Thursday Salute to Originals: Metallic Scraps

Large mosaics portraits challenge societal notions of human value.

“There’s always potential within everything.” — That’s the motif underpinning much of Matt Small’s body of work. Based out of Camden, Small is a veteran of British street art.

The series of portraits shown here, now featured in the Vanguard exhibit at M Shed in London, highlights how human beings are often discarded, connecting overconsumption and throw-away culture to the societal tendency to marginalize certain groups of adolescents.

“Because of the social backgrounds they come from, young people find themselves overlooked, disregarded, and left uninvested in,” said Small in an interview with This is Colossal. “Marrying the discarded item and painting a portrait of a young person on it or utilizing the material to construct a mosaic face, I hope that the viewer sees that everybody and everything has a right to be viewed as valuable and of worth. It’s just up to us to see that.”

Each face is constructed from all types of metal trash. From oxidized iron to crinkled aluminum, worthless scraps are transformed into facial features, drawing meaning and value from artistic expression and careful design rather than the source material.

This Thursday, we’re saluting the metallic mosaics of Matt Small. You can view more projects like this one on the artist’s Instagram.

Sources: Matt Small, This is Colossal