Jane Perkins’ Remarkable Recycled Art

Published March 20, 2014
Updated February 12, 2018

See Jane Perkins' stunning recreations of artistic masterworks using only recycled materials like buttons and beads.

Jane Perkins Art

Source: Juxtapoz

Before tackling plastic as a preferred medium, artist Jane Perkins worked in textiles, and wrote her thesis on Art and Design from Recycled Materials. Several years of hard work and 40 exhibitions later, Perkins has settled into her signature “Plastic Classics” style: re-working portraits and artwork in one of the most ingenious recycling methods we’ve seen yet.

Without adding any additional color to her pieces, she uses found objects to bring to life the subjects of her artistry, each of which can take weeks to complete. These images present themselves and should be viewed in two different ways.

From a distance, one can easily recognize the person or subject matter. But once the viewer steps closer, the artwork loses its mimetic properties and becomes an abstract arrangement of found objects.

Jane Perkins Sunflowers

Source: Juxtapoz

Jane Perkins Einstein

Source: Juxtapoz

Inspired by some extraordinary religious headdresses from Ecuador, Perkins began exploring this method in 2005, but on a much smaller scale. Perkins would create hand-stitched brooches from small pieces of jewelry, shells and coins, often incorporating broken trinkets and childhood toys her clients couldn’t bear to part with. Some of these brooches were mounted on wood to be hung as wall (rather than wearable) art.

Jane Perkins The Kiss

Source: Juxtapoz

While fashioning these elaborate accessories, Perkins came across many fantastic items that were too large to put on a brooch. After writing her thesis, the idea of combining the bigger pieces together to form a larger picture came to her suddenly, and right away she started compiling them into a Matisse portrait, Portrait with Green Stripe.

Marilyn Monroe

Source: Juxtapoz

Mona Lisa

Source: Juxtapoz

For the most interesting info on the genuine article, check out these Mona Lisa facts.

Waterlilies

Source: Juxtapoz

Encouraged by her results, Perkins decided to go even larger, this time making a portrait of someone almost everyone she knew would recognize – The Queen of England. This particular piece won her a People’s Choice Award, issued at the Focus on Great Britain exhibition in 2009.

Jane Perkins Artwork

Source: Juxtapoz

Obama

Source: Juxtapoz

Pearl Earring

Source: Juxtapoz

Nicholas Hillard

Source: Juxtapoz

After a piece sells Perkins will often construct a duplicate image, but using all different materials. Each is unique, while depicting the same person in the same pose.


After this look at the work of Jane Perkins, see some of the world’s most fascinating recycled art and discover why so many are excited about upcycling.

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