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A chat with 'The Street Is In The House' artist Carlos Sampietro
Italian artist Carlos Sampietro sees art in the most unexpected places

Carlos Sampietro, born in Lake Como, Italy, moved from the advertising industry to the arts. Don't worry about getting bored while looking at his collection, "The Street Is In The House," is truly unique. Sampietro's motto for the exhibit is "There is beauty in something that has been in the street for so long."

Pictured above, is one of Sampietro's police barrier tables. The artist wanted to bring something that is normally scary and used to separate people, and turn it into something that will bring people together. Many of his works use similar elements -- transforming an item from the street into something beautiful and something that makes a statement about society. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pictured above is one of Sampietro's newspaper dispensers-turned-aquarium. This piece of art is particularly tricky to construct, according to the artist. If something goes wrong, you could wind up with the Hudson River in your apartment. Luckily, Carlos has made a few of these and learned how to construct the aquarium so that if there is a leak, it will leak into the bottom area and not onto your floor (smarty pants!). He also spoke about an aquarium he made that was orange and filled with goldfish. It was taken from Chelsea, and he used the vibrant color to make a nod to the gay community there. 

Another great piece (that I could really use in my apartment) is a dishwasher, made out of a magazine dispenser. This piece, pictured below, allows a person with no dishwasher in their apartment (me) to not only have a free-standing dishwasher, but have one that is also a work of art. It lights up, making it not only a household appliance, but a piece that adds to the ambiance of the room it's in. He also makes a wine cooler, also out of a magazine dispenser, with dual cooling zones (I also want one of these for my apartment). 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How long does it take Sampietro to complete one of his masterpieces? "About 3 days," he says. What can we expect from him in the near future? The artist is currently working on a project called "Fresh Pop Dogs," which is a commentary on the overpopulation of dogs in cities. He spoke about how different cities around the world treat dogs differently -- in America we treat them as babies (thanks Paris Hilton, for introducing the dog in the purse trend), and in other countries, stray dogs can be a major problem. This project will display a popcorn machine, and instead of popcorn overflowing from it, there will be tiny dogs spilling forth from the machine. He'd love this to be exhibited in a movie theater.

Carlos Sampietro has big ideas and it is clear to anyone who sees his work or gets the opportunity to talk to him, that his take on the world will get him far in this industry. Not only is he creating works of art with a lot of meaning behind them, but he is taking items that most people would throw away (or have already thrown away) and recycling them to make beautiful works of art. 

Check out more of his work here.