Chicago-based artist (and self-described “agitator”) Mary Ellen Croteau has a body of work that spans over two decades. Her work has always challenged the ridiculousness of social norms, and her latest, constructed of non-recycled plastic waste, is no different. Influenced by Chuck Close, Croteau arranges thousands of bottle caps in their original color and size to reveal incredible compositions. But it’s not enough to be drawn in by the inventive repurposing of otherwise wasteful material… Croteau is looking to shake things up a bit by demonstrating the huge amounts of trash we are consuming and sending into the environment. In her own words: “I personally think that single-serve plastic bottles are a major curse on our environment, and most especially water bottles. Most of us do not need to have bottled water at hand. Getting people used to spending more money for water than they spend for a gallon of gasoline is devious and disastrous for the future of the planet, letting corporations control our water sources is evil.” More work with resourcefully repurposed materials here and here and here.