Artist Augusto Esquivel takes the minuscule and transforms it into the grandiose. He uses thousands of small sewing buttons to craft larger-than-life sized portraits of celebrities. To compose these impressive works, the artist suspends hundreds of monofilament strings from the ceiling. Esquivel then threads the black, white, and gray buttons into hanging chains that separately, look like nothing spectacular. But, once they’ve been carefully arranged, they form pixelated images of iconic stars like James Dean, Audrey Hepburn, and Marilyn Monroe. He’s even depicted the well-known artist Salvador Dali.
Esquivel sees the potential in everyday objects to go beyond their normal function and instead be used in a creative way. “I realize how insignificant and small a simple sewing button can be as it lays in my grandmother’s sewing box,” he says, “but at the same time how unique and precious it can become as part of a work of art. Like an atom in a molecule, each button serves and shapes the whole. I hold the button to my ear and it whispers to me, ‘I want to be…..’”