The necessity to shelter the homeless is a prevalent and widespread reality in many urban areas, including Oakland, California, the hometown of American artist Gregory Kloehn who is using his creative capacity as an action for change.
As the founder of the ‘homeless homes project‘ — a community-driven initiative — Kloehn has realized a low-cost, practical, and imaginative solution for the construction of habitable shelters for those living on the streets.
He combs through heaps of illegally dumped trash, commercial waste, and excess household items piled in alleyways and discarded throughout the city, and upcycles the raw materials into walls, roofs, doors, windows, wheels, and locks.
Kloehn describes that adopting the otherwise disused garbage as a medium for architectural development ‘diminishes money’s influence over the building process and transforms the rejected debris into an object of hope and happiness.
Gregory Kloehn’s work is about taking the grandeur of the world and mixing it with social irony.
Through a solemn, yet spontaneous rendering of people, animals, and everyday objects. He seeks to explore the relationships that have emerged from the symbiotic relationship between us and our world. Presenting the familiar as an icon of our present condition, Kloehn mimics nature and industry into an artificially manufactured shade of reality.