Venezuelan Artist Creates an Eco-Mural with 200,000 Recycled Bottle Caps

Recently four gigantic macaws made with recycled plastic caps have been installed on the wall of a small square in Caracas, filing one of the entrances of the neighborhood of El Hatillo with color and reminding its inhabitants of the importance of saving the planet.

In addition to the four macaws, the work depicts an “Araguaney” (the Venezuelan national tree), four large sunflowers, the mountains of the El Ávila national park (which surrounds the Venezuelan capital), and a group of buildings that is lost between a green meadow and a starry sky.

When talking about the scope of the work, author Oscar Olivares (the youngest painter at the ArtExpo New York in 2017) did not hesitate to identify the mural as the most important professional commitment of his career, which began at the age of 14. Olivares resorted to the pointillism technique, juxtaposing tens of thousands of caps, with their original colors, to give shape and vitality to the different figures of the composition.

The “Okomural,” (likely named as a reference to the main supporters of the work, the organization OkoSpiri) is over 43 meters in length and is made up of more than 200,000 plastic caps from soda bottles, food containers, and personal hygiene and cleaning products that thousands of inhabitants contributed through social network logistics and the local recycling company MultiRecicla.

The initiative was led by María Daniela Velasco, founder of the non-governmental organization OkoSpiri, which in mid-2018 began the search for alliances and private financing to carry out the project. Velasco considers the work as one of the largest ecological murals in Latin America and the first of its kind in Venezuela and seeks to create environmental awareness among the inhabitants of the chaotic Venezuelan capital that suffers from a complex social, political, and economic crisis that has led to the generation of large garbage dumps and the neglect of green areas.