Sandro Rodrigues' bluevision

For the last 20 years, Sandro Rodrigues has been working, exclusively, with recycled materials. With the help of cooperatives of waste pickers he has helped change lives - beginning with his own: "art brings back people's humanity"

In a large workspace in Serra de Jairé Street, in the eastern side of São Paulo - the largest city in Brazil -, Sandro Rodrigues, 43, is busy working on breathtaking sculptures and panels, all using only recycled material. Bottle caps, power cords, casings and even old floppy disks gathered by waste pickers cooperatives are the materials he uses. Born in the outskirts of the richest city in the country, Sandro has a busy backstory. He lost his father at 5 years of age, started to work at 11 and had a difficult time fighting substance abuse. In 2004, after turning his life around, he began a waste pickers cooperative to help people facing the same hardships he had faced. "Art brings back people's humanity. It brought mine back, and can certainly bring other people's humanity back". Today, Sandro is the owner of Vitalven, responsible for the Christmas decorations of one of São Paulo's postcards, the Conjunto Nacional, in the famous Paulista Avenue.