Needle-Poked Canvas Holes Reveal Beautiful Portraits

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Tel-Aviv-based artist Michal Taharlev creates stunningly-beautiful artworks inspired by old family photos without using brushes or writing tools. Armed only with a sharp needle and mountains of patience, she pokes the canvas thousands of times to reveal heart-warming images.

Inspired by pointilism, the painting technique that uses dots to trick the eye into making up a detailed image, Israeli artist Michal Taharlev used an 0.5mm needle and methodically poked holes in canvases to create her “Holes in Memory” series. Focusing on the details of old family photographs, she managed to recreate the original images in a gradient-like fashion. “The use of a needle on a photo and the violent act of damaging and obsessing over memories, yet in a very strict manner, gives a new meaning to the innocence and the unknown future the photos hold,” the artist says. I can only imagine the patience and concentration required to complete just one of these incredible works of art, as just a few miscalculated holes can ruin days-worth of painstaking work.

Michal-Taharlev-art

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Beautiful Shadow Sculptures Made from Trash and Scrap Metal

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Dutch artist Diet Wiegman has spent the last 50 years carefully arranging pieces of trash and scrap metal to create incredibly beautiful and detailed shadow sculptures.

Looking at Diet Wiegman’s piles of junk you’re left wondering why on Earth would anyone think of them as art. There’s really nothing special about them, just a combination of scrap metal and various discarded objects that always seems to represent the same thing – chaos. But as soon as someone turns on the little projector that always accompanies his works, the real masterpiece magically appears in the background. After realizing the shadows cast by Wiegman’s trash puppets are the real artworks, viewers are puzzled by another question – how does he do it? That’s something only the artist can answer, but it’s obvious he spends a great deal of time patiently arranging every little part of his sculptures, making sure they cast the right shadow when light shines from a specific angle.

light-sculptures

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Awe-Inspiring Pixelated Portraits Made from Paint-Injected Bubble Wrap

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Canadian artist Bradley Hart creates pixelated photo-realistic images by injecting bubble wrap with acrylic paint. The process it’s considerably more complicated and time-consuming than it sounds, but the end result is simply mind-blowing.

Pixelated portraits are nothing new. In the years since I started Oddity Central I’ve seen this kind of artworks created with everything from thousands of lipsticks to colored crayons and keyboard keys, but I’ve never heard of anyone using bubble wraps. Until today, that is. Bradley Hart uses the packaging material as a canvas for his photo-realistic paintings, by injecting every bubble with acrylic paint. It’s a painstaking process, because not only does he have to get every color just right to create the desired effect, but he also has to surgically remove all the dripped paint from the backside of the material. As the Canadian artist explains on his website “the exchange between paint and the air inside the bubble displaces one of the two elements. As the paint is injected into a bubble, the excess drips down the back of the piece.” So, after he completes one of his amazing artworks, he has to remove all the drippings from the backside of the plastic.

Bradley-Hart-buble-wrap-art

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Croatian Modeler Builds Incredibly Accurate Replicas of Industrial Vehicles from Thousands of Matchsticks

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20-year old Djordje Balac spends weeks, sometimes months at a time working from sunrise to midnight creating realistic models of industrial vehicles like trucks, excavators and cranes exclusively from matchsticks and glue.

Djordje’s passion for making wooden models dates back to general school. At first he cut all the necessary parts from pieces of wood, but soon he discovered matchsticks were a much better building material and, as he puts it. “the rest is history”. He started using hundreds of boxes of matches to create small-size models of his favorite trucks and industrial equipment, and spent weeks trying to get all the details just right. As his skills improved, the young man from Gospic, Croatia, decided to take his matchstick art to the next level by making the wooden replicas operational. So in 2006, he started building larger matchstick models, concentrating not only on replicating every design feature, but also on functionality. Despite working with a rigid material like matchsticks, he managed to make the arms of his excavator and crane models extend and turn like they do on real ones, and the cabins of his trucks detachable. After posting photos of his creations on forums and social media sites, Djordje Balac got the recognition he deserved, and was even invited to display his models at fairs and exhibitions around his home country.

matchstic-concrete-truck

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World’s Bounciest Chair Is Made from 65,000 Rubber Bands

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It might look like just a colorful art piece, but Justin Moeller’s rubber band chair is functional piece of furniture able to sustain a grown man’s weight. The young industrial designer created the unique in 2011, by hand, from over 65,000 rubber bands.

Justin Moeller was in his final year at the Appalachian State University, in Boone, North Carolina, when a friends suggested he move past the traditional “rubber band ball” idea and use the office supply to make something truly unique – a chair. She noticed the strength and quality of the bands Justin was already experimenting with, and though an office chair would push the idea of what a rubber band is meant to do. Inspired by this suggestion, Moeller traveled to stationary shops in four different towns, buying up their entire stock of rubber bands each time, and even made some return trips once the shops restocked. He spent over $200 on the 65,000 stretchy bands and worked on building and perfecting his one-of-a-kind chair for 336 hours. “It almost looks like a fun toy that has been enlarged to a human scale where the user is sitting in a giant toy,” the designer says about his three feet-tall creation. “But though it may look like it is all for fun it also happens to be very comfortable. The back is made from rubber bands weaved within themselves to create a springy sitting area that softly holds the user.”

rubber-band-chair

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Minas Tirith Replica Made from Sand and Water Will Blow Your Mind

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Lord of the Rings fan Joseph Alvenaz has created an awe-inspiring 10-foot-tall by 12-foot-wide replica of Minas Tirith, almost exclusively out of sand and water. Believe it or not, this was his first major sand sculpture.

We’ve featured some pretty impressive models of Gondor’s capital city, including one made entirely from matchsticks, and one made from LEGO, but Joseph Alvenaz sand-and-water Minas Tirith is right up there with the best of them. The young California artist chose the iconic setting of J.R.R. Tolkien’s LOTR – The Return of the King as his first large-scale sand sculpture, and judging by the images below, it’s safe to say he did an amazing job. Even more impressive is the fact that he didn’t use a frame for his incredibly detailed sand sculpture, save for a single brace added in the top tower, after it was repeatedly destroyed by birds. Apart from that one element, no reinforcement or adhesive was added; the entire structure was made exclusively from sand and water. The white is made of out of a chalkish wash he applied over the sand.

sand-Minas-Tirith

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The Electrifying Painting Performances of David Garibaldi and His CMYKs

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David Garibaldi is a successful performing artist who combines his passion for painting, dance and music in truly inspiring performances. Holding a paintbrush in each of his hands, he strokes the canvas as he dances to modern tunes, creating incredibly detailed portraits of pop icons.

Born in Los Angeles to entrepreneur parents, David Garibaldi moved to Sacramento when he was just four years old, for his dad’s business. Ever since he was very little, David had a strong sense of creativity, and although they didn’t share his passion for the arts, his family always encouraged him. He started by drawing cartoon characters, then moved on to encyclopedias, comic books and anything else kids his age were into back then. Then, during middle school, he started getting into hip-hop, so his friends suggested he use his artistic talents to do graffiti. It helped him develop his own style and explore all kinds of new design elements, but all those late nights he spent leaving his artistic mark on the walls and trains of Scaramento really affected his education. By the time he realized he was neglecting school, it was too late, and he couldn’t graduate with the rest of his class. It’s one of his biggest regrets, but also one of the things that motivated him to become the great artist he is today.

David-Garibaldi-speed-painting

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The Creepy Life-Like Giants of Ron Mueck

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Things are not as they seem, when it comes to the mind-blowing artworks of London-based sculptor Ron Mueck. Seeing his larger-than-life sculptures of the human body for the first time, you’d be tempted to think you are looking at real-life giants.

Australian-born Ron Mueck is the so of two toy makers, so it’s really not very surprising that he opted for a somewhat similar career, making his very own toys, only on an infinitely more detailed level. He worked as a model-maker and puppeteer on children’s television shows for 15 years, and went on to create special effects makeup for movies like the 1996 fantasy “Labyrinth”, featuring David Bowie. In the 1990s, he started his own company, making models to be photographed for advertisements. Back then, most of his works were only partially completed, as they were meant to be photographed from just one angle, leaving a lot of loose material lurking around the areas captured by the camera lens. Ultimately, he decided photography destroys the physical presence of the original object, so he turned his attention to fine art and sculpture. A wise decision, as his hyper-realistic works of art have now won him international acclaim.

Ron-Mueck-sculptures

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The Photographic Pencil-Drawn Portraits of Franco Clun

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Italian artist Franco Clun uses only pencil and paper to create these incredibly realistic portraits that can easily be mistaken for photographs. Believe it or not, he’s a self-taught drawing master who has never studied art…

I’ve always found hyperrealism fascinating, and the collection of articles on this amazing art genre that I’ve posted on Oddity Central throughout the years is proof of that. I never get tired of looking at drawings and paintings so masterfully executed that they resemble high-resolution photos, and I consider myself lucky whenever I discover the works of truly gifted artists, like Franco Clun. The Italian-born master of the pencil says he has never taken art classes and that everything he knows he learned from experience and from reading some drawing manuals. I guess you can say he’s living proof that practice makes perfect, and that following your passions in life can truly lead to amazing things. Although he has had to take a long break from drawing to dedicate himself to other things, his love for graphite remained strong, and now he’s wielding his trusty pencils again to create marvelous works of art.

Franco-Clun-drawings

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Belarusian Woodcarver Makes Intricate Clocks Exclusively from Wood

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In this day and age, it’s hard to imagine someone making accurate clock mechanisms without using a single piece of metal. And yet, Andrey Martyniuk, a woodcarver from Belarus, manages to create intricate clocks exclusively from wooden components.

As a child, Andrey Matyniuk loved to sketch. He then got an education as an engineer, and later in life developed a passion for wood carving. After a master carpenter told him that wooden clocks are the pinnacle of perfection, he decided to combine all his skills to create artistic yet functional mechanism exclusively from wood. Bit it was easier said than done, and the ambitious woodcarver spent three years working on his first wooden clock. He tried copying the mechanism of a metal clock, but although the principle is exactly the same, there are two important things to take into consideration to ensure the clock measures time accurately – the softness of the material and the humidity of the environment. After years of experimenting, the master learned he had to increase the size of the gear teeth and treat the wood with a special compound to make it resistant to humidity. He also found that wood had a big advantage over metal – it has a much lower coefficient of thermal expansion, so it is much less affected by temperature changes than metal.

Andrey-Martyniuk-clocks

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Money Artist Makes Beautiful Collages from Thousands of Old Soviet Banknotes

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Igor Arinich is known as the “Money Artist”in his home country of Belarus. He earned that nicknamed after he became famous for creating intricate collages made exclusively from old Soviet banknotes.

He is not the only artist in the world who uses money as his main medium. In fact, he started doing it himself after seeing the works of an American artist who made dollar collages, and he knows of another Russian artist who makes art from modern Rubles. But after trying to imitate them by using modern Belarusian currency, and euros, he realized none of today’s banknotes are as beautiful and colorful as old Soviet bills. So he began visiting flee markets in his city of Minsk, buying every Soviet banknote he could find, dating from 1961 to 1991. It all started as a hobby, but after people became interested in his craft, he decided to become a professional artist. Although he doesn’t want to reveal the number of money collages he has sold so far, Arinich says he charges between $700 and $2000 for his unique artworks, and many of them are sold abroad.

Igor-Arinich-money-collages

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Indian Sculptor Makes Creepy Bust of Favorite Politician from His Own Blood

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An Indian man known only as Hussaini has recently unveiled a shocking work of art – a bust of J. Jayalalitha, Chief Minister of the Tamil Nadu state, made from 11 litres of frozen human blood, donated by him and 32 of his students.

Apparently, nothing shows admiration for a person like making a creepy sculpture of them from human blood. At least that’s what Hussaini, a sculptor and archery teacher from Chennai, must have thought when he got the idea to create a bust of Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha out of his own frozen blood, for her 65th birthday. The noted artist wanted to thank the politician for being the “most sports loving CM of India” and for her support to his archery association, and since he had a few liters of his own blood stored for special occasions, he decided to put it to good use. You see, Hussaini has had his blood drawn at three-month intervals, over the last eight years, waiting for an opportunity to use it as a medium for his sculpture. But he only had 6.5 liters of blood, and this special project required 11. Luckily, his 32 archery students were more than willing to donate the extra 4.5 liters needed to complete the project.

human-blood-sculpture

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Steve Casino’s Celebrity Figurines Are Nuts, Literally!

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Steve Casino, better known as the “Painter of Nuts” creates detailed celebrity figurines out of peanut shells and mixed media. His collection includes big names like James Brown, Andy Warhol or Elton John.

One day, Steve Casino was eating peanuts, when he noticed one was kind of looked like him. So he started painting a cartoon version of himself on the shell and showed it to his friend, Neil. He thought it was pretty funny, and this inspired Steve to pursue this idea further. He decided to try a celebrity next, so he picked out another peanut and did Joey Ramone, of punk rock band The Ramones. It turned out pretty good for a first attempts, but he got much better at it with each new peanut figurine he made. Trying o perfect the technique, looking for the right materials and painting detailed faces was a lot of fun, and Steve was hooked. Now he’s known as the Painter of Nuts and his work is starting to get some much-deserved publicity on the Internet.

peanut-James-Brown

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Woman Spends a Year Building Hogwarts Replica from 400,000 LEGO Pieces

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LEGO master Alice Finch has spent over 12 months piecing together an impressive model of the Hogwarts school of magic, from the Harry Potter movies, complete with decorated and populated interiors.

LEGO makes its own official Harry Potter sets, but they weren’t enough for master builder Alice Finch. While the mother of two understands why the Danish toy company makes sets that are only finished on one side and accessible on the back, she wanted to build her own version that was architecturally accurate with 4 walls and a roof, minifigs scale, and also playable for big and little hands. She had been to many of the places in Oxford were some of the movie scenes were shot, so she already knew what it should look like. Still, Alice did plenty of research for her LEGO Hogwarts: she consulted J.K. Rowling’s books, watched the blockbuster Harry Potter movies and even went to the Harry Potter studio tour in London to see the sets in person. Many times, the details in the books and those in the films didn’t coincide, so she had to choose what worked best. But, after 12 months of piecing together her monumental model from around 400,000 LEGO pieces, she had created every Harry Potter fan‘s dream – her very own Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

LEGO-Hogwarts

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Artist Recreates the World’s Most Famous Cities from Cardboard Boxes

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Using only corrugated cardboard boxes and glue, renowned English artist Chris Gilmour has managed to recreate some of the world’s most famous cityscapes in stunning detail.

We first featured Chris Gilmour’s amazing cardboard sculptures back in 2009, but his latest project, titled “You can build anything when you put your mind to it“, is probably the most impressive one yet. The talented artist used common packaging boxes and glue to build models of some of the most iconic landmarks in the world, and did it all in record time. They say Rome wasn’t built in a day, but Gilmour managed to make a 40-foot-wide replica of London in just two days. Featuring the river Thames at the center, the fragile work of art also includes an intricate replica of Big Ben, a functional model of Tower Bridge and a rotating cardboard Big Eye. Part of an advertising campaign for the Bankers Box brand, the project also included incredibly detailed cardboard replicas of Paris and Berlin.

Chris-Gilmour-London

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