Selfie culture, media craze, and over-reliance on technology in a society sliding into a state of general decadence are some of the hot-button issues Los Angeles-based artist “Thrashbird” is keen on exposing through his art.
In one of his latest projects, called “Valley of Secret Values,” this street art renegade of unverified identity, using stencils, spray colors, and wheatpaste transformed forgotten relics that he discovered at an abandoned concrete factory in Lime, Oregon, into giant designer handbags.
When “Thrashbird” is asked about the implications of his “Valley of Secret Values” project, he usually replies: “I only want to plant seeds, I’m not trying to tell them [people] what to think. Whatever they go away with I only hope that inspires thought. For me personally, it’s a metaphor for identity and the quest to find our place in this world.”
The artworks’ metaphor about human behavior and the struggle for identity is too strong for the area’s passengers to disregard. The giant concrete replicas of luxury handbags, from brands such as Alexander McQueen, Chanel, Givenchy, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Prada, replacing colossal stone blocks from an old abandoned concrete plant, give the impression that they would crumble with the passage of time and return to the earth as dust.
According to the American street artist, the message behind these giant art installations is people’s struggle with grandiosity and ego. “Thrashbird” seems to be extremely concerned about the fact that possession and consumption of ephemeral goods have become the main measure of success in contemporary societies, replacing social interactions and relations.