Robert Bradford: Turning Childhood Refuse Into Riches

One man’s garbage is another man’s gold. London-born Robert Bradford takes elements of discarded children’s toys and other oddities and repurposes them into life-size sculptures that speak to the inner child in all of us. Some of them are even blown up to larger-than-life sizes that dominate the senses. Focusing on mainly animals and humans as his subjects, he carefully pieces these works together out of any brightly coloured plastic items he can find – from playthings to combs, buttons, clothes pegs, and other useless bit of miscellany that are usually discarded and thought of as rubbish.

While classically-trained as a visual artist in both the U.S. and the U.K., he also makes a career as a psychotherapist, which kind of puts things into perspective when it comes to analyzing his art. These long-forgotten toys that were easily cast aside are a piece of a much larger puzzle that comprises the human psyche. Each small piece of plastic represents a part of someone’s history, a past unknown to the viewer – a point in time, frozen in order to pass on a piece of someone’s cultural history. It comes as no surprise that some of these sculptures can be comprised of pieces from up to 3,000 toys.

Bradford wasn’t originally intending to make reusing and recycling his modus operandi but each of his creations definitely keeps a few handfuls of plastic out of the landfills that are continuously encroaching on us. What’s more, is that some of these creative pieces are fetching around £12,000 (US $19,000) a pop! How’s that for turning garbage into gold!

To see more of his inspiring works, visit his website.

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