Carolina Fontoura Alzaga creates elegant chandeliers using bike chains and other parts found at junkyards.
Carolina Fontoura Alzaga has built a practice out of turning castoff materials into high art. The Los Angeles-based artist was raised in Mexico, Brazil and the U.S., and takes her experiences moving from place to place and culture to culture as the starting point for her epic creations.
For her ongoing "Connect" series, Alzaga builds grand chandeliers that are elegant, imposing and multilayered. But these aren't your typical, opulent fixtures. Alzaga has crafted them using bicycle parts gathered from the junkyard.
Chandeliers are normally associated with wealth, power, and influence. But when they are created from discarded bike parts—those invisible, disposable pieces that aren't normally thought of at all—it creates another, third meaning. And by giving old materials a new function or second life, it lessons the amount of waste we as humans produce. The artist hopes her inspired sculptures will spark dialogue and influence our future direction as a society.
Alzaga is currently selling her pieces on Etsy, and sending 10 percent of sales go to the Derailer Bike Collective, a free, volunteer-run, community bike shop in Denver, Colorado. And because it's all reclaimed materials, no two chandeliers are identical. For more about her process check out the video below.
Photos courtesy of Carolina Fontoura Alzaga