He’ll Turn Your Old Couch into New Piece of Art
Recycled art is on display in galleries in Manhattan. The artist is hoping to eventually put some on exhibit in Kyiv
“I don’t use the seams of jackets. As a result, I end up throwing away a lot of material. I mostly use the sleeves and the back. I had a few raincoats. One raincoat had enough material for two pictures,” artist Anton Andreyev said.
Two years ago, when Andreyev was just starting to work on his unusual still lifes, he couldn’t even tell genuine leather from artificial. He began using old jackets and later bags and purses — everything that allowed him to make sunflowers and poppies. Two varieties of flowers found everywhere in his works.
“Here’s a golden raincoat. Parts of it are already on display in galleries. Recently, I got a call from a friend, who said he was throwing away a couch. So he cut a piece of material from it for me. Someone used to sit on this. And what I do is give this piece of the couch, a new life,” Andreyev said.
More than 20 years ago, Andreyev, a priest by vocation, moved to New York from the Black Sea port city of Odesa.
Now, In his spare time between sermons, Andreyev works on his pictures and signs them Tony Bless.
“People are already aware that I make pictures from leather and now call me offering things like material: They say “We’re throwing away a couch, a chair,” Andreyev said.
Andreyev’s wife is always on the lookout for sources of material for her husband’s art.
“At first I actually specially bought leather in stores for him. It’s quite expensive—around $35 will buy you a piece about THIS size,” she said, showing. “But then I saw so many jackets on sale, and if it’s at a 50 percent discount a jacket can be had for just $5 or $6. So I wouldn’t buy things for myself, I’d just buy a bunch of jackets and raincoats for him,” she said.
Right now Andreyev’s art is on display in galleries in Manhattan. The artist is hoping to eventually put some on exhibit in Kyiv.