If architects can construct entire apartment buildings from used shipping containers and Thai monks can build a temple from discarded beer bottles then why can’t an artist create furniture from old shopping carts?
That perhaps is what self-described cross-media visual designer Ramón Coronado asked when he spent 12 weeks at his Los Angeles home creating his Mercado Negro collection.
Mercado Negro (Spanish for “black market”) began, as many artistic projects do, as a statement on society. In the words of Coronado:
I took it upon myself to take a shopping cart and make a statement with it. I reclaimed LA’s iconic shopping cart and created furniture for kids to enjoy in these urban Los Angeles areas. The project is a criticism of the scarcity of recreational functions for kids growing up in a dense city like Los Angeles.
From that conceptual start, Coronado dismantled a used shopping cart, bent the plastic portions with heat and took an angle grinder to the steel portions.
The end result was the table, chair and lamp depicted in this post’s last photo. Of those three objects we personally are most taken with the chair. Not that we’d choose to have any of them in our house. But the concept behind this sort of upcycling—taking an object and transforming it into another of greater value—is undeniably cool.
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