Foam art: Artist turns trash to treasure

Foam art: Artist turns trash to treasure

He’s a polystyrene polymath!

A Bensonhurst artist who creates all his work from or on Styrofoam will display more than 50 polystyrene pieces during the Gowanus Open Studios event on Oct. 15–16. Daniel Genova hopes that his show, titled “Found Sty, Do or Die,” will open people’s minds about the environmentally-unfriendly material.

“I want to show the viewers just what a remarkable and diverse medium Styrofoam can be,” he said.

Genova’s unorthodox choice of canvas came to him by chance, when he was low on art supplies one day and found some clean, workable Styrofoam in his home. But he was soon entranced by the flexibility of the polystyrene surface, he said.

“What began as a curiosity became a serious direction in my art,” said Geneva. “Over time I found it to be a versatile medium that has special qualities, like a unique texture that can be altered to different levels of fineness. It can be used either two-dimensionally or three-dimensionally and it’s lightweight. The fact that it is generally a disposable material only makes me feel better about using it.”

Styrofoam is notorious for never breaking down, and Genova sees his art as a creative solution to the overabundance of the environmentally harmful packing material.

“As a rule I use only Styrofoam that is sent to me [as packing material] or that which I find in the street,” he said. “How often can you make ‘art’ out of something that is normally destined to become ‘landfill?’ I think it is one way that I as an artist can do something pro-active regarding our environment.”

And Genova is not worried about New York City’s proposed band on Styrofoam — in fact, he welcomes it.

“I hope they do ban it, in all its forms,” he said. “I will just express myself in other ways.”

Genova is excited to show visitors his full collection of works on Styrofoam, which he has created over the last five years. His studio, located in the Madarts building in Park Slope, is part of the Gowanus Artist Tour for the first time this year.

“Found Sty, Do or Die” at the Madarts building [255 18th St., Studio 31, between Fifth and Sixth avenues in Park Slope, (646) 734–0899, www.danielgenova.com]. October 15–16, noon–6 pm. Free.

These tablets are so light!: Daniel Genova’s watercolor “Moses, Moses, Moses,” painted on recycled Styrofoam, will be on display during Gowanus Open Studios on Oct. 15–16.