'Earth Poetica,' a huge globe sculpted from plastic waste, is set to be exhibited in NYC
New York City — Years ago, a friend took me to an artist's studio. The barefooted painter, wearing paint-splotched jeans, extended for a handshake. "I'm Styles."
Styles noticed me gawking at his half-shredded T-Shirt. "I cut out Versace's name and hung it over there . . ." He laughed while pointing to a wall.
I scratched my head.
"Since fashion is about logos, not actual clothes, my wall is fashionable now," he said. "Art is about seeing what everybody sees but thinking what nobody thinks. And then making art out of it."
When the artist Beverly Barkat saw children scavenging on a once-beautiful beach, now covered with plastic waste, she had an "artistic vision." She saw what everybody sees but thought something else.
Barkat abruptly went to work on transforming litter — a random collection of plastic bags, bottles, etc. — into art. “It went from looking like a scrunched-up plastic bag,” she said, “to something that looks like jewelry” or “something very, very expensive and precious.”
The pandemic seems to have enhanced interest in the project. “People physically felt the concept of what I was talking about,” Barkat says.
Like so many artists before, Barkat reminds New Yorkers why beauty lies in the eye of the beholder. After all, because there's no reality without perception, this explains why "perception is reality."
In short, even when confronted with plastic waste, the artist shows how one person's trash can be transformed into another's treasure. Or "Earth Poetica."