Sustainable art is being taken to unique and ultra-distinctive levels and forms by Joe Thompson, who lives with his wife and three children on Merritt Island, Florida. He uses 100 percent recycled and repurposed materials to create fine paintings and sculptures that are collected both nationally and abroad.
A self-taught, full-time artist since 2008, Thompson’s paintings are done on recycled doors—or doors owned by clients that are sent to him— and his paint comes from landfills. All sculptures are either found objects or reclaimed steel.Some of his more intriguing commissioned works include a kinetic wind sculpture depicting a marlin chasing bait fish at Port Canaveral, near Cocoa Beach and a life-size female form consisting of more than 7,500 trampoline springs.
“When I started, I didn’t have a budget,” explains Thompson. “It’s great that materials have fit into my art world and it all became fine art to me. To me, art is sacred. I’m often inspired first by the old materials I see, like old tools or scrap metal.”
Thompson believes his works can inspire others that have a passion for attaining goals that may seem out of reach. “When someone wants something bad enough, they can make it happen. There are opportunities everywhere, but we have to wake up to see them,” he says.