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Paul Insect & Bast - The Rubbish Puppeteers


252 pages
Photograph(s) by Paul Insect & Bast
28.6 x 21 cm
Language: English
Publisher: Beyond the Streets
Edition of 1000 copies

Beyond the Streets Publishing is pleased to announce The Rubbish Puppeteers, a comprehensive hardbound follow-up to 2019’s zine by the same name. The Rubbish Puppeteers offers an in-depth look into the artistic synergy between London’s Paul Insect and late respected Brooklyn artist BÄST.

The Rubbish Puppeteers comprises over 250 pages filled with 300+ images of the duo’s Fly Tip Theatre puppets, who were mutant creations made by Paul and BÄST’s shared love of puppets as kids. Without experience in traditional puppet making, they crafted the puppets from found and recycled materials over a period of close to 10 years, with characters often referencing music and graffiti culture and personas based loosely on celebrities, cartoons or those observed while people watched. 

The book shows many of the random videos, stop motions, paintings, costumes, performance works and puppets the duo made mostly from rubbish found on the street between the years of 2012 and 2021. The puppets were all glued and stapled together quickly, strung up and then filmed dancing about. They were driven by wanting to make work inspired by their environments and passions, but something different from what was usually made in their respective studios. 

The idea was to create something that made us laugh with spontaneity. BÄST was based in New York and I was in London, so work would only be made when one of us was in the other’s city. Although after a few years, exhibitions such as Dismaland, Glastonbury and Beyond the Streets came along, which gave us more time to get together and make new stuff. Mike Bäst was an artist who somewhat avoided the limelight, someone who was happy walking the beaches of Coney Island picking up trash, working in his studio, and avoiding emails”, shares Paul Insect.