‘Dirty Little Secrets’ — Photographer Turns Dirt into Beautiful Art Work

If you’re an artist, the word “dirt” isn’t necessarily one you want associated with your work. It implies poor quality, lack of creativity or leaves the viewer uninspired and unaffected.

But if you’re artist Sarah Rosado, you turn the concept of dirt on its head and use it to actually create your art.

The New York-based illustrator and photographer’s project “Dirty Little Secrets” is a series of nearly 100 images of everyday objects and extraordinary scenes shaped out of dirt. We’re talking actual dirt, wood chips and loose earth she found in her local park, tossed onto her table and made magic.

Rosado initially got the idea after seeing similar works by other artists who used flowers, foods and other items and shaped them into everyday objects. But instead of simply copying them and doing the same thing they were doing, she went a different direction. She turned to a challenging medium that she hadn’t seen used elsewhere and started collecting dirt and sand. After experimenting with the different materials she settled on the former.

For each image, Rosado starts off with a stark white background and then shapes the dirt into her intended object. She then uses accessories like shoe laces or paper hearts to top off her images and give them a three-dimensional feel. Once each intricate piece is completed, she takes a picture to preserve it, since she found one of the biggest challenges of working with dirt is keeping everything together once it is shaped. The resulting images range from the amusing to the breath-taking.

As for the inspiration for each image, Rosado told us “the ideas were a mixture of different situations related to philosophy, nature, and life” among other things. She also included pieces that she believed were either thought-provoking or just plain fun. Ultimately however, Rosado leaves the final interpretation up to the viewers and wants them to decide what each image and piece means to them individually.

The project has taken Rosado almost a year to complete and when she has reached her goal of 100 she hopes to showcase her work in a local museum in New York.

Rosado was kind enough to share a beautiful sampling of her work with us. Scroll through the images above and maybe, as Rosado hopes, you’ll find some dirty little secrets of your own.

To learn more about Rosado and her work, visit her website by clicking here.