A Recycled Life

RawfeyL with dumpster canvas.

Canvas pulled from the local dumpster one day in April 2015

I’ve been using recycled media to create art, for as long as I can remember and for as long as anyone in my family can remember, for me. When I was a child, my father worked for commercial printing companies. He would bring home raw materials: the damaged or cast off prints, 4 foot wide ‘end-butts’ of the rolls of printing paper, the ink can dregs, Sharpies and Koh-I-Noor Rapidograph technical pens, pencils, pieces of film and many other discarded materials from the printing industry, for me to ‘play with’.

So my dad brought home damaged prints from Dallas Fort Worth art museums and I would draw and paint right on top of reproductions of Remington and Russell masterpiece, or other printed materials… and make new creations.

1977 Leather City (signature Debbie) Burge

1977 Leather City (signature Debbie) Burge • 16w”x20h” • mixed/recycled leather, wood

All the way through childhood to university I continued to use used materials, along with new materials, on various school and professional art projects. But ‘recycled media’ was not popular in the 60s-90s, so I got mixed reactions from the public for ‘using trash’, in those early decades.

Recycling materials for art making is something I continue to this day, in three dimensional works (sculpture) and two (painting). Just like childhood, I have happen to have access to a local commercial Giclée printer and am able to harvest yards and yards of artist quality canvas from the dumpster of my industrial complex.

Who cares about a little printed mess to paint over, when the canvas itself is free? Today, it is as if I have recycled Raw materials delivered direct to my studio. And it all starts with the ubiquitous industrial dumpster.

Inside the studio with the catch-of-the-day-canvas

Catch-of-the-day; RawfeyL with canvas recovered and recycled for painting.

I was born to do this. As I transition from female to male, I am in essence recycling my own body; I am sculpting my real self from the Raw materials I was born with. I am the living embodiment of my artistic methodology. And with the new aerodynamic FTM chest, it is much easier to do the art and dumpster diamond mining! #flatGratitude

2011 Served Up, BUSTED portrait of the artist RawfeyL

2011 Served Up, BUSTED series, portrait of the artist RawfeyL, pre-transition.