Matt Small Turns Metal Scraps into Powerful Mosaic Portraits

If you’re talented and creative enough, you can turn just about anything into a piece of art. Even a bunch of metal scraps. The works of British artist Matt Small are a perfect example of this. Small works with metal scraps and discarded metal almost exclusively. He uses this type of material, which he usually finds or receives as a donation, to create powerful mosaic portraits of “young, dispossessed people.”

The selection of material and the theme of his artworks are not by accident. With his portraits, Small tries to symbolize the society’s tendency to throw away things they believe hold no value.

“I thought it’d be interesting to connect the two—that oven door, that shelving unit, that piece of trash to someone—I don’t see it like that, I see that it can be something beautiful and worthwhile. That’s how I see our young people too. Let’s look at their potential, at the hope that’s in all of them,” Small explains on his website.

Another intriguing thing about Small is that he uses faces of real people for his portraits. These are usually random and socially excluded young people he encounters during his walks through the streets of London.

The powerful message of his portraits and his unique style made Small a well-regarded name in the art world. His works can be found in art collections all over the world, while also being exhibited in high-profile galleries. Check more of them below.