Carolina Fontoura Alzaga’s magnificent chandeliers and lights, made from repurposed bike chains, are not only stunning but hugely innovative.
Caro’s work has been shaped by her lifelong movement between spaces and cultures. The results tell a story of her experiences in these contrasting environments and shifting realities, allowing her artistic vocabulary to evolve.
Before moving to LA, Caro spent her childhood in Denver, Colorado with frequent trips to Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro to visit family. This broad world view influenced her artistic perspective urging her to be drawn to finding beauty and value in overlooked narratives and weathered textures.
Her belief in the varied functionality of objects and materials is very present in the CONNECT series. She demonstrates that something is rarely doomed to actually being ‘trash’, but that most things simply change their purpose.
“To understand the idea that something that had an original function does not need to have that same function…[you can] transcend that function”
Caro emphasises she is able to express her beliefs through her work, alluding to the strong themes of sustainability and recycling. She seeks to initiate a “reclamation of agency and influence” and by doing so “influencing that path of our future”.
She adds that although she is not out on the street protesting, she is hoping that she will be able to start a dialogue through her work. Her work shows that you can channel creativity with resourcefulness and make a visible impact on how people perceive discarded materials.
“you can make beautiful things out of unlikely materials, and out of trash – because it’s not trash. I mean it’s trash because it no longer serves its original function but that doesn’t mean it can’t have another function altogether. And that’s where our creativity comes in”
Understandably due to the labour intensive design and production process, these stunning chandeliers do come at a price. However Caro does not only accept money at payment, she also recognises the value of trading goods or services.
“I do barter in exchange for my chandeliers in select situations. The trade has to be comparable to the time and effort that goes into making a CONNECT piece. In the past I’ve traded a two-year membership to a yoga studio and even got a designer to make this website in exchange for a chandelier.”
Here is a short video about Caro and her work.