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Chicago Artist Spends Two Years Collecting Almost 9,000 Drug Bags to Highlight City’s Drug Problem

32-year-old Ben Kurstin, of Humboldt Park, Chicago, has 8,816 dime bags in his apartment, but he’s no drug dealer. The aspiring artist and filmmaker has been collecting drug bags in virtually every color and design imaginable off the streets of Chicago and using them as an art medium.

It all started one day, a couple of years ago, when Ben Kurstin noticed a discarded dime bag on a sidewalk in Humboldt Park, and decided to pick it up out of curiosity. From that point on, whenever he saw drug bags on the street, he would pick them up and take them home. Soon, his unusual habit became an obsession, to the point where he would search for the bags and come home with dozens , sometimes even hundreds of them, every day. He then spent hours cleaning and organizing them by color and design. At one point, he even started thinking of a rational explanation, should police one day stop him, thinking he was a drug dealer.

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Piero Manzoni – The Artist Who Became Famous for Selling His Own Poop

Ask anyone if they would pay anything to own another’s person’s poop, and they will most likely say “hell, no”. But everything changes when the said poop becomes a work of art. Case in point, “Artist’s Shit”, a collection of 30g tin cans allegedly containing the poop of Italian artist Piero Manzoni. Art collectors are buying them for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

When Piero Manzoni came up with the idea to can his own poop, in 1961, he probably had no idea that his 30g metal containers would one day sell for astronomical prices. In 2007, the Tate art gallery in London, bought one of Manzoni’s 90 cans for £22,350 ($30,000), and while that may seem like a lot for what is literally just canned crap, they actually got a great deal. In 2007, another can of “Merda d’Artista” was auctioned off in Milan, for a whopping £81,000 ($108,000). Crazy, right? Not really, just another good deal, because Manzoni’s cans of poop are currently worth around $300,000 apiece. Last year, someone bought can no. 54 for £182,500 ($242,000). At this rate, they’ll soon be worth millions.

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Artist Creates Life-Size Chinese Vases Out of Folded Playing Cards

65-year-old Zhang Kehua, a retired mason from Qianjiang, China, has a very unique skill – he can assemble realistic Chinese vases out of thousands of folded plastic playing cards.

We’ve seen people create all kinds of impressive structures by expertly stacking playing cards, but what Zhang Kehua does is on a whole other level. The Chinese retiree has taught himself several methods of folding plastic playing cards so that they can be assembled into life-size vases that even feature traditional decorative patterns. His creations are so flawless that seen from a far, you could swear that they are made of porcelain.

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Amateur Food Artist Decorates Smoothie Bowls Using Only Natural Ingredients

Vegetable smoothies are not exactly everyone’s favourite treat, but one amateur artist has come up with a way to make them more appealing – by decorating them with intricate designs, using only natural ingredients.

Hazel Zakaryia‘s edible artworks may not make her smoothies tastier, but they definitely make them prettier to look at. Using only wood skewers and a kitchen knife, she painstakingly paints over the thick fruit and vegetable base with edible “paints” made from ingredients like turmeric, blue matcha, milk, cream and and butterfly pea powder. The results are so impressive that it’s hard to believe Zakaryia is not a professional food artist, but a market analyst who likes to spend her free time entertaining her artistic side.

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Serbian Barber Trims Celebrity Portraits on Customers’ Heads

Mario Hvala, a barber from Novi Sad, Serbia, recently made international headlines for trimming a detailed portrait of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on the back of a client’s head, but that was only his most recent achievement. He has been creating “hair tattoos” for the last eight years, and there’s nothing he can’t trim on the scalps of his customers.

33-year-old Mario claims he started doing hair tattoos eight years ago, while working in Slovenia. A customer had asked him for two straight lines on his head, but the hairstylist was feeling adventurous, so he proposed a more intricate design, and the guy went home with a tarantula design on his head. Inspired by the success of his first attempt, Hvala kept honing his skills, and upon his return to Serbia, four years ago, he quickly made a name fr himself at the House Damian hair salon, in Novi Sad, carving all kinds of design and celebrity portraits on customers’ heads.

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Filipino Nurse Combines Her Profession and Her Passion for Art by Painting with Syringes

Kimberly Joy Magbanua has always had a talent for drawing and painting, but never received any formal art training. Instead, she started working as a nurse, not knowing that she would one day be able to combine her profession and passion for the arts in a completely new art form – syringe painting.

The 24-year-old nurse from Valladolid, Philippines, says that she got the idea to use syringes instead of paintbrushes about a year ago, as she was getting ready to give a patient an injection. They were a familiar tool, and despite being completely unrelated to painting, they just made sense to Kimberly, because they allowed her to scribble paint on a canvas. She had been scribbling with pens and pencils for a while, but she always wanted to try it on an actual canvas, and syringes just felt like the perfect tool to do it.

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Chainsaw Artist Carves Giant Log into Incredible Dragon Bench

Estonian chainsaw artist Igor Loskutow recently shocked the internet with one of his newest masterpieces, a magnificent dragon bench carved out of a giant log.

It’s not clear whether Loskutow is a big Game of Thrones fan or if he just likes dragons, but there’s no question that he has incredible talent. Born in Talin, Estonia, the artist has been creating chainsaw wood carvings for the last 15 years, and it shows. He is currently a part of the Husqvarna chainsaw carving team, with which he travels across Europe, showing off his incredible skill. Although he uses a variety of tools for the really intricate details, the bulk of his work is done with an arsenal of chainsaws, which makes his intricate masterpieces even more impressive.

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Young Self-Taught Artist Creates the Most Insane Graphite Pencil Drawings

Jono Dry is only 28-years-old and has never taken art classes, but his incredible talent allows him to create these photographic quality drawings using only graphite pencils. The young South African artist is considered one of the few people in the world able to take drawing pat the limits of what is considered achievable with simple graphite pencils.

Jono spends most of his time working on his large-scale drawings, and usually takes about 2-3 months to complete a piece, but he once spent a whopping 5 months painstakingly drawing one of his most complicated artworks. Considering how incredible the result of his labor ends up looking and the fact that he only produces between 4 and 8 large-scale drawings per year, Jono Dry’s hand-drawn masterpieces are considered very exclusive among collectors.

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Painting with Wool – Artist Creates Shockingly Realistic Felt Portraits

Creating hyper-realistic animal portraits with a paintbrush or pencil is a difficult skill that only the world’s most talented artists can master, but doing it with just a needle and wool felt sounds downright impossible. That only makes “wool painter” Dani Ives’ work that much more impressive.

Looking at Dani Ives’ impressive portfolio of “wool paintings” it’s hard to believe that she only uses a barbed felting needle to manipulate colored strands of wool on a basic foam pad, in order to achieve such impressive results. The self-taught artist apparently developed her own technique, which involves pushing the colored wool through the base before pulling it back through, which helped her push the boundaries of this centuries-old art form.

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Korean Nail Artist Creates Pierced LED Disco Nails

Park Eunkyung, a popular nail technician from South Korea, may have just kickstarted the next big trend in nail art – multi-colored LED disco nails, perfect for drawing attention in the club.

Eunkyung, who has quite a following on Instagram, recently posted a series of photos of her latest nail art idea – fake clear nails with LEDs attached to them. Sounds pretty cool, but tough to implement, at the same time. Those LEDs may not need a lot of power, but they do need some power to light up, and unlike those cool LED eyelashes we featured a while back, hooking them to a hidden battery via invisible wires doesn’t really work. Park did come up with a solution, although I dare say it’s not the most practical.

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Japanese Amateur Artist Specializes in Gravity-Defying Coin Structures

Stacking coins in a simple tower can get pretty challenging after it reaches a certain size, but that’s child’s play compared to what this Japanese artist can create out of thousands of carefully placed coins.

Twitter user @thumb_tani has been delighting his fans with an array of physics-defying coin structures ever since he discovered the hobby, by mistake. He apparently started stacking coins out of boredom, and it just grew on him. He now spends hours at a time working on all sorts of crazy designs that seem ready to topple at any time, and posting the fruits of his work on social media. Some of his photos have gotten tens of thousands of likes, and looking at them, it’s easy to see why.

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Artist Plays Dead at Popular Tourist Spots to Protest Selfie Craze

Selfies have become such a huge part of our lives that it’s hard to believe that they only became popular only a few years ago. People are snapping pics of themselves virtually everywhere, from the top of skyscrapers to their bathrooms, and we even gadgets and accessories designed around selfies. Things have gotten so bad that one artist has decided to take a stand against the selfie craze in a very unique way. Meet Stephanie Leigh Rose, the creator of “stefdies”.

What are “selfdies”, you ask? Well, Stephanie describes them as “anti-selfies”, but more specifically it is just the artist playing dead in random places, many of them popular tourist attractions. She just drops to the ground, face down, and pretends that she’s dead for a few moments, while someone takes her photo. She chronicles her unusual series on Instagram, where you can see her playing dead in a variety of places, from the Eiffel Tour and Louvre Museum, in Paris, to the Golden State Bridge, in San Francisco.

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Roman Opalka – The Polish Artist Who Spent Half His Life Painting from 1 to Infinity

Roman Opalka was a Polish conceptual artist who spent almost his entire career painting a progression of numbers design to symbolize the passing of time. He began with the figure “1” in 1965, and spent every day after that painting about 400 consecutive numbers. At the time of his death, in August, 2011, Opalka’s decades-long count had reached 5,607,249.

Called “1965/1-∞”, Roman Opalka’s epic artistic project is “a philosophical and spiritual image of the progression of time and of life and death”, according to the artist. He got the idea for it one day in 1965, while sitting at the Café Bristol in Warsaw, waiting for his wife to arrive. Somehow the thought of painting a progression of numbers for the rest of his life appealed to Roman, and upon entering his studio the very next day, he started mapping out what would eventually become the largest numerical painting in history.

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Would You Let This 12-Year-Old Tattoo Artist Ink You?

At an age when most kids keep their hands busy with video game controllers, smartphones or tablets, 12-year-old Ezrah Dormon, from Panama City, is already a popular tattoo artist. Despite his young age, people are lining up to have him ink a permanent tattoo into their skin.

Tattoo parlors are usually off-limits to kids, but walk into the Honolulu tattoo shop in Panama City, and you may see a cute long-haired kid painstakingly working on a client’s tattoo or honing his inking skills on a grapefruit. His name is Ezrah, and he is already one of the most in-demand artists in Panama. I don’t know what it is about getting tattooed by an inexperienced child, but people are reportedly lining up to have him work his magic on them. They’ve all been pleased with his work, too.

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Agoraphobic Artist Travels the World without Leaving Her House

Jacqui Kenny has always wanted to travel the world, meet new people and discover different cultures, but she suffers from agoraphobia – an anxiety disorder characterized by fear of public spaces, public transportation, open spaces and/or large crowds – so she rarely gets to leave her house. Luckily, modern technology allows her to live out her dream, sort of.

Jacqui was diagnosed with agoraphobia 8 years ago, but she has been dealing with extreme anxiety and panic attacks for over 20 years now. Last year was a particularly trying time, as a company  that she had co-founded for many years had just closed, and dealing with the stress of it, on top of her mental issues, was tough. She didn’t know what she was going to do with her life, and leaving the house to face the world was not an option. She needed something to keep her busy, and somehow, she discovered Google Street View.

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