If you were to ask every single person who enters a thrift store what they’ve come to find, chances are you wouldn’t get any of them to answer with something along the lines of ‘some artwork’ or ‘a painting’. It’s no surprise by now that thrifting is booming—thanks to gen Zers searching for sustainable, often Y2K-inspired clothes. But for most vintage stores, the increase they’ve seen in shoppers has not been mirrored in the amount of £1 paintings they’ve sold.
But you know what they say, ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’ and New York-based artist Dave Pollot is proof of just that. With over 176,000 followers on Instagram and his work having attracted attention from the media both in the US and abroad, including Business Insider and corporate clients like SONY, Instagram, and McDonald’s, one thing is certain: painting new life into old art has proven to be a genius idea for the artist.
“Painting has always been something of a hobby to me, but it wasn’t until I started repurposing thrift art in 2012 that I did it with any real consistency,” Pollot shared on his website. “The idea actually began as a joke between my wife (who loves to shop at thrift stores) and I, but it quickly evolved into an attempt to answer a question: Could I take a piece of unwanted art, and without changing its aesthetic, change its meaning by painting into it some bit of pop culture/nostalgia and make it desirable in the modern world?”
Here are some of his most iconic works:
This one has to be our ultimate favourite:
Beanie Babies are a line of stuffed toys created by American businessman H. Ty Warner, who founded Ty Inc. in 1986. The toys are stuffed with plastic pellets (what are called “beans”) rather than conventional soft stuffing. They come in many different forms, mostly animals.
Created in 1993, Beanie Babies emerged as a major fad and collectable during the second half of the 1990s. They have been cited as being the world’s first “internet sensation” in 1995. They were collected not only as toys but also as a financial investment due to the high resale value of particular ones. Iconic.
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Though this painting is truly beautiful, Pollot has shared on Instagram that it is not for sale as it is “one of the two paintings” he’s kept for himself. No hard feelings here, we feel you.
When US Senator Bernie Sanders pick on his outfit for President Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony in January 2021, he probably never imagined he would be turned into one of the most popular memes of the year—or that the move would later inspire Elle Hell to spearhead an entire adult entertainment genre with a video titled I am once again asking you to cum.
Wow, @DudeWithSign is not looking well in this one:
Last but not least, put this in the Louvre, please.