Rusti D. (Buenos Aires, Argentina) blurs the boundaries between art and design with his playful figures created from found and gifted materials, primarily broken or unused toys, and industrial plastic parts. Loosely classified as Robots, the colorful, animated figures offer a refreshing take on figurative sculpture and toy design.
For Rusti D., who refers to himself as a "space cherub," the magic behind his creative process lies in crafting a fanciful character from pieces that originally had a specific, often singular, use. For example, a friend who worked at a hair salon gave him 300 curlers and he used them to make a series of figures. He describes the production of the Robots as, "an investigative process...a means of expressing myself in which I feel free."
He is a part of Objetos Encontrados, an artists' collective founded in 2004 by Luis Manuel Fernández and Guillermina Luz Sanchez, whose name means "lost and found objects" or, "encountered objects." Each of the seven participants -- who call themselves 'The Seven Mad Men' -- use recycled materials exclusively to create their products.
Rusti D. showed an early acumen for design, selling bracelets made from telephone wires throughout his neighborhood starting when he was eight years old. Trained as a young adult in technical skills such as ironwork and carpentry, Rusti D. became a professional photographer in 1996 and immediately began experimenting with films and processing to create surrealist collages of images. He began exhibiting his photography in 1998, while continuing to produce handmade goods. Inspiration for the figures comes from his diverse background as a maker and from all facets of Rusti D.'s life in Argentina -- the people, the music and the colorful fruits and vegetables at the greengrocer.