Artist Feeds House Flies Watercolor Pigments and Lets Them Paint by Regurgitation

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Who knew common house flies could be such talented artists? Los Angeles artist John Knuth discovered their potential and started feeding them sugar mixed with watercolor pigments so they could create stunning works of art through their natural external digestive process.

John Knuth is not the first artist to collaborate with nature in order to create art, but his way of doing things is definitely unique. The young American artist harvests hundreds of thousands of house flies from maggots he orders online. Once he has enough, he places them in a closed environment where the surface they can land on is limited to the canvas, and begins feeding them a mixture of sugar, water and watercolor pigments. When flies eat they digest externally so they are in a constant state of regurgitation. After a few weeks, the entire canvas is covered with millions of tiny colorful specks of fly vomit, and a surprisingly beautiful painting is revealed. Chance plays a big role in this collaborative artistic effort, but Knuth says he has greater control than is revealed in the artworks (colors, build ups etc).

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French Artist Creates Amazing Portraits from Liquid, Solid and Powdered Foods

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World, meet Vivi Mac, an amazing artist from France who can use virtually any kind of food to create detailed celebrity portraits. Although she has yet to display her ephemeral masterpieces in an proper art gallery, Vivi Mac has already made a name for herself online.

We’ve featured some amazing food artists on Oddity Central in the past, but none quite like this one. Karen Eland is a master coffee painter, Elisabetta Rogai uses wine as her medium, Kelly McCollam uses spices and food coloring to recreate classic paintings, but the self-taught Vivi Mac can take anything from chewing gum, to milk or crème brûlée and turn it  into an awe-inspiring portrait.  When working with liquids, Mac uses a simple plastic straw and her hands to guide the unusual mediums around a plastic tray which acts as a canvas. Just how she manages to capture the finest facial features is still a mystery to me, and I’ve seen videos of her doing it dozens of times.

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The Stunningly-Beautiful Finger Paintings of Paolo Troilo

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Italian artist Paolo Troilo doesn’t use paint brushes to create these incredibly beautiful works of art. Instead he dips his fingertips in black and white paint and guides them across the canvas, rendering the most detailed finger paintings I have ever seen.

Paolo Trolio is a self-taught artist who started drawing when he was only 4-years old. One day his mother put an 8×8-foot paper canvas in front of him along with a small-scale reproduction of a painting by Giotto da Bondone. “Try to copy the painting and enlarge it,” she told him, and from that moment on,  at least one time a day, every day he would draw something, gradually improving his skills. “It’s easy to become a good drawer,” the artist says. “To be able to communicate is a gift”. In September of 2003, Paolo decided to give painting a try, as well. He moved into a small apartment and went out to buy everything necessary for painting, but when he came back he realized the brushes were missing. So he started painting with his fingers, and he’s been doing it ever since. “Painting with my fingers was a revelation and a liberation,” he says about the experience.

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Scottish Chef Takes Celebrity Pizza Art to Another Level

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Domenico Crolla, pizza master extraordinaire and owner of award-winning restaurant Bella Napoli, specializes in amazingly detailed celebrity portraits made exclusively with mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce on a pizza dough canvas.

Domenico’s career as a pizza artist began with the face of legendary action film star Bruce Lee. After receiving a “thank you” message from the late actor’s daughter, the pizzaiolo felt inspired to pursue his new hobby and create other edible celebrity portraits. Today his extensive collection numbers portraits of classic icons like Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra as well as delicious depictions of contemporary pop stars like Rihanna, Beyoncé or Robbie Williams. And he still receives thanks from them quite often. “The pizza for me is like high-fashion: a custom-made suit made by experienced and capable tailors, using fine fabrics and attention to detail,” Crolla says. And he definitely puts a lot of time and effort into each of his pizza artworks. He doesn’t use any kind of computer-generated images for his designs, preferring to place every ingredient on the pizza dough by hand until he gets it right. The most amazing thing about Domenico Crolla’s portraits is they look better when cooked.

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Artist’s Amazing Anamorphic Drawings Seem Ready to Leap Off the Page

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It’s amazing how some people can use rudimentary tools like pencils and paper to trick the brain and make their artworks look like they’re coming to life. Alessandro Diddi is one of these rare talented artists who creates anamorphic drawings that seem ready to jump off the page.

“When people see my drawings they are often pleasantly surprised, they fail to understand exactly how I’ve managed to achieve the 3D look,” Alessandro Diddi told the Daily Mail. Such reactions are perfectly understandable, considering his pencil-drawn designs seem perfectly life-like. But that’s only because a lot of people don’t understand the art of anamorphic design. “When you understand the mechanism of the anamorphic design, you realize that putting together drawing like this is really not so difficult,” he says. It’s hard to demonstrate without giving viewers a 2D views of his creations, but the talented Mr. Diddi uses angles and shading to trick your eyes and brain into seeing something magical. This technique has been used by artist’s all around the world for some time now, but his drawings are definitely something special. Using simple props like pencils, a wedding ring or his hands, Alessandro Diddi really breathes life into every one of his amazing sketches.

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The Do Hit Chair – A Smashable Piece of Furniture Worth $8,500

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Furniture doesn’t come much more customizable than the Do Hit Chair from Droog Design. For the modest price of €6,553 ($8,500) you get a stainless steel cube and a sledgehammer to shape it into the chair of your dreams.

Created by Dutch designer Marijn van der Poll caused quite a lot of controversy when it was first revealed back in 2000. You’d expect a designer chair priced at several thousand dollars to be really special, and this one is, just not in the way that you would expect. Instead of shaping his masterpiece into something unique, van der Poll simply welded a stainless steel cube and left the design part to the buyer by throwing in a sledgehammer. So you basically pay €6,500 (€7,930 if you’re in the EU) for a steel cube and get to smash it for minutes or hours until you get the desired shape. If this sounds interesting, the Do Hit Chair is still available on the Droog website, but you could just run down to your local hardware store, get some steel sheets and a sledgehammer and just build your own for much less. And if you’re feeling uninspired, there’s even a YouTube video of Marijn van der Poll himself smashing away at a steel cube trying to make a chair. Or, if you’re too lazy to pound it with the sledgehammer yourself, you can have the designer pre-smash it for you, but the price for the chair goes up to $12,738. The default version sounds cheap now, doesn’t it?

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Malaysian Artist Makes Celebrity Portraits from Scribbles

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For the average illustrator, scribbling isn’t the best way to create realistic-looking portraits. But then again, Vince Low isn’t your average illustrator. The Malaysian artist somehow manages to produce impeccable portraits of some of Hollywood’s greatest actors using only childish scribbles.

The lead illustrator of Malaysian advertising agency, Grey, Vince Low has an impressive portfolio of stunning artworks, but his latest portrait series, called Faces, is particularly eye-catching. That’s because the stunning depictions of stars like Jack Nicholson, Morgan Freeman, Will Smith or Leonardo Di Caprio were all done exclusively with scribbles on blank white canvases. Most people would have a hard time capturing their unique features using classic drawing techniques, but he creates highly accurate facial representation just by overlapping thousands of swirling lines. Amazing or what?

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Artist Spends Years Working on Just One of His Incredibly Detailed Drawings

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The pen-and-ink drawings of Manabu Ikeda are enormous in both size and detail. Working on paper canvases several meters in size, the Japanese artist spends up to two years on a single one of his masterpieces, never knowing what they are going to look like until they are finished.

Manabu Ikeda begins work on his monumental artworks by sketching some images in his sketchbook as they pop into his head. He is always thinking about his art and sometimes sees images when he is doing the most mundane things, like having dinner with his friends. His drawing are a combination of the things that inspire him, from nature and history to technological advancements and catastrophic events like earthquakes or tsunamis. Although he has an idea of what he wants to lay down on paper when he starts to draw, a lot of time he just uses the images that flash in his mind as he is working, and the end result is a big mystery until the final stages of the drawing process. Filling a white canvas big enough to cover a large wall is a painstaking task, as Ikeda works at a very slow pace. His works are so insanely detailed that he will sometimes work for eight hours a day on a single 4-inch square trying to get everything just right.

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The Amazing Pencil-Drawn Illusions of Ramon Bruin

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Netherlands-based Ramon Bruin is a mostly self-taught artist with a gift for creating amazing optical illusions. He is well-versed in airbrushing and painting, but his most impressive works require only a pencil and a few pieces of paper.

The best word I can think of to describe Ramon Bruin’s art is “mind-blowing”. “The art I make is what I like to call optical illusionism,” the gifted artist says. “It appears the drawings are 3D and actually leap off the page. It’s of course all optical illusions.” He uses a variety of methods to achieve the desired result, including the anamorphic technique – drawing detailed yet distorted images which looks incredibly realistic only when photographed from the right angle. “The main thing about my art is they are photographs of drawings. It’s all about the photograph,” Bruit told The Huffington Post. “I draw out of perspective and when I’m done I take a photograph from one particular angle and the whole image appears to leap off the page. It can only be seen on the photograph – you can’t see it live.” To make his 3D wonders even more impressive, he often draws them on multiple pieces of paper and adds props like pencils and his own hands.

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Vietnamese Artist Carves Bamboo Roots into Beautiful Statuettes

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For the past seven years, Vietnamese artist Huynh Phuong Do, from Hoi An, has been making a name for himself by carving beautiful portraits of Buddhist deities and historical figures out of bamboo stumps and roots.

Huynh Phuong Do relaunched his artistic career completely by accident. He had been carving wood since he was 15-years-old, but living in Hoi An, famously known as Vietnam’s Bamboo Village, it was hard for him to stand out among dozens of other talented craftsmen and sculptors. But one day, seven years ago, floods in the upper reaches of the Thu Bon River brought bamboo stumps to the river bank in front of his house. The debris stirred something in Do’s mind, and he took a few stumps to make sculptures out of them. Little did he know this was the beginning of a very successful business. Today, Huynh Phuong Do has his own sculpture showroom, and his works can be found in over 20 Hoi An souvenir shops. He spends all his days contemplating bamboo roots, thinking of ways to give them a realistic human appearance, and struggles to make between 200 and 300 pieces a month to keep up with demand from tourists.

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Artist Creates Amazing Tree Troll Inspired by Her Father

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Seattle-based artist Kim Beaton enlisted the help of 25 volunteers to build an awe-inspiring 12-foot-tall tree troll exclusively out of non-toxic materials. The kind face of this forest giant was inspired by her late father, a lumberjack from Montana.

In 2006, Kim Beaton and a team of volunteers spent 15 days creating a unique tree troll out of papier mache, wood, metal plates and other non-toxic materials. Although the entire sculpture looks unbelievably realistic, it’s friendly face and beautiful blue eyes immediately grab the viewer’s attention. Trolls are not exactly known as friendly creatures, but Beaton’s is special. The artist explains: “[My father] had died a few months prior at 80 years old. On June 2nd, at 3am, I woke from a dream with a clear vision burning in my mind. The image of my dad, old, withered and ancient, transformed into one of the great trees, sitting quietly in a forest. I leaped from my bed, grabbed some clay and sculpted like my mind was on fire. In 40 minutes I had a rough sculpture that said what it needed to. The next morning I began making phone calls, telling my friends that in 6 days time we would begin on a new large piece. The next 6 days, I got materials and made more calls. On June 8th we began, and 15 days later we were done. I have never in my life been so driven to finish a piece.”

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Pu Derong’s Exquisite Eggshell Carvings

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What do you get if you combine an egg, a carving knife and a pair of able hands? In Pu Derong’s case the answer is a breathtaking work of art. The 40-year-old self-taught artist from China’s Hebei Province can guide a knife across an egg’s thin shell to create amazing three-dimensional designs.

“I had always been fascinated by eggs as a child,” Pu says. “They are so fragile. Artists use canvases; eggs are mine.” The talented artist from Dongzhuangtou village showed a great interest in painting and calligraphy from a very young age, but he didn’t have the financial resources to attend a specialized art school, so he taught himself. In his adult years he did all kinds of manual labor, worked as a repairman and as a chef, but never gave up on his passion for art. One day, he discovered eggshell carving completely by accident, and he’s been hooked ever since. He made his own carving knife, and after hundreds of failed attempts, he started to master the art of carving on a fragile 0.3 mm eggshell canvas, creating all kinds of beautiful designs, from nature-inspired patterns, to Chinese traditional motifs and architectural pieces. Today, he is recognized as one of China’s most skilled artists, and his masterpieces have won several awards in various contests and exhibitions.

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Self-Taught Artist Turns Dead Trees into Urban Artworks

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During the last six years the Ukrainian city of Simferopol has been transformed into an urban art gallery by a mysterious artist who carves wooden statues out of dead tree trunks. There are now dozens of these incredible works of art spread throughout the Crimean city.

Not many took notice when the first wooden masterpieces started showing up in various areas of Simferopol, but in time the city became filled with them, and people began wondering who was behind them? Was it the local authorities, a local art group or did the trees magically transform into detailed sculptures? There were all kinds of rumors going around, but local media was finally able to track down the “perpetrator”. His name is Igor Dzheknavarov, and remarkably he’s not a trained sculptor or carpenter, but a cook. “Cooking is the biggest art of all,” he jokingly told surprised reporters. “If you can fry potatoes, you can do anything.” Ten years ago Igor taught himself how to sculpt, and at one point started using his newly discovered skill to improve the look of his city. He calls himself a co-artist, as all of his works are inspired by the unique lines and twists of the trees he carves.

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Honebana – The Detailed Animal Bone Flowers of Hideki Tokushige

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Excavated Neanderthal bones often had traces of pollen around them, indicating that even back then flowers were used to celebrate the deceased. Japanese artist Hideki Tokushige uses animal bones to recreate various flowers, thus honoring the longstanding connection between the two.

“We’ve been creating paintings and sculptures for over 70,000 years and our relationship to bones is just as old,” Tokushige explains. “Everything around us – clothes, nuclear power plants, internet – can be traced back to the structure of bones.” Inspired by the cycle of life and death and the relationship between flowers and death, the Japanese artist started creating stunningly detailed Honebana, or bone flowers. It all started one day, when Hideki Tokushige was coming home from work. He saw a dead raccoon in the middle of the street, and instead of simply ignoring it or throwing it in a waste bin, he took it home, removed the bones and used them as an art medium. Originally trained in photography, Hideki found a way to assemble the bones into intricate floral sculptures that are shockingly beautiful to look at.

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Amazing Model of Matsumoto Castle Made Entirely Out of Corrugated Cardboard

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A Japanese artist known only as “Upunushu”, has created an amazingly detailed replica of Matsumoto Castle, a National Treasure of Japan, using only pieces of corrugated cardboard.

Cardboard is certainly not the easiest medium to work with when trying to recreate an architectural wonder like Matsumoto Castle, but Japanese artist, Upunushu, proves it can definitely be done. According to footage posted on Japanese video sharing site NicoNicoDouga and other media reports, this young master spent an entire week just planning the project, and another six months cutting out all the necessary pieces and assembling them as a model of the famous Crow Castle. It certainly wasn’t the shortest modelling project, but in terms of cost, this stunning piece of art couldn’t have been cheaper. Using cardboard boxes as the main material of her build, the talented artist spent just ¥300 ($2.95) on supplies. Apparently, just getting the castle’s stone base right took Upunushu two months to complete, as she had to glue each cardboard brick individually. The talented Upunushu has been creating incredible cardboard models ever since she was in fifth grade. Now in her mid-twenties, the artist has improves a lot since her early years, and plans to build even more intricate replicas.

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