Repurposed with Realism

Abbas Youssefi
Abbas Youssefi
18th May 2020

Tile art comes in many forms, and - in this latest instalment from our friends at - a curious combination of ceramics and clothing takes centre stage.

Ukrainian artist Zhanna Kadyrova has taken to salvaging tiles from all around to create her eclectic creations. Starting with second-hand tiles found in São Paulo, Brazil in 2014, she has gone on to repurpose tiles from Soviet-era buildings in her native Ukraine, decorated a mannequin with materials from Chernobyl, and most recently has used tiles from an old Venetian hotel to create familiar tableaux.

13 unique Soviet period tiles, variable dimensions.

But unlike many second hand tiles utilised by artists, they aren’t shattered and formed into mosaics. Instead intact tiles are placed together, crafted into T-shirts, dresses, jackets, and even socks and underwear, which are displayed on hangers as if they were the real deal.

The project, titled Second Hand, is ongoing. At the Venice Art Biennale last year tiles collected from Hotel All’Angelo were re-purposed into a range of clothing items which hang on a clothesline across the canal.

Second Hand, 2019
Hotel All’Angelo, Venice

Market, which began in 2017 is a full-scale market stall with produce crafted entirely from ceramic tiles, cement, mirror, and natural stone. The display features bright mosaic fruit, including bananas, watermelons, pomegranates and papayas, as well as vegetables and a whole raft of charcuterie.

Kadyrova’s work is presented by Galleria Continua, which whom she also displays another unique take on tile use with her large tile sculptures.

Permiso Para El Coctel, exhibition view, Galleria Continua, Habana.

Image Credits:

  1. Photo by: Christian Vorhofer. Credit: Galleria Continua, San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins / Habana
  2. Photo by: Nestor Kim. Credit: Galleria Continua, Habana / San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins
  3. Photo by: the artist and Galleria Continua, Habana / San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins
  4. Photo by: Ela Bialkowska, OKNO Studio
  5. Photo by: Nestor Kim. Credit: Galleria Continua, Habana / San Gimignano / Beijing / Les Moulins