Keeping it reel: Artist creates portraits of famous faces from across the decades out of old cassette tapes
A frugal artist has made use of her old cassette tapes and film reels to create portraits of some of the world's most famous faces.
Erika Iris Simmons has crafted life-like images of iconic people across the decades from Marilyn Monroe to Bob Marley simply using the old-style tape.
She said: 'I like to take random things - like what you would find at a garage sale or in a thrift store - and make them into composite art.
Reeling it in: Erika Iris Simmons creates portraits of movie icons from old films
Classics: Madonna in her heyday, left, and Audrey Hepburn in the 1961 film Breakfast At Tiffany's, right
Art recording: An image of The Beatles from Simmons' project 'The Ghost In The Machine'
'Most of my pieces become portraits of people associated with the item I’ve chosen.
'I don’t really add any paint or pigments. I usually just take things apart and re-arrange the pieces, cutting away portions when necessary.
'A lot of my art is made with cassette tapes and old film reels in a series I call 'Ghost in the Machine'.'
Simmons, who was born in St Louise but grew up in Orlando, studied make-up and worked as a face-painter at Universal Studios before moving on to create physical artworks.
The queen of pop: Madonna in a piece called 'She Loves Me, She Loves Me Not'
Working progress: Reggae legend Bob Marley has been turned into a piece of art from one of his old cassettes
In The Flesh: Singer Debbie Harry from the popular band Blondie
The queen of pinups: All American girl Bettie Page, left, and Mr Tambourine Man Bob Dylan, right
She explains on her website: 'I spent about a year tearing up anything I could find in my house – playing cards, newspapers, coffee table books.
'I didn’t have money to spend on art supplies, all of my materials came from Walgreens: scissors, glue, scotch tape, etc.
'But I was searching for an idea, and it didn’t really matter that I didn’t have a lot to work with. That was a blessing in a way.
'At the time I was waiting tables at Hard Rock Hotel in Orlando, Florida. I was a cocktail waitress in the VIP lounge, which is Jimi Hendrix themed. I think staring at music memorabilia all day probably soaked my brain with that vibe.
An iconic image of Kurt Cobain from Nirvana has been recreated out of cassette tape
Van the Man: A young Van Morrison, left, and one of the greatest guitar players of all time, Jimi Hendrix, right
The Hendrix Experience: Jimi Hendrix was known for his psychedelic rock music
The poster child of doom and gloom: Robert Smith of The Cure, left, and singer Michael Jackson, right
'One day as I was leaving to go to work I saw a pile of cassette tapes laying on top of a canvas I had set near my door. I thought, “What ghosts could be hiding in those machines?”
'I pulled out the ribbon and tried to work with it, making some writing. I watched the ribbon curl up and it reminded me of Jimi Hendrix’s crazy hair, so that was the first portrait I made.'
Simmons soon started showing her work in galleries and has now been working as a full-time artist for several years.
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