Artist paints in plastic to highlight how branded soft drink bottles litter the environment

Mbongeni Buthelezi is known as the artist who paints in plastic.

He works with waste made from plastic, cuts them into small pieces and melts them with a hot air gun onto the canvas.

His exhibition at The Melrose Gallery in Johannesburg is called “Sugar Tax” and addresses the problem branded soft drinks that litter the environment with their plastic bottles and have been blamed for various health problems.

When the South African studied art he couldn’t afford to buy expensive materials. So he found an alternative and now produces this unique kind of art.

He collects plastic bags from the streets around his Johannesburg studio and has turned recycling into an art form.

Buthelezi uses about 5,000 pieces of plastic for a single piece of artwork which can sell on the international market for up to 13 000 euros.

His works have been exhibited internationally, including the Museum of African Art in New York, the Goch Museum in Germany as well as the Prague Biennale.

This latest exhibition can be seen at The Melrose Gallery in Johannesburg.
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