It’s often precarious to mix art with activism, but Planeta Tapón knows how to gracefully modify the term and create beautiful pieces of artivism. Planeta Tapón is an initiative by Juan Cabrera to artistically recycle disused plastics by creatively transforming them. Their artivism – a portmanteau word combining art and activism, sometimes referred to as social artivism – attempts to stop plastic pollution entering natural habitats. Instead reuse waste plastic to create and design unique art pieces. Planeta Tapón mostly create abstract sculptures from recycled plastic.
Plastic is one thing that has constantly been a source of problems for the world. While a few years back, plastic was a means of development, the equation has now changed, and plastic has become dangerous to the environment, animals and human beings.
The constant production and use threaten to contaminate every corner of the planet. Presently, only 30% of the plastic is recycled, 39% is incinerated, and 31% ends up in landfills or the sea due to wind or rain. Thus, this is where Planeta Tapón comes into the picture. Planeta Tapón artistically approaches this issue creatively.
Their exhibition, ‘Art with Waste,’ raises awareness about pollution and strives to find solutions to the indiscriminate use of plastics. In this exhibition, 80 sculptures were made with plastic waste. These sculptures are then distributed into six exhibition spaces, namely Waste, Dinosaurs, Marine Wildlife, Creative Planet, Robots and Terrestrial Wildlife.
A significant part of their projects revolves around creating animas or abstract creatures with the help of plastic. A few are insects, dinosaurs like a velociraptor, stegosaurus, rex and diplodocus, big bot, flowers, superheroes, dragons, horses, ducks, bats and rhinoceros.
In the August of 2013, he saw a cap collection campaign done in his son’s school, and that’s when he got the idea of artivism. He eventually got 80kg corks and isolated himself for two weeks to work on these materials, and that’s how Planeta Tapón was born.
Juan Cabrera’s initiative is an idiosyncratic approach to reduce these stoppers (Tapón)- the disused plastic– and create a greener world with the artivism.
Furthermore, he also organizes exhibitions with the series of art pieces he has made, each unique and interestingly more appealing than the previous. Juan is even keenly engaged in teaching young and old the art of creating sculptures from waste through his workshops. Many of the art pieces end up being made in these workshops.