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6 examples of pricey, trash-based art

By: Sarah F. Berkowitz on Oct. 3, 2011, 9:03 a.m.
clear cubes with trash inside

Photo: NYC Garbage/Flickr

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Justin Gignac, NYC Garbage Cubes

Justin Gignac was looking for a way to prove that packaging design makes a difference when he came up with a trashy idea — sell pieces of litter, creatively packaged, from the streets of New York. His selected pieces of trash are packed in 3.5-inch clear Lucite containers, signed and numbered.

And lest you think no one would buy an empty cigarette carton or Snickers wrapper, in the 10 years since he started packaging trash, Gignac has sold more than 1,300 cubes to people in more than 25 countries. The cubes started selling at $10 and now fetch up to $100 for limited-edition special event pieces. Gignac says he puts a lot of effort and thought into each cube — so people don't think they're just buying garbage.