The Radical Repurposing Of Everyday Ordinary

We’re exploring fearlessly authentic art, the kind that can’t and won’t be contained by a frame or canvas.

We’re tracking down the artists who’re pushing boundaries and radically redefining the creative landscape, be this in performance, tattooing, fashion design, publishing, public art or more.

For this list we’re looking at artists who see everyday objects in new ways. Through these artists’ work banal items like acrylic nails, insect husks, discarded tech and plastic waste become mesmerizing artworks that comment critically on current issues. Each of these artists are defined by their fiercely original vision and the unconventional material with which they choose to work.


Frances Goodman

Frances Goodman uses acrylic nails, false eyelashes, earrings, pearls and sequins in her work, which critiques popular perceptions of female identity, most often defined by extremes of consumption, excess, obsession, desire and anxiety. Working with these materials to create sculptures that are simultaneously seductive and appalling, Frances subverts the pervasive message that personal beauty can be found in a product.

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All images courtesy of the artist and Goodman Gallery.

Success is the best revenge, 2014

Below the Belt, 2013

Lick It, 2015

Ophiophilia, 2014

Golden Wand, 2016


Maurice Mbikayi

Working with discarded computer keyboards and other cast off tech, Congolese artist Maurice Mbikayi fashions intricate garments and suits, which he either exhibits as sculptural objects or wears to take composed photographs. His work comments on the intersection of African identity and technology, as well as critiques rampant waste and the idea of Africa as the world’s ‘dumpsite’. His is represented in South Africa by Gallery MOMO.

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All images courtesy of the artist and Gallery MOMO.

Techno dandy, and fractrals, 2015

Bilele, 2016

Untitled, 2016

Wed jacket, 2015


Moffat Takadiwa

Moffat Takadiwa’s practice centres on elevating found objects into sculptural forms that engage with issues of cultural identity, spirituality, social practice and the environment. Describing himself as a “spiritual garbage man”, Moffat is concerned with the consumption of foreign consumer products, excess and waste. Reconfiguring found objects into sculptural objects, his work transforms waste into incredibly beautiful pieces that seem to defy their original form. Moffat is represented in South Africa by Whatiftheworld Gallery.

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All images courtesy of the artist and Whatiftheworld Gallery.

Vendors teeth tight, 2016

The narratives, 2015

Foreign records, 2016

Borrowed sanitary, 2016

Bronwyn Lace

Working with ephemeral raw materials like butterfly wings, insect husks, gut, bones and eggs, Bronwyn Lace’s installations meditate quietly on death, decay and metamorphosis. Light and air are equally important although ‘invisible’ elements in Bronwyn’s work. Whether arranging wings into delicate mandalas on light boxes or reconfiguring and suspending an entire deconstructed skeleton, Bronwyn’s works require these two elements to breathe her work into life.

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All images courtesy of the artist.


Airs above the ground, 2011

Reliquary | Found Bodies series 2012 – 2015

Collapse Series, 2009

Float, 2006

Cyrus Kabiru

Kenyan Afrofuturism artist Cyrus Kabiru has gain international acclaim for his ‘C-Stunner’ series of eyewear made from upcycled trash that he sources from the streets. Elegantly elaborate and ingeniously crafted, his ‘wearable’ sculptures push the boundary of conventional craftsmanship. The success of his sculptures has lead him to explore other mediums, like photography, filmmaking and installations. Cyrus is represented in South Africa by smac gallery.

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All images courtesy of the artist and smac gallery.

C Stunner Morocco Ngome Morocco Castle, 2015

Nija Ya Maisha, Macho Nne: Trump, 2016

Kubwa Macho Nne – Tom and Jerry, 2015

Kubwa Macho Nne – American Darts, 2015

Wildebeest, 2015

Nyatiti (African Guitar), 2014

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