Whipping Butts

They seem to be anti-smoking, but I’m not so sure.


(Tom Deininger, “Shell”)

These artists use cigarette butts, the most horrible of all the litter types, to create works that either oppose smoking or call for proper butt disposal.

Chilean designer Alexandra Guerrero’s company Mantis makes yarn out of butt papers.*



At least, that seems to be their motivation — but is it really?


(John Salvest’s “Smoke Free”)

I just can’t believe environmentalism is really the driving force here. Something tells me every single one of these “anti-smoking” artists used to be a pack-a-day-er. And now they’ve found a roundabout way to get their fix. Who but a gum-munching, nail-biting ex-smoker would have the stomach to collect thousands of cigarette butts…

al hansen cigarette butt sculpture

(Al Hansen’s “Venus”)

Unroll all those sooty, saliva-soaked papers…


(Detail, Tom Deininger’s “Shell”)

And even, in some cases, pluck apart the reeking, poisonous fibers of the filters! All to make a… bunny?



(Tom Deininger, “Filter Rabbit”)

Or Joe Camel’s head. Yeah, Joe Camel. Remember him?



(Claire Jones)

Anti-smoking legislation may seem draconian sometimes, but I don’t think we’re punishing smokers enough. Not because they deserve it, but because they obviously crave it. We’re looking at the most drastic masochists the human race has ever produced.

**For more masochism see the follow-up, “Cigs Explained.”
I changed my mind! See my new take on the filter bunny here.

*In this case it’s almost worth it, don’t you think? So darling! Love the colors! Yay, Mantis.


2 responses to “Whipping Butts

  1. Uh… boo Mantis! Those look like many of my color-blind grandmother’s worst crochet atrocities of the 1970s. Plus… cigarette butts on your BODY?… yeacccch! Props to the creators of the shell and the bunny, they are actually very well executed. Don’t know about you, but for me, the line between “craft” and “art” is whether or not I could do it. Which makes the flag “craft”, as it just requires patience. Filthy, disgusting patience.

    Venus and the mangy camel, on the other hand, could have been done by my kids.

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