What Does Found Object Art Mean? The Answer Will Leave You Amazed

What Does Found Object Art Mean?
'Found Object Art' literally means finding everyday objects or trash and converting them into interesting and aesthetically appealing objects. This unique form of modern art started in the 20th century, and its early traces can be found in Picasso's and Georges Braque's collage work.
CraftCue Staff
Last Updated: Mar 8, 2018
"The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web."
― Pablo Picasso
'Found Object Art' reminds me of the old quote, 'Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder'. A 'found object' artist will find art in almost everything! He will appreciate the beauty of rusted metal, a lying stone, a crumbled paper, a mutilated vessel, a broken ceramic piece, e-waste, plastic bottles.... and the list will go on. Ever found an old rusted vessel artistic? If not, 'found object' artists will tell you how. These artists see things differently, unlike ordinary people like us.
Definition: Found object art is nothing but creating art out of found objects; turning everyday, dull, mundane, or even trash objects, into something artistic. Your everyday-use plastic bottles, newspapers, scraps, old books, used plastic, consumer waste, scrap metal, etc., find their way into this art form. Sometimes, it is also created to create social awareness or mock something.
Let's delve deeper into the history of this art form, and check out some examples.
Found Object Art History, Famous Artists, and Artwork
This art movement was also known as ''object trouvé'. Traces of this art form can be found in the times of the 20th century, when artists such as Pablo Picasso started using broken pieces of pottery to make collages. Georges Braque's use of cubism and 'collage' was one of the earliest types of 'found object art'.
Trivia : Did You Know?
The word collage was coined from the word 'coller', which means 'to stick/glue' in French.
'Readymades' art was a term formed by Marcel Duchamp, wherein, artworks were positioned in an aesthetic manner, with negligible work to modify. He is famous for his artwork titled 'Fountain', which is a porcelain urinal. He was one of the most influential members of the 'Dada' movement, which promoted using 'found objects' as they were, as artwork. Born during the World War I around 1916, Dadaism was completely nontraditional and different than the works of typical art connoisseurs. This artwork consisted of mockery of the politics involved in the war, and its side effects on society. Major artists involved in Dadaism were Man Ray, Hans Richter, Jean Arp, Kurt Schwitters, etc. The Dada movement eventually gave birth to the Pop Art movement.
Other famous 'found object' artworks
Fur-lined Teacup (1936, MOMA, New York) by Meret Oppenheim
Portraits by Jane Perkins, which involve the use of various items: buttons, plastic pieces, etc.
Kurt Schwitters's collection: 'Merzbau'
Books on Found Object Art
'Collage, Assemblage, and the Found Object' by 'Diane Waldman'
'Secrets of Rusty Things: Transforming Found Objects Into Art' by 'Michael Demeng'
'Found Object Art' by 'Dorothy Spencer'.
Objects Commonly Used
This artwork commonly makes use of the following items

Crumbled paper/newspapers/waste paper
e-waste
Cables
Forks and spoons
Toilets
Scrap metal
Broken pieces of marbles and tiles

Well, of course this is not an exhaustive list, and an artist can have raw materials in many forms. For example, you can also use old wine bottles to convert them into different creative decor items.
Found Object Art Examples
Found Object Art For kids
waste plastic art
A CD made into a color pallet (decor item)
A plastic bottle converted into a piggy bank
A cardboard roll converted into a smart abstract design with the help of wires
Sculptures
sculptures
Metal scraps and plastic waste converted into sculptures
Plastic Bottle Globe in Amsterdam on IJ Waterway
globe plastic bottles
This globe was intended to create awareness of the hazards of plastic bottles and pollution
Rock Garden Sculptures in Chandigarh
rock garden sculptures in chandigarh
These sculptures are made by Nek Chand, with waste such as tiles, stones, ceramics, etc.
Street Art: Assembly of Items
scrap metal street art
Scrap metal street art in Williamsburg Brooklyn street of New York
'Trash People' Display in Rome
trash people
German artist HA Schult's display in Rome made of consumer waste, such as tins and containers
Found Object Art has opened boundless realms for art, and redefined its meaning. Well, with the growing dump of plastic and e-waste, these artworks may serve as a reminder to us of its potential hazards. Art is a powerful medium indeed, and kudos to those artists who initiated this brilliant technique.
Wire Made Motorcycle
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