Artist, Erik Jensen, is no stranger to using recycled materials in his art. In fact, his main focus has been using the keys from old computer keyboards to make pixelated images that span the gambit from original abstract designs to interpretations of classical works like the Mona Lisa. Jenson has a huge collection of old keyboards, which he satisfyingly pops off with a flathead screwdriver. Many of these keyboards were rejected by recycling centers since this type of electronic equipment is often too costly to recycle. The reason for this is that the materials within, the metals and plastics and so on, must be divided before recycling can happen, which takes a lot of man hours to accomplish.
But, Jenson puts these misfit toys to good use. He uses a variety of keyboard sizes, shapes, and colors in his artworks. And, to get the right colors he also dyes the keys, leaving some in the dye bath longer than others in order to create various shades tones within one color family. The results are striking in their execution and it takes him a lot of time.
The artworks Jenson creates use the concept of pointillism, a type of art made popular in the late 1800s as artists experimented with Impressionism and other forms of stylized art. Each dot of Pointillism can be compared to a pixel, which the square and rectangular keys represent nicely. Jenson also uses the keys to spell out various words and phrases that are meaningful to that particular piece, which is a fun surprise tucked into the artwork, waiting to be found.
See how Jenson makes his creations from start to finish in the video below.