Thomas Dambo is a street artist based in Copenhagen and his works are made entirely from waste materials. He is also a musician, playing in the hip hop band Fler’ Farver, and an interaction designer. He’s installed an impressive 1640 brightly-painted birdhouses in Copenhagen, Beirut and Berlin. With this much artistic credential, it seemed only right for ArtRebels to talk with him.
Why are you using entirely waste materials?
I want to give people a positive experience with waste. For many, garbage is a repulsive word, but we can use it to do a lot of nice things.
I also like to turn the design process upside down. Instead of producing waste when you design something, because there are a lot of leftovers from the process, you can design things from this waste.
I find it interesting, when things become a mix of street art and some kind of applied art that you can actually use to something very concrete – like a birdhouse for example.
You are a quite experienced street artist – how is making birdhouses different from other kinds of street art?
My background is in the graffiti environment. A lot of this kind of street art is seen as something destructive, but no one will ever call putting up a birdhouse vandalism. People see it more as a gift to the city.
What is next?
I am thinking about making those great colorful totem poles, so maybe that will be the next project. Besides that I don’t know, but I will keep doing big, visible street art projects from waste material – that’s for sure.
You can see more about the birdhouse project here.