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Aluminum Prices Hit Artist In The "Can"--Calls AriZona Green

What does the rising price of aluminum have to do with art? Plenty, if you're artist John Kuzich. The San Francisco artist is hoping to get free cans of AriZona Green Tea for a piece of artwork he'd like to make. But Kuzich is more than an artist, he's an entrepreneur!

Kuzich has been in contact with AriZona's brand owner, Beverage Marketing, to not only get free cans--he also wants to give the company the finished piece of artwork to use as a promotional tool as long as he gets credit.

Kuzich is even proposing selling posters of the artwork and donating the proceeds to a children's hospital in Detroit which saved his life when he was six years old. Now THAT is thinking outside the paint box. He gets free materials, free publicity, and helps his favorite charity. If all works out, he'll become more famous, sell more art and make more money. Which, frankly, is the point here at CNBC.

Kuzich says the use of aluminum cans in the art world "is very unusual." I keep thinking of Andy Warhol's Campbell soup cans, but that was a depiction of cans, not the use of them. Also, Kuzich points out that using recycled materials is very big in art right now. In the past he's created works out of used mass transit tickets and old CDs.

Maybe he should make something out of subprime mortgage papers and those "Get a Mortgage with No Money Down" mailers we got during the housing boom. Geez, maybe I oughtta do that and make some extra cash. MY IDEA FIRST, EVERYBODY.

We've attached an image of a 24" square piece of artwork Kuzich has already created using AriZona Green Tea cans, plus we added an image of another one of his can-based works. Pretty cool.

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Kuzich says the smaller Green Tea piece was a hit, and so now he wants to make a larger 6' square work, calling it "a show stopper." But to get all the cans would cost him about $400, so he's hoping the company will give him the materials for free. Sounds like it will (by the way, the company behind AriZona Green Tea is based in New York--of course! I'm sure there's a company out there called "New York Coffee" based in Phoenix).

Kuzich writes he needs 675 Green Tea with Ginseng cans and 72 Green Tea Lemonade cans. "Two cans are needed...it is necessary to enlarge the green blended border, and in order to do that I must also use some of the (all green) Green Tea and Honey cans," he says. "The green to red blend and the entire center will be make up of the (red ) Green Tea with Ginseng cans."

He's also hoping he can get the cans empty and pre-flattened, so he doesn't have to make his friends drink all the tea first and then spend hours cutting and flattening the cans himself. That's a lot of work. Though maybe you could make a can-stomping party out of it.

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