Ukrainian Artist Creates Unique Paintings with Fish Bones Scales and Eyes

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Elena Zhuravskaya, an amateur artist from Kiev, Ukraine, uses fish bones, scales and even their boiled eyes to assemble amazing paintings on velvet canvases. Although her work is virtually  unknown outside her native country, I hope this article changes that.

I found photos of Elena’s works on a wonderful-yet-obscure blog called Viola, and after doing some “digging” I was able to find more info on this wonderful artist and her unique trade. Ms Zhuravskaya, who works as an architect in Kiev, has a very interesting hobby – she likes to use fish leftovers (bones, scales, eyes) to create detailed ivory-like paintings on dark velvet canvases. The self-taught artist has invented a number of bone-processing techniques which allow her to manipulate the fine medium into whatever shape she desires, although she admits working with such delicate materials is a painstaking process. So far, her fishy artworks have been displayed in various galleries around Kiev, leaving art-enthusiasts in awe of both her bizarre medium choice and amazing attention to detail.

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Russian Artist Creates Miniature Models from Pasta

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Sergey Pakhomov, an artist from Russia’s Perm region has recently made headlines in his home country for using various types of pasta to make miniature models of cars, planes, boats and even a small pasta town.

If you’ve at least heard of Canada’s wacky Spaghetti Bridge Building Championship, then you already know pasta can also be used outside the kitchen. Take Sergey Pakhomov, an amateur artist who discovered Italian pasta is a great material for creating detailed miniature models. It all started six years ago, when Pakhomov was working for a PR company, and was asked to do a creative advertisement for a Russian macaroni company. He was brainstorming one night and came up with the idea of creating various thing out of macaroni. The advertisement campaign was eventually canceled, but the idea stuck with him, and after studying the works of other artists who had used stuff like vermicelli or rigatoni to make art, he decided to pursue a career in pasta models. After six years of experimenting with the strange medium, Sergey Pakhomov has an impressive collection of over 30 miniature pasta models, some of which are pretty complex.

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Artist Creates Pixelated Portraits Out of Computer Keys and Buttons

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Australian artist Guy Withby, aka WorkbyKnight (WBK), creates portraits of musicians, political figures and other celebrities by assembling hundreds of buttons from computer keyboards, typewriters and phones.

“”The hand made days are gone. Our food, our clothes, our furniture, our homes, our lives are manufactured. Life is factory made.” WBK is factory made art for a manufactured world. With a quite reflection on an analogue past.” This is how Guy Withby describes his works on Deviant Art. You can clearly see that a large part of his art is indeed influenced by the transition from the analog days to the digital era, as he uses old type sets, type writer keys, analogue numbers, analogue timepieces to represent the by-gone analog times, and computer keys, calculator buttons phone buttons to represent the digital age. He manages to arrange all these tiny pieces into detailed portraits of artistic, historical or political personalities who played a role in this transition. Every art piece consists of hundreds of buttons that serve as pixels, and Withby makes sure he uses an assortment of both analog and digital-representing keys, instead of a single type, which would definitely make his job a lot easier. Although his art is time-consuming, the results are nothing short of spectacular.

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Australian Artist Takes Camouflage to a Whole New Level

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Adelaide-based artist Emma Hack, 39, creates incredible works of art where she paints male and female models and makes them blend into complex background images.

If you’re one of the 300 million people who watched Gotye’s video for the international hit “Somebody That I Used to Know“, then you’re probably already a fan of Emma Hack, and just didn’t know it yet. She’s the mastermind behind the unique music video where Gotye and Kimbra gradually transform into painted works of art that morph into the background until they become entirely camouflaged. Emma worked with the artists for 23 very long hours, but the public reactions to their work made the efforts worth it for all parties involved. Although she’s been a camouflage artist for 22 years, Emma says she feels her career has just now started taking off and she’s finally being taken seriously as an artist.

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Illustrator Challenges Reality in Awesome Video Series

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Renown illustrator and author Mark Crilley demonstrates his insane drawing talent in a series of videos in which he recreates everyday objects with pencils, ball-point pens and fine paintbrushes.

As you’e probably already noticed, we don’t just post oddities here on OC, we also feature lots of cool, amazing stuff, and Mark Crilley’s “Realism Challenge” video series is as amazing as hyperrealist art gets. Using his super skills and basic utensils he creates incredibly realistic drawn replicas of everyday stuff, like crumpled paper, a torn playing card or a mushroom. The Michigan-based artist makes great use of the trompe l’oeil technique to effectively trick your eyes into  thinking they’re looking at a real object instead of a masterful drawing. Apart from these realism challenges, Mark also posts how-to videos for aspiring illustrators on his YouTube channel.

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Artist Suffering from Severe Cerebral Palsy Creates Awe-Inspiring Typewriter Art

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Paul Smith suffered from severe spastic cerebral palsy from a very young age. The loss of fine motor control of his hands made impossible for him to perform the most basics of tasks, like eating, bathing or clothing himself, but through sheer willpower he managed to become one of the most acclaimed typewriter artists in history.

Born in September1921, in Philadelphia, Paul Smith was diagnosed with severe spastic cerebral palsy as a child, but although this terrible condition made it impossible for him to express himself or attend school like any other child, it didn’t stop him from having a remarkable life. At age 15, Paul started working with the typewriter to create art, and slowly refined his technique until he was able to create real masterpieces. He would use his left hand to steady the right, so because he couldn’t type with both hands the artist would lock the “Shift” key and create most of his works with the characters “@ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _”. He spent 2-3 hours a day typing away on his typewriter while listening to Classical music, and each of his artworks would take him anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months. Over 70 years of artistic activity, Paul Lung created hundreds of beautiful typewriter art pieces, most of which he simply gave away.

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Real-Life Sleeping Beauties Are Contractually Bound to Marry Their Prince Charmings in Controversial Art Exhibit

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Aptly named “Sleeping Beauty“, a controversial art exhibit at the National Art Museum of Ukraine has real-life sleeping beauties waiting to be “woken up” by true love’s kiss, just like in the famous fairytale by Charles Perrault. Only these fair maidens are bound by contact to marry their suitors if they open their eyes while being kissed.

Earlier this month, a group of young women were chosen to be part of an an unusual art installation designed by Canadian-Ukrainian artist Taras Polataiko. Each one has agreed to lay down on a pedestal-style bed for three days waiting to be woken up by true love’s kiss. Unlike the sleeping beauty in Perrault’s story, these girls are not under any curse, nor have they been poisoned, they just volunteered to be part of a really unique art project and hopefully find the love of their lives. Because the contract they agreed to sign clearly states that if any of them open their eyes while being kissed by any of the male visitors, they are obliged to marry them. To make things interesting, each of the visitors is also required to sign a contract that obligates them to marry the sleeping beauty if she opens her eyes during the kiss. Pretty serious stuff…

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Talented Lawyer Draws Stunning Photo-Like Ball-Point Pen Portraits

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If these incredibly realistic ball-point pen drawings were created by an experienced full-time artist I would have been deeply impressed, but knowing these masterpieces were actually drawn by a self-taught lawyer, I’m desperately trying to keep my jaw from hitting the floor.

The realistic-looking ball-point pen drawings of Juan Francisco Casas are famous all around the world, and I never though I’d find another artist who could use a simple pen the way he does. And, technically I haven’t, because 29-year-old Samuel Silva is a lawyer who exercises his drawing skills as a hobby, yet manages to create stunning piece of art that belong in an art gallery. On his Deviant Art profile page, Silva, who graduated from law school and became a lawyer in 2007, describes himself as ” just a self taught patient hobbyist person”. He started drawing when he was only 2-years-old and developed his own style of ball-point pen drawing in school, by creating “simple classroom sketches in the back of exercise books”. For some reason, he didn’t go to art school, but that obviously hasn’t stopped him from taking his drawing skills to a level I can only describe as “awesome!”

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Tasmania’s Town of Murals – A Colorful Outdoor Art Gallery

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If you didn’t believe in the power of art to change an entire community’s history and fortune, then Sheffield, also known as Tasmania’s Town of Murals, is the perfect example to convince you.

Despite being located in a spectacular natural setting, at the foothills of Mount Roland, in north-western Tasmania, the small town of Sheffield needed something more to help it overcome a steady economic decline. The population of this typical Tasmanian settlement went up dramatically when construction of several hydroelectric plants began in the area, but once the development was complete, workers started moving away to newer prospects, which led to a decline both in population and local economy. By the mid 1980s, the people of Sheffield realized the gorgeous setting wasn’t enough to attract enough tourists to boost their economy, so they formed a tourism association that decided to follow the example of a Canadian town that had a similar economic clump, and turn Sheffield into an outdoor mural art gallery.

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Creepy-Yet-Beautiful Ship Models Made of Human Bones by POWs

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To pass the time, French prisoners held in British dungeons during the Napoleonic Wars would build intricate ship models from human and animal bones. Now these creepy works of art sell for tens of thousands of dollars at auctions.

While English prisoners of war spent their jail time playing sports, French POWs found a rather macabre hobby – building models of enemy ships out of bones. Although it’s recorded they were treated exceptionally well by the English, because the skirmishes between the two European forces dragged on for years some prisoners remained locked away for over a decade, so they needed something to pass the time. Prisoners would keep pig and mutton bones from the food rations issued to them by the English, boil them and bleach them in the sun. But sometimes materials from their meals weren’t enough for their detailed works of art, so they supplemented their supplies with human bones from the shallow graves around camp, uncovered by roving pigs. No one really cared where or from who the bones came from, as long as they helped finish the job.

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Renzuru Paper Folding, or Origami on Steroids

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If you thought Origami was hard, that the advanced form called Renzuru will probably seem impossible This centuries-old Japanese art form involves folding multiple cranes from a single piece of paper, ensuring that they remain connected with each other.

Renzuru, which is roughly translated as “consecutive crane” can be traced back to the Edo period of Japan (1603-1867) and is regarded as one of the most advanced Origami techniques. In order to master the art of renzuru, one must learn to make strategic cuts to form a mosaic of semi-detached smaller squares from a large piece of traditional “washi” paper, and then fold each square into a crane, without breaking the thin strips of paper that connect them. Concealing the extra paper is also a challenge. Typical renzuru artworks consist of four paper cranes arranged in a circle and attached at the tips of their wings, but some skilled masters have developed their own renzuru styles. One of these skilled artists is 70-year-old Mizuho Tomita, who holds a record of 368 connecting cranes from a single sheet of paper.

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The Heat-Painted Wonders of Dino Muradian

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I discovered pyrography, the art of painting with heat, six month ago, after seeing the wonderful artworks of Julie Bender, but after I got an email from renown pyrography master Dino Muradian, I just had to write about it once again.

Dino Muradian, or Dumitru Muradian, as he is known in his native country of Romania, has made pyrographic history with his innovative tools and painting techniques. The 60-year-old self-taught artist started experimenting with this awe-inspiring art in 1965, but for approximately 20 years it remained nothing but just a fun hobby. It was only after he left Romaina, to escape Ceausescu’s communist regime, and achieved his dream of living in America that he truly discovered his potential as a pyrography artist. He dedicated a lot of time to developing a new heat-painting technique he had imagined and building custom tools needed to create the shading and effects he desired. He had felt for some time that he could take pyrography beyond its known limits and began doing so. After years of work Dino invented a new technique that burns the wood with shading, rather than lines, at a very high temperature. His great precision and control insures the shading is embedded deeply in the wood, but at the same time the “canvas”remains as smooth as glass.

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High on Art – Brazilian Artist Paints with Marijuana Smoke

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For his latest series, aptly entitled “Blow Job – Work of Blowing”, Brazilian artist Fernando de la Rocque has created images of political and religious icons using marijuana smoke. Needless to say that has sparked a great deal of controversy in the art world.

We’ve seen some pretty unique works of art created with smoke, like the ghost paintings of Rob Tarbell or the smoke-painted bottles of Jim Dingilian, but none as controversial as Fernando de la Rocque’s. The daring artist using a unique technique to paint images onto a white canvas – he blows marijuana smoke on pre-cut stencils laid down on the canvas to dye paint and shade the desired areas. The results are pretty impressive, but it’s the bizarre technique that attracted the most attention, with many wondering how he must feel after completing one of his smoky artworks.

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Vegetarian Designer Opens Special Butcher Shop with Fluffy Meats

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It’s called “Aufschnitt” (German for “cold cuts”) and it’s a unique butcher shop created by designer Silvia Wald, who is actually a vegetarian. What’s even more bizarre is that she makes all the “meats” herself, by hand, out of fabric…

Every item on display at Silvia Wald’s Aufschnitt shop looks good enough to eat, only nothing is really edible. The young designer creates all her products from textile material and sells them as pillows, cushions or cool decorations. An engineer for clothing technology, Wald started making her delicious fluffy meats in 2009, as a small project, but after seeing how popular her few sausages were, she started making all kinds of other textile foods, from salami to large pieces of ham, from materials like cotton stretch velvet, lycra, wool or micro fibre. Then she opened her own little butcher shop in Berlin, where she sells her creations to both meat lovers and vegetarians. The designer says her favorite clients are the kids who always like to take a bite of her forever-fresh products,  just to see if they’re edible.

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Y Lan – The Lady Playing with Sand

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Y Lan, real name Tran Thi Hoang Lan, is a famous Vietnamese artist who uses multicolored sand to create beautiful paintings. Her works are famous all over Asia, as well as in Europe and North America.

Y Lan has no formal arts training and discovered her unique talent for making sand paintings purely by mistake. In 2001, while visiting her husband’s home town in Phan Thiet she saw the coastal sands in the area and was mesmerized by their beauty and took three differently-colored varieties in a transparent flower vase. After she came home she was just obsessed with the exotic beauty of the sands, so she went back and took more sand samples of different colors. Then she started thinking about what to do with this wonderful colored sand she had gathered, and the idea for her grainy sand paintings was born. Now, Y Lan is internationally recognized as the inventor of sand painting and has established her own company selling these masterpieces all around the globe.

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