New York’s garbage artists have learned not only to live with dirty streets, but to embrace them as part of the city’s landscape and even to profit from them.
“Garbage is the most abundant natural resource in New York City,” says Robert Lederman, president of a street artists’ rights group, ARTIST. “Thousands of artists, including Jackson Pollack, used paint found in the garbage,” Lederman says. “Picasso used ‘trash’ to make sculptures.” Lederman himself uses cardboard found on sidewalks for signs and makes all of his art displays from garbage he finds on the streets.
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