English Designer Creates Furniture That Looks and Feels Like Human Skin

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Gigi Barker, a British furniture designer and owner of Studio 9191, has come up with a new range of seating that looks and feels a lot like the human body. The seats are designed to mimic bulbous, podgy human flesh. And they’re oddly comforting, as Gigi’s customers reluctantly admit.

Although the seats are made of leather – the closest material to human skin that she could find – they’re so oddly shaped that they aren’t instantly recognisable. And that’s exactly the effect that she was hoping to achieve with the project, which she calls ‘A Body of Skin’.

Through the project, Gigi wanted to explore people’s reactions to furniture that is strangely familiar to the sight, smell and touch, but not recognisable. “That made the viewers question how to interact with the shapes and to form their own conclusions,” she said.

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Japanese Botanical Artist Launches His Bonsai into Space

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Japanese botanical artist Makoto Azuma’s flower arrangements are, quite literally, out of this world. His beautiful plants were recently launched into outer space as a part of his latest project, ‘Exobiotonica’. The launch took place on July 15 at the Nevada Black Rock Desert, with the help of Sacramento-based independent space program, JP Aerospace.

“I wanted to see the movement and beauty of plants and flowers suspended in space,” said Azuma, who is well known in Japan for his extravagant performances involving flowers. There was this one time when he stomped on hundreds of flowers during a musical performance. Once, he stuffed flowers into glass jars and filled them with water-like sardines. He has also created office chairs and Hello Kitty dolls entirely covered in green grass.

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Meet Paintboxer – The Dutch Artist Who Paints with His Fists

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It’s hard to imagine boxing and painting combined to create something artistic. But Dutch boxer Bart van Polanen Petel demonstrates that it’s really quite possible to mix a brutal sport and a delicate art form. He puts on his boxing gloves, dips them in paint, and throws punch after punch at a blank canvas wrapped around a punching bag until it is completely covered in chaotic color patterns.

“If life is ultimately a Darwinian struggle for survival, then boxing at least has the virtue of being open about it,” says the philosophical boxer. Inspired by its primal nature, painting is Bart’s way of paying tribute to the sport of boxing. “Instead of crushing bones and shattering teeth, I use my fists to create,” he explained.

Bart says that when he’s boxing, he feels a deep connection with the men of the Stone Age and the Middle Ages. He feels a certain animal within him, an aggression that he learned to curb in boxing. But with painting, he’s able to let out all that aggression on to the canvas.

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Photo-Like Monochromatic Portraits Created with Thousands of Tiny Holes

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Norwegian artist Anne-Karin Furunes’ portraits might look like black-and-white photographs, but that’s just your eyes playing tricks on you. They’re actually paintings made with of thousands and thousands of tiny holes. Anne creates them by punching perforations into large canvases, creating the effect of monochromatic hyper-realistic portraits.

Anne has been perfecting her unique perforation technique since the 1990s, when she was a student of architecture and art at the Art Academy of Trondheim. All the main painters back then used a lot of paint on the canvas, she said, but she wanted to ‘enter the canvas’ in her own way.

“So I tried to find my own language,” she explains. “At that time, I was really interested in photos – old photos, albums, private albums – and I think it was the idea of trying to transform these photos to something physical, something bigger. And to give it a kind of soft treatment so it was, in a way, a memory. Something that is coming and disappearing at the same time.” The holes, she said, are symbolic of memories – how they disappear exactly when you try to grasp them.

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The Ultra-Realistic Graphite Drawings of Monica Lee

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Malaysian artist Monica Lee uses simple graphite pencils to create stunningly realistic portraits of people and animals. Through her photorealistic drawings, she manages to capture the most minute details of her subjects – faded freckles, coarse beard hair and even the subtle weaves of a shirt.

Lee worked as a digital artist for 12 years before she switched to analog drawings. She grew up admiring and appreciating the value of photographs, thanks to her father who is a photographer. So photorealism comes to her quite naturally, and she enjoys depicting as many details as possible.

“I like to challenge myself with complex portraits especially people with freckles or beard,” Lee says.

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Artist Creates Celebrity Portraits with Thousands of Suspended Buttons

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Artist Augusto Esquivel is an expert at transforming mundane objects into spectacular works of art. One of his specialties is working with standard sewing buttons, which he uses to create stunning, larger-than-life celebrity portraits.

Augusto’s technique is as tedious as you’d imagine – it’s not an easy arranging thousands of buttons to form an easily recognisable pattern. To create a single portrait, he starts off by suspending hundreds of monofilament strings from the ceiling. Then, he threads black, white and grey buttons into those strings in a particular order.

Individually, these strings might not amount to much. But this is where Augusto works his magic – when he brings the strings together, pixelated images of popular icons emerge. Some of his most notable works include button portraits of stars like Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Salvador Dali and James Dean.

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These Photos of Beautiful Women Are Actually Amazingly-Realistic Oil Paintings

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Each time we feature hyper-realistic paintings on OC, I think, “This is the best I’ve ever seen.” But then we get to see another artist’s work, and I’m amazed all over again. This time it’s the work of New York-based Israeli painter Yigal Ozeri. I’m still having a hard time believing that these paintings aren’t actually photographs of women.

Seriously, there’s no denying the fact that Ozeri’s taken hyperrealism to a whole new level. You can’t spot a single brushstroke in these photograph-inspired paintings, that’s how perfect his work is. He starts each piece by photographing beautiful women in nature-themed sceneries, while staying hidden at a safe distance from his models. Back at his studio, he alters the shots with Photoshop and prints them out. Using the prints as a reference, Ozeri then spends days recreating them with oil on canvas

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Can You Believe This Isn’t Trash But Expertly Painted Pieces of Wood?

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I wouldn’t blame you if you thought these were just simple photos of discarded trash. I was fooled as well, until I actually read the story behind them. In reality, these are pieces of wood expertly painted by super-talented Kentucky artist Tom Pfannerstill. From crushed Starbucks coffee cups to crumpled Goldfish cracker packages, he is able to create perfect replicas of all sorts of garbage he finds on the streets.

Tom calls the series ‘From the Street’; he starts off by choosing a real piece of trash and traces the outline of the object onto a flat piece of wood. Once his wooden canvas is ready, he fills it in with acrylic paints, in painstaking detail. The two-dimensional painting soon comes to life, looking exactly like a piece of trash it was modeled after.

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Eat Your Food and Wear It Too – Gold-Plated KFC Chicken Bones as Jewelry

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Hard core KFC fans have come up with the perfect way to pay homage to their favorite fast food brand – by wearing gold plated KFC bones as jewelry. The idea sounds rather primitive, but I suppose the gold plating does reduce the barbaric effect to some extent.

‘Kentucky Fried Chicken Bone Gold Necklaces’, are made of only two ingredients – real KFC bones and real 14 karat gold. They come in two sizes – small and large. The necklaces are the brainchild of Kentucky for Kentucky, a group of people with the mission to ‘engage and inform the world by promoting Kentucky people, places and products.’

Their official website states: “We’re excited to introduce a brand spanking new Kentucky invention. An invention so kick-ass, it will change the jewelery game forever. We’ve taken one great Kentucky invention and turned it into a completely new Kentucky invention. Like Willy Wonka’s Everlasting Gobstopper, we’ve figured out a way to make it possible to savor a single piece of Kentucky Fried Chicken forever. Forever and ever. We all win.”

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19th Century Artist’s Amazingly Detailed Sand Art Will Blow Your Mind

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Andrew Clemens (1857 – 1894) was an extraordinary self-taught artist from Iowa who created unbelievably intricate art using tiny grains of colored sand, with tools and techniques that were way ahead of his time. Although the man was completely deaf and nearly mute for most of his life, he managed to nurture his passion and make hundreds of bottles of beautiful sand art.

Clemens was born to German and Prussian parents who met and fell in love on their way to the United States. After living in various cities, his father finally moved the family to McGregor, Iowa, to take advantage of the gold-rush and the settlement of the American west. It was here that, at the age of five, Clemens was struck with ‘brain fever’ (or encephalitis as we know it today). Although he was lucky to survive, he permanently lost his hearing and speech to the disease.

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Talented Artist Paints Detailed Landscapes on Incredibly Small Pieces of Food

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Talented Turkish artist Hasan Kale specializes in creating micro paintings on incredibly small objects, like butterfly wings and snail’s shells. In his latest project, he’s taken his micro painting skills to a whole new level – by using food as a canvas.

The list of edible objects that Kale has painted on includes peanut husks, split almonds, banana chips, fruit seeds, beans, onion peels, mini breadsticks, and even bits of chocolate. As long as it’s tiny, it appears that Kale will paint on it. He uses an extremely fine paint brush tip and a magnifying glass to paint intricate landscapes of his native Istanbul.

Through Kale’s work, you can enjoy a picturesque view of the Nusretiye Mosque and other scenes from Istanbul on a Milka Square, painted with such amazing detail. Of course, most of his work is microscopic, and therefore not very visible to the naked eye. You’d need some sort of magnification to be able to see the paintings clearly.

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Woman Born without Arms and Legs Overcomes Odds, Become Successful Painter

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Zuly Sanguino is a talented young artist and motivational speaker. The 24-year-old Colombian creates beautiful, colorful paintings of flowers and landscapes that have been exhibited in various shows. She has also given several motivational lectures at corporate organizations, schools and prisons. Zuly is an exceptional woman, mainly because she’s managed to achieve so much even though she was born without fully formed limbs.

Born with phocomelia, a congenital disorder that affected all four of her limbs, Zuly was destined for a life of disability. The doctors had informed her mother, Guillermina, that Zuly would have to be lying down all the time for the rest of her life. In spite of their poverty and terrible living conditions (they lived in shacks with dirt floors), Guillermina wouldn’t give up on her daughter – she taught young Zuly to sit at first, and then walk on her own without external support.

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Hong Yi Strikes Again with Football Painted Portraits of Popular World Cup Players

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Shanghai-based artist Hong Yi, a.k.a. ‘Red’, has combined her love for football and art in a very unique way – she recently painted a massive portrait of three superstars of the 2014 FIFA World Cup – Ronaldo, Neymar and Messi – by dribbling a paint-covered football on a canvas.

Red didn’t use a single paintbrush to create her amazing portraits of the three popular football players! Instead, she kicked a paint-stained football around on the canvas, and actually managed to paint highly accurate pictures of her subjects.

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Michigan Based Artist Creates Amazingly Realistic Wax Busts of Famous Actors and Movie Characters

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Artist Bobby Causey makes wax sculptures of celebrities that are so life-like, you’re going to have a hard time believing they’re not real. The self-taught professional, based in Allen Park, Michigan, painstakingly creates each piece by hand, even punching in each individual strand of hair one at a time!

Causey, who won several art shows as a kid for his drawings, said that he enjoys sculpting a lot more – his favorite sculptors include Jose Ismael Fernandez and Michelangelo. He also remembers that special moment when he realized that sculpting was his ‘thing’: “It was the Lost Boys: David piece. I loved that movie and loved the soundtrack; once I completed the piece, I could hear the music from the movie, and got some chills. I said, ‘I think I found my special purpose; what the hell can I sculpt next!’”

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China Unveils World’s Largest and Longest 3D Street Painting

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Nanjing city, the capital of China’s Jiangsu Province, is the new home of the world’s largest and longest 3D street painting. The artwork, named ‘Rhythms of Youth’ was unveiled on June 11; it is a whopping 365 meters long, covering over 2,500 square meters on the campus of the Communication University of China (CUCN). It has set two new Guinness World Records  - one for the largest, and the other for the longest street painting in the world.

The technique used to make the 3D painting is known as ‘anamorphic’ – the artwork is painted in a distorted fashion so it will only look right from a certain point of view. The team that created it was led by famous Chinese artist Yang Yongchun. “It took my team more than 20 days to finish the painting on the ground,” he said. “Every day, we worked on it from daybreak when we could barely tell the colors apart until it was too dark to see anything. We’ve devoted all of our time, energy and attention to this painting.”

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