Did Al Gore scare the pants off you? He scared us too. Not just because we wonder how much hair gel he uses per annum, or even how the hell he managed to make a PowerPoint presentation into an internationally acclaimed documentary — we’re also scared of our impact on the environment. As a result, we turn things off at the wall, we switched to enviro-bags and we make sure we always recycle our Tequila bottles. One thing none of us thought of — not even Al — was recycling images.

Thank goodness for Facundo Argañaraz. This Buenos Aires born, San Francisco residing artist makes art by reusing images that already exist — from magazines, album covers, books and the world around him. As Argañaraz explains, there is already such a surplus of images in the world that he takes them and transforms them in new ways. That is some serious commitment to recycling.

This clip is the latest in The Popular Workshop‘s series of interviews with artists. Having access to creators via the digital world has the potential to be a great democratization of the art hierarchy. By enabling a connection between the artist and the audience without the gallery space as a middleman is a lot friendlier to those of us who otherwise would think twice about entering the ‘white box’ art world.

Argañaraz talks about how the Tenderloin district of San Francisco inspires him and how you can see formal composition in almost anything. The man has a way with words; listening to him talk about how he “paints with images” is a thousand times more enticing an invitation to be environmentally aware than all the Al Gores of the world combined.

His exhibition Rapture Ready: Space Planning & Aesthetics is closing on Friday at The Popular Workshop gallery.

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