I don’t know who would be necessarily the “most famous” as fame for sculptors usually comes later in life, and usage of recycled items is a relativly new concept. One of the more renowned sculptors I have discovered is a British sculptor named Robert Bradford. Quoting from the website I have cited at the bottom, “His work is often described as cutting-edge, whimsical, ingenious and even ridiculous, and garners international attention for his innovative and engaging ability to transform discarded objects into colourful sculptures.” Bradford utilizes old toys, and other found treasures to create his masterpieces. Take a look. They are really quite interesting.
As touched on by mssamarie, it is difficult to gauge the “most famous sculptor” who uses recycled materials. However, a famous and early piece that I think is also really fun and cool is called “Cadillac Ranch”. It is located in Amarillo, Texas, and was created in 1974 by sculptors Chip Lord, Hudson Marquez and Doug Michels. It consists of 10 junk Cadillacs in a line with their noses buried and their back ends raised out at an angle. Located along the famous Route 66, these cars are a favorite roadside attraction. One of the reasons for that is that public interaction like writing or spraying graffiti is encouraged, so that cars never look the same on two consecutive visits. The cars change color often, once all painted pink for their silent partner’s (the one who funded the project) wife’s birthday, once all a flat black to honor the death of Doug Michels, and once in a while to provide a fresh canvas for passerby’s. I think this is a fun way to recycle old cars and provide a space for public interaction with a large scale sculpture.
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