1,500 plastic bottles are consumed in the United States every second. Phthalates, which creates a more flexible material, is affecting human endocrine systems. Bisphenol A (BPA), which creates a firm and transparent bottle, is raising red flags for human health daily. 96% of females have BPA in their bodies causing early puberty, cancer, neurological issues, premature labor and birth defects in newborns. Environmental pollution is a growing issue globally, landfills are leaking harmful chemicals, water is being contaminated and animals are swallowing plastic bottles and suffering for our mindless waste. The PET bottles that we purchase out of habit from restaurants, grocery stores and vending machines are everywhere. Thankfully, instead of leaving them lying around, Veronicak Richterove is creating something beautiful out of this horrifying excess.
Taking these objects that range in color and form that have evolved with each new model over time, Varonika is able to upcycle and reuse our waste. She is digging our waste out from recycling bins and using it to build stunning artwork. Starting in 2007, she and her husband began to collect PET bottles, their collection now adding up to about 3,000 bottles from 76 different countries. Learning the history and usage of plastic, she is able to take these thought-to-be worthless objects and alter them to create new forms. She cuts, heats and builds the plastic into different forms such as light fixtures, animals, plants etc. This material is more than abundant and provides a cheap source that is strong, flexible, unbreakable, light and resistant to erosion and deterioration.
Varonika’s sculptures are altered to the point that the plastic bottles are unrecognizable. The forms of her bottles are very organic and often resemble objects in nature such as plants or animals. The various models of bottles used creates a nice range of hue and saturation and the reflection of the plastic surface adds interest and dimensionality to her artwork. The texture and assemblages of plastic of her artworks featured on Ignant are visually appealing and create realistic renderings of flowers, frogs, and bats. I also think that her subject matter is very controversial. For example, the plastic alligator is problematic because of it’s place of installation, in water, which is exactly where we would not want to see plastic litter. Also, her piece of penguins is contentious because of the issue of global warming. Although controversial, the visual style of her work is trendy (especially her cactiwhich appear on popular sites like Pinterest), colorfully translucent and whimsical.
Along with Richterova’s intriguing body of artwork, she has established a PET-ART Museum, showing off her impressive collection of plastic. She also addresses her audience on the important facts and figures of PET bottles so that they can be informed viewers and as a result, her followers have a greater appreciation for her art. My aspirations for Veronika’s work would be to gain popularity to create a meaningful, transformative and visual appealing presence in the art world.