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A necklace that Daniel Lanzilotta made out of plastic and garbage.

Daniel Lanzilotta, grew up in the Woodlawn/Wakefield area of the North Bronx and ended up on a journey that took him across the country and eventually across the Atlantic to France where he spends half his time.

For years, Daniel has been collecting garbage that washes upon the shores of France—and even our own Bronx River and our borough’s shores and turns these items that are destroying our ecosystem into beautiful sculptures.

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But it’s not just about raising awareness about what we, as humanity, are doing to our planet but he also uses these pieces and everyday disposable, plastic items as a way to teach children their potential.

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The Bronx 200 Artist teaches children to look at an object and understand what the potential is by asking them what it is then he begins to assemble a small sculpture and shows them what one thing that may seem insignificant turn into something unique and different with a life of its own.

Lanzilotta said, “So it’s been a journey. How to look at an object and how to understand what the potential is of that object and what is the potential of yourself.”

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Even ordinary eye glasses are turned into works of art using garbage showing how something ordinary can become extraordinary—a message he often tells children about their potential, that they are more than they think they are because of their potential to be greater.

“I look at these kids and tell them, you are more than what someone says you are, you don’t listen to what they say you are and you don’t look at another human being and say, “They’re less than me”. No, you look at their potential. That person is potential.”

And that’s precisely what Daniel Lanzilotta does with everyday objects whether it’s plastic and garbage he finds in the ocean and bodies of water or grabbing a stack of plastic stirrers from fast food places that will end up in our garbage and oceans.

He takes them and painstakingly makes anything, manipulates them with heat turning them into necklaces, earrings, and small sculptures—each one different and unique.

According to his bio at The Bx 200, he says: “My artistic mission is to bring greater significance to the seemingly insignificant. I am a ‘plastician”. I work with plastic waste, detritus, rubbish, fragments of litter, trash, flotsam and jetsom. I work predominantly with plastics. My art supply store is the environment we live in.”

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Bronx born and raised artist Daniel Lanzilotta along some of his works at his studio in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Daniel also talks about the importance for Bronxites to be able to ‘detox’ and decompress surrounded by nature.

“The Bronx is full of places to go to and recharge yourself, it’s not what people think it’s about, it’s not what is still in people’s images. Go to our many parks, to The New York Botanical Garden, The Bronx Zoo and enjoy the fresh, clean air. Use them!”

Another unique sculpture made out from Starbuck stirrers.
Another unique sculpture made out from Starbuck stirrers.

It was a pleasure to chat with this native son of The Bronx and get a closer look at his work. Daniel is one of many amazing people that have come from our borough and continue to come despite whatever odds are thrown our way.

It’s like he says, “You’re more than you are. You are potential.” Pretty much, we are more th

That’s something we should not only think about ourselves as but encourage our youth and others to seek the potential within them.

 

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