Lisbon, one of Europe’s most underrated cities, has in recent years been the recipient of an influx of artists, many fleeing Berlin and Paris for cheaper rents. One of these homegrown creatives is artist Arturo “Bordalo II,” created impressive, larger than life 3D Animal murals on walls and back alleys throughout the city. He uses materials like old tires, scrap metal, steering wheels, oil paint, and bumpers.
The painted sculptures have an appealing storybook quality when viewed as solid objects, but a closer look tells a darker story when you realize those birds, fish, rabbits, and raccoons are made from damaged bumpers, burnt garbage cans, old tires, busted appliances, and other man-made detritus.
Bordalo says that “The idea is to depict nature itself, in this case animals, out of materials that are responsible for its destruction,” He hope to raise the collective eco-consciousness about the impact of our wasteful habits on the planet with his art.
The ultimate goal of Bordalo’s work is to increase awareness of pollution and environmental degradation, while repurposing the trash graveyards of major cities into something both beautiful and productive. The sculptures are also cheeky homages to the animals that once called these spaces home before humans stepped in and kicked them to the curb—much like the trash from which these works were made. But in all honesty, raccoons can probably live anywhere.