Gone are the days, at least for most of us, of listening to our favourite cassette tape on our Walkman, but it does not have to mean the end of the cassette tape. The cassette tape lives again and gets upcycled into unique and inspirational pieces of art.
The talented artist behind these creations is Chicago-based Erika Iris, who goes by the artist name iri5. Her materials of choice for her artwork are cassette and film tape, music pages, playing cards, and pretty much whatever else inspires her.
Her truly inspirational pieces are her portraits of celebrities, old and new, made from cassette and film tape. The self-taught artist’s inspiration began in 2008 while working in a Jimi Hendrix-themed bar. Unrolling a cassette tape ribbon, she was reminded of Hendrix’s hair, and well like they say the rest is history.
Her upcycled artwork has expanded from Hendrix to include the likes of Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Michael Jackson, Marilyn Monroe and more.
In 2010, iri5 made a real mark on the industry when she collaborated on the Bruno Mars music video called ‘Just the way you are.’ While in 2012, Showtime hired her to create a huge portrait of Dexter and Debra from the famous TV show Dexter. The materials used for this creation where what Dexter loves, including knives, garbage bags and blood slides.
2013 saw iri5 honoured as the official artist for the 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards, where she created the program book, telecast tickets and promotional poster.
Who knew those old cassette and film tapes you have stashed in the back of the garage could be upcycled into such unique pieces of artwork.
Check out the other unique artwork on iri5’s site.