San Francisco bail bondsman makes art from trash

You may not think of a bail bonds office as a place associated with either environmental consciousness or artistic talent, but Barrish Bail Bonds on San Francisco’s Bryant Street breaks that mold. The 50-year-old business serves as a day job for artist Jerry Ross Barrish; his passion, according to KGO-TV, is making sculpture from plastic trash he finds washed up on the beach.

As you can see from the video above, as well as his online gallery, Barrish clearly has a fondness for music and musicians: he’s created numerous works portraying bands, as well as works inspired by music, like his “Strange Fruit.” Animals and birds also figure prominently into his work.

Despite that, and his reuse of found waste materials, Barrish doesn’t consider himself an “environmental artist”: he believes a work has to stand on its own, regardless of any broader issues it might suggest. That approach has served him well: his work has been featured in numerous group and solo shows, and museums around California and a few other states have collections of his work. And the video above is just a taste of an upcoming documentary on the artist.

Know Barrish’s work? Share your thoughts… or point us to other successful artist using “trash” as their main medium.