This Brooklyn Artist Has Been Turning NYC Trash Into Treasured Quarantine Messages

Claire Leaden Claire Leaden

This Brooklyn Artist Has Been Turning NYC Trash Into Treasured Quarantine Messages

Transforming something negative into something beautiful is definitely a message for the times.

And one Brooklyn-based artist has been doing that, quite literally, on streets all over NYC. Sara Erenthal takes discarded objects from city street corners and transforms them into simple but powerful works of art, sending messages of positivity and togetherness during a challenging time.

Outside of her studio work, Erenthal has been drawing on pieces of NYC’s famous “street trash” (mattresses, mirrors, desks, etc. abandoned on the curb) for a number of years. “My work has always been about my daily experiences, struggles, hopes and feelings,” she told us.

Recently, her creations have shifted to reflect the effects of the COVID-19 crisis on NYC, and other New Yorkers have taken notice and empathized with their own struggles of isolation.

“As coronavirus started becoming serious in NYC, naturally the subject matter of the crisis became my focus in my work as this is what I am experiencing daily,” Sarah said. “The response has always been amazing, but these last few months have been exceptionally beautiful to know how much people need and appreciate my work now.”

Some of her works are acutely relatable (this is on a desk in Flatbush):

While others add a pop of fun among the trash bags (a mirror in Prospect Lefferts Gardens):

And still others are simply statements of NYC truths (a furniture part in Park Slope):

Either way, they surely add a bright spot on daily walks around the city. Check out the rest of Sarah’s artwork on her Instagram here.

featured image source: Instagram / @saraerenthalart

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