Oct 25, 2011

TREND | Cup Art

Tara Donavon's Untitled, Styrofoam Cups

You may just look at your everyday plastic cup as an object that holds your beverage, but there are some that object to this common use and see it as ART!? Artists such as Tara Donavon and Andy Uprock turn plastic cups into organic shapes in galleries or geometric designs on your sidewalks. These cups have also been used in the past decade as large messages or ads to cheer on their teams or promote a business.

The artist Donavon enjoys taking your everyday man made materials, such as plastic cups, and turns them into organic scenes in nature. Donavon’s plastic cups usually represent a landscape or groups of clouds as the viewer can see above. In an article by Eric Gelber about Donavon’s piece , Landscape, “Donovan uses anonymous elements of the real to make original otherworldly structures that complicate the relationship between parts and whole and reconfigure our ideas about and memories of utilitarian objects and real and imaginary terrains”.
Tara Donavon's Untitled, syrafoam cups: more details
 Andy Uprock also uses plastic cups in his artwork but he takes his to the streets, literally! Uprock’s name even goes along with his work. It is called cup rocking! Uprock takes clear, plastic cups and cyclone fencing and combines them, sticking them into the existing diamond shapes, making geometric patterns and then spray painting the insides to look a little like graffiti.

Andy Uprock's Cup Rocking, in Pavilion Kuala Lumpur Sydney
Uprock typically uses around 2,500 plastic cups in his street gallery projects and recycles the cups in-between projects. In this video Uprock uses these cups as an expression of who his is and to Uprock it is a whole new way of life, graffiti street art.
 As cool as these reusable and recyclable works of art are they are also used in everyday life for sports teams or your local business. Because a person can buy these everyday, cheap man made objects at their local grocery store, it is very easy to create your own work of art or ad. Fences are all around schools and along your home streets giving everyone the perfect chance to experiment with plastic cups! You can cheer someone on or you can even promote against someone or something! This picture was taking after a group of kids wanted to protest tobacco and the harmful effects it has on people who chew or smoke.  Billboards are expensive, and if you already have a fence next to you why not use some colored cups to get business?  Fences are also at eye level when your driving around town so the odds of someone viewing this art/ad might be even better then the high rise billboard. If you cannot afford a billboard a fence may be your next best thing!

-Abigail Cannon


  1. I love the first image in your blog. I think that the translucent spheres allow light to pass through them. They are just beautiful. I also think it is so delightful when artists turn the ordinary world into something beautiful and magical.
    - Corinne Crowley

  2. I really loved this because it struck home to me. My dad took me to a shop that had glass blowing once when I was eight. I remember having the same feeling as you did. I have driven by this place a lot and have always wanted to stop but never did. I cant wait to go now. Everything is so beautiful, and colorful, the way the glass catches the sun is incredible. Im really happy you did this and I will be checking it out very soon.

    This is amazing.... who would have thought. So much has been done with cups you know for the longest time high school teams used cups in the fences at the school to spell out a saying or create a picture... thats the first thing I thought of when I saw your picture. Of course this artwork is so much more creative and beautiful. Corinne I agree with you taking something ordinary like the plastic party cup and create something so breath taking. They took something that wasn’t worth much and made it worth so much more which is something in itself. Not to mention how you can find so much beauty in something so plain.

    -Anastacia Sandoval