The Great Wave is a classic image we see again and again, but artist Chris Jordan puts a new twist on it by recreating the unmistakable piece with 2.4 million pieces of plastic. His reinterpretation, entitled Gyre, is composed entirely of plastic collected from the Pacific Ocean. Jordan takes massive global matters like man-made environmental pollution and transforms it into a work of art. The idea behind his work is to awaken people to the problems we are all responsible for by exemplifying the colossal nature of the issue.
Gyre is only one artwork in his series titled Running the Numbers II: Portraits of global mass culture. Each large-scale work that is cross between painting and sculptural installation brings awareness to a pressing environmental issue that is a direct result of mass consumerism and waste. In the equally eye-opening creation entitled Gyre II, Jordan reconstructs The Starry Night out of 50,000 lighters to echo the number of floating pieces of plastic within every square mile of the world’s oceans. Within the series, the artist utilizes hundreds of thousands of plastic spoons, bags, and even shark teeth to symbolize the mass consumption and environmental negligence present in the world.