Chinese Artist Creates Dragon Sculpture with 83,600 Pieces of Straw

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70-year-old master craftsman Fangze Yu can bring mythical creatures to life using nothing but straw. His most recent piece of work is an impressive dragon that he hand-crafted out of 83,600 pieces of rice straw!

Mr. Yu and his daughter spent four months working on the dragon at his workshop in China’s Jiangxi province. He started by creating a bamboo frame to support the structure. He then painstakingly assembled individual pieces of straw, using 10 different knitting and weaving techniques, to complete the 28-m, 35-kg masterpiece.

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The Amazing Ballpoint Pen Portraits of Enam Bosokah

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Using only a simple ballpoint pen, Ghana-based artist Enam Bosokah creates stunningly realistic portraits of prominent African personalities.

“A lot of guys have already made their name using pencil, so I decided to use a pen,” Bosokah said in an interview with Anadolu Agency. “A lot of artists avoid pens because of the irreversibility (i.e., the inability to erase), but I believe it is one of the easier tools to work with. When I use the pen it is like I am adding to the paper – I can’t take it back,” he explained.

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This Clever “Ghost Clock” Is Not What It Seems

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At first glance, Wendell Castle’s “Ghost Clock”, an art piece on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC, looks like an old grandfather clock covered in a white sheet. But looks can be deceiving.

What’s the point of displaying a covered up old clock in a museum, right? You’d be tempted to think the exhibit is temporarily covered up for reconditioning, but a plaque at the base of the artwork quickly clears things up for those interested enough to read it. Castle’s Ghost Clock was expertly hand-carved from a large block of laminated mahogany, white cloth, rope and all.

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Artist Creates Amazing Photo-Like Portraits with Thousands of Metal Screws

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In a phenomenal display of creativity, artist Marc Schneider has managed to transform ordinary metal screws into an art medium. He painstakingly arranges thousands of gray scale screws to create detailed portraits that look like black and white photographs.

Schneider starts by taking a photo and modifying the pixels into a gray scale template. Using the pixelated photograph as a reference, he uses thousands of hand sprayed screws to replicate the photo on a block of wood.  “I enjoy working in a medium that embodies strength and durability, allowing the viewer to touch the art and experience the unique surface created by thousands of screws,” he wrote on his website. “The meticulous approach in the creation of my screw art portraits is medicine for my soul.”

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Never too Old for Art – Portugal’s Granny Graffiti Gang

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Lata 65 is a highly unusual urban art workshop in Lisbon, Portugal, that teaches elderly women the basics of street art. Although graffiti is generally perceived as a part of youth culture, the workshop has introduced the quirky art form to over 100 senior citizens around the city. It gives groups of elderly women the chance to team up with prominent street artists and literally paint the town red. They bring color and charm to otherwise neglected and run-down neighborhoods, by making their own stencils and creating their own street tags.

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New York Artist Makes a Fortune Selling Other People’s Instagram Photos

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While plagiarism is generally abhorred in artistic circles, controversial artist Richard Prince makes millions by brazenly duplicating others’ work. In his last project, ‘New Portraits’, he took screenshots of 37 Instagram photographs (without permission), blew them up, and displayed them at the Frieze Art Fair New York. One of the portraits – posted by a woman called Doe Deere – reportedly sold for a whopping $90,000!

The portrait in question depicts Deere styled in blue hair, identical to the doll she’s holding. “No I did not give permission and yes, the controversial artist Richard Prince put it up anyway,” Deere wrote on Instagram, where she has 328,000 followers. “It’s already sold ($90k I’ve been told) during the VIP preview. No, I’m not gonna go after him. And nope, I have no idea who ended up with it!” She hashtagged the post #modernart and #wannabuyaninstagrampicture.

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Artists Carve Replica of “China’s Mona Lisa” into Giant Piece of Fossilized Ebony

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A group of Chinese artists recently immortalized the famous Chinese painting Along the River During the Qingming Festival by replicating it on to a giant piece of fossilized ebony. Over 800 people, 30 structures, 28 ships, a harbour, a town hall, and a market, were painstakingly carved on to the 30-tonne chunk of ebony. It took the artists a whopping 600 days to complete, and the final piece was displayed at the 11th Annual China International Cultural Industries Fair in Shenzhen.

At 27.5 meters long and 1.92 meters tall, the ebony replica is more than double the size of the original scroll. The black fossilised ebony, known as ‘wumu’, gets its unique density and colors from being buried underground for thousands of years. This particular piece of wood  is 5,000 years old: It was discovered in the riverbed of Minjiang River.

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Japanese Candy Artisan Creates Realistic Animal-Shaped Lollipops

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Meet Shinri Tezuka, a highly skilled artisan candy maker whose masterpieces make animal crackers look crude. Using a 500-year-old Japanese art-form called ‘amezaiku’, Tezuka creates detailed animal-shaped lollipops that look incredibly lifelike.

Tezuka, 26, owns a small shop in Tokyo’s Asakusa district called ‘Ameshin’ – one of Japan’s only two stores specializing in amezaiku. The self-taught artist works in front of his customers, crafting exquisite pieces of glass-like candy. “There are no schools, I had to learn it myself,” he told Japanese TV show Moshimoshi Nippon. “It’s a small market, so it’s easier to innovate. There is no limit to this craft.” He got into the unique art form right after high school, fascinated by the amazing pieces of candy he could create.

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Some Artists Use Pencils, This One Uses Pencil Shavings

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Teacher and part time artist Meghan Maconochie uses colored pencils to create art, but not in the conventional sense. Instead of coloring with the pencils, she sharpens them and layers the shavings to on a white background to create all kinds of cool things, ranging from animals, to food and portraits of pop icons.

Meghan’s love affair with pencil shavings began when she participated in a color competition called ‘Nifty250’ last year. “I was sharpening a pencil when I decided to create the Nifty250 logo using the shavings from the pencil,” she said. She did just that, and her work was declared the winner. Soon, she began making more and more pieces using pencil shavings.

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Artist’s Painted Portraits Look More Like High-Definition Photographs

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Italian artist Marco Grassi paints portraits of women that are so perfect, down to the fine hair lines, pores and freckles on the skin that people often mistake them for photographs.

However, Grassi differentiates himself from other hyper-realist painters by giving his artworks a surreal twist. In one painting, for example, his subject’s back is adorned with a tribal motif that seems carved into her back revealing a hollow interior. Other of his ‘surreal hyper-realistic” include a woman with spectacular glowing tattoos that seem to emerge from her skin, or another with a futuristic glass necklace around her neck. Although his human subjects appear photographed, it’s these little impossible details that give them away as paintings.

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Chinese Artist Builds Amazing City Model with 50,000 Coins

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A Chinese man made the news last week for building an incredible model of his hometown, using nothing but coins! He spent an entire month painstakingly stacking up ancient and modern coins from 11 different countries to create the model, complete with roads, bridges and skyscrapers. Believe it or not, he didn’t use any glue!

He Peiqi revealed that he used his contacts in the coin trading industry to collect tens of thousands of coins for his masterpiece. Once the coins were ready, he got to work on the floor of his apartment, kneeling for two long hours each day. He carefully stacked the coins to resemble the general layout of Chongqing City.

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Artist Creates Fluffy Celebrity Portraits with Dog Hair

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Colombian-American artist and opera singer Mateo Blanco was in the news late last year for creating three celebrity portraits out of the most unusual material – dog hair! Blanco revealed that he was listening to Lennon when inspiration struck, and he decided to honor the three late singers with dog hair purchased from a local groomer.

The portraits – of musicians John Lennon, Michael Jackson, and Jimi Hendrix – were purchased by Orlando-based Ripley Entertainment and unveiled at Ripley’s Odditorium on December 12. The Michael Jackson portrait is still on display in Orlando, while John Lennon is currently at Ripley’s Mexico City, and Jimi Hendrix at Ripley’s Key West Odditorium.

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Every White Line in these Ultra-Realistic Animal Portraits is Just a Scratch

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We’ve seen highly talented artists burn paper, roller skate, and even kick a football around to create art. But here’s something new – Illinois artist Allan Ace Adams actually scratches away at paper to create breathtaking animal portraits. It’s called scratchboard art, and it involves using an exacto knife to scrape away a top layer of black ink off the canvas to reveal the white clay underneath.

A scratchboard is actually a hardwood board coated with a thin layer of porcelain clay. Another thick layer of black ink is added on top of the porcelain, which the artist has to scratch off in order to create an image. “I explain to people that I’m scratching in the highlights instead of the ‘darks’ like you would with a graphite drawing,” Adams wrote on his website. “Shades of gray can be achieved by how much ink is removed or by applying an ink wash. The ink wash can be scratched back though to reveal the white once again.”

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Artist Turns the Ashes of Loved Ones into Beautiful Jewelry

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California artist Merry Coor is using her skills to help people preserve the memory of their loved ones in the form of breathtaking pieces of jewellery. She uses cremated ashes of the deceased to create stunning beads that are lovingly crafted by hand.

The process begins with Coor mailing an envelope and a tin box to clients who display interest in her work. They use these to send her ashes, along with any photos or stories relating to their loved one. Once she receives the materials, she begins the process of creating the bead, keeping the individual in mind the whole time. Merry said that she tries her best to imbibe each piece with good intentions and respect.

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Chinese Artist Paints Large-Scale Mountain Landscape Using Roller Skates

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Tian Haisu is the world’s first roller-skating artist – she cleverly combines her love of art and ice skating to create beautiful paintings. She specializes in traditional Chinese landscapes, but has long-since ditched the calligraphy pen for a pair of skates!

Tian, who started painting at the age of three, says that painting with skates makes her feel ‘one with her art’. Through this medium, she wants to give the traditional form of painting a ‘new lease of life’. To create these unique paintings, Tian uses a modified pair of skates with a pot of black paint attached to the wheels. She puts them on and skates in deliberate patterns over a large canvas.

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