Gemma O'Donoghue
Published on July 22, 2011

You could be forgiven for initially thinking that Chris Jordan's collections of digital photographs were nothing more than faded photos of iconic pieces of art. But on closer inspection, Jordan's photo of Botticelli's The Birth of Venus is actually made up of very small images. On even closer inspection, those very small images are actually plastic bags.

The work is accompanied with this description: 'Depicts 240,000 plastic bags, equal to the estimated number of plastic bags consumed around the world every ten seconds'. Jordan's photos are made up of images of everyday items we consume everyday. Or, rather, we overconsume everyday.

Some pretty scary statistics about consumption become the starting point for both his idea and the composition of the photo. And so it follows that Jordan's photo of Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Tatte is actually made up of images of 400,000 plastic bottle caps.

His take on Van Gogh is made up of images of plastic lighters. Jordon also also creates his own images; a bust made up of 32,000 images of Barbie dolls - equal to the number of elective breast augmentation surgeries performed monthly in the US in 2006 - and a moon made up of 29,000 credit cards - the amount of personal bankruptcy filings every week in the US  in 2010 - also feature in the collection.

Published on July 22, 2011 by Gemma O'Donoghue
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