Salvaged Bike Chain Chandeliers Defy Concepts of Wealth

File this under sexy: dripping chandeliers made from salvaged bicycle chains.

LA-based multidisciplinary artist Carolina Fontoura Alzaga produces what she calls “reflections and documents of…shifting realities” inspired by her tri-cultural upbringing in Mexico, Brazil and the USA. Referencing tricycles at this stage would seem a natural progression, given that these functional sculptures are made from the cast-off remains of bicycles. But that would render frivolous the perspective she brings to her art of salvaging objects of disuse and beautifying them into objets d’art.

Her chandelier series, called CONNECT, borrows from the aesthetic of Victorian chandeliers and welds it to contemporary DIY and urban bike culture.

The artist explains:

“This series addresses class codes, power dynamics, reclaimed agency, and ecological responsibility. The traditional chandelier is seen as a bourgeois commodity, a cachet of affluence, excess, and as such, power. The recycled bicycle parts become a representation of the dismissed, invisible, and powerless, but are also an affirmation of self-propelled movement.”

These objects are subversive, then, challenging “the necessity of new” and defying our concepts of wealth, affluence, trash and art.

Here’s Carolina sourcing materials from junkyards  and upcycling them in her studio on the outskirts of LA.

K. Emily Bond

K. Emily Bond is the Shelter Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in southern Spain, reporting on trends in art, design, sustainable living and lifestyle.