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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Going green with Gene Bunger

    University students are always trying to innovate fun and creative inventions to help make the world a better place. Gene Bunger, a Tucson native and a marketing senior, tries to be one of these individual innovators; he up-cycles trash into art.

    Gene opened up his creative mind and let the Daily Wildcat know just why recycled art and creating in general are so important to him.

    Daily Wildcat: How did this recycled art hobby start for you?

    Bunger: I’ve always been into art more; [specifically] folk-art, which is different from fine art because there are no restraints and it represents a person’s culture. The items you use to make art can tell a story about you. My dad and I used to go to the dump, and I was always amazed at what people would threw away. I value others stuff, plus I’m a college student — I have to save money somehow.

    What is your biggest inspiration behind your art work?

    My dad is a big one. He does the same thing that I do, which definitely speaks about our bond. I [also] like making stuff that’s kind of silly and that makes people laugh. I also find inspiration from other artists.

    What do you love most about recycled folk-art?

    This is really new to me. I have just been having fun and trying not to be too serious. The best part is when people get a kick out of it — it’s the response I get out of people that I like.

    Random question: What are you planning to be for Halloween? Are you making something?

    Yes, actually, I am. That’s a good question. It’s going to be recycled art, and I am keeping it old school. I am going to use papier-mâché and make a grown-up Pinocchio, but [revealing] the story they didn’t tell you. I guess like a ‘disheveled Pinocchio,’ rather. I’m planning to wear a suit, and I’m even going to make a big papier-mâché head.

    Was there a piece specifically that was challenging for you?

    The one that was most frustrating was a painting that someone asked me to do. It was a flat painting — she just wanted a basic beach scene. … I did it three times and I [just] lost it. Then I [decided] to try one more time, took a breath and it became one of the best paintings I ever did. It’s actually my cover [photo] on my Facebook.

    If you could choose only one, what would you say is your favorite piece?

    My first piece. I made it out of recycled junk I found. There was an old typewriter that didn’t work, and my dad got me some scrap metal. I turned it into a spider. I even entered it into an art show and called it “Arach Notes.” The name is super cheesy, but I’m cool with that.

    What does going green mean to you?

    They say reduce, reuse and recycle, but I’m hung up on the reuse part. What I will do is show you what you are throwing away, reuse it and turn it into something that will make you laugh. I just want to show people the value in [their] garbage.

    What advice would you give to people who are interested in going green and creating recycled art?

    Don’t be shy, and don’t be bashful of what others say. Do it for yourself; if you want to knit a sweater out of trash bags, do it. It doesn’t have to be Pinterest worthy. Just have fun.

    Follow Ciara Biscoe on Twitter.

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