Even the most enthusiastic recycler gets bogged down by bottle caps. Their chemical make up is different from the bottles they top, so often they don’t fit into the categories of those ubiquitous numbers that are ascribed to other plastic items.
Artist (and self proclaimed Agitator) Mary Ellen Croteau has a history with statement art and commenting on the quantity of plastic waste has been part of her work for some time. She’s used both bags and the caps to create work that is both captivating and provocative.
While developing a piece involving gravity defying towers of colored plastic bottle caps she noticed that they often fit inside one another, creating varied and interesting hues. One thing led to another and she began creating a Chuck Close inspired large scale portrait, using these nested caps to create the varied color palette necessary for the image. It is interesting to note that Mr. Close suffers from a somewhat rare disease called Prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness. (Which happens to be yet another word introduced by Jad Abumrad in a story in the particular episode of Radio Lab noted here.)
When creating portraits in that type of scale, its neither necessary (or even possible) to recognize the image as a face. Its little more than color and pattern, which is fascinating to think about.
In fact its down right pixelating.