French Artist Sails Around the World in a Sinking Boat

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Designer Julien Berthier has been sailing around the globe in Love Love, a weird ship that looks like it’s about to sink.

Created back in 2007, Love Love is one of Berthier’s weirdest artworks. He actually cut a sailboat in half, sealed it with fiberglass and fitted it with two motors, which make it fully functional, despite its capsizing look. The 35-year-old designer says his ever-sinking sailing craft is perfectly safe and easy to maneuver, especially in calm waters.

As you can imagine, passers-by and fellow sailors don’t even know what to think when they first lay eyes on Love Love, especially when they see its captain so relaxed, while his boat appears to be heading to a watery grave. Berthier himself admits he has put the coast guard and harbor masters on full alert a few times, after people alerted them about a sinking ship.

Julien Berthier, who says he “wanted to freeze the moment just a few seconds before the boat disappears, creating an endless vision of the dramatic moment”, has sailed his sinking boat on many trips through famous harbors like London’s Canary Wharf, and France’s Normandy.

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Leo Sewell and His Incredible Junk Sculptures

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Using various junk items he picks up from around his home town, Leo Sewell creates junk masterpieces collected by museums and art enthusiasts around the world.

As a child, Leo Sewell grew up playing with objects he found at the dump near his home. He would take them apart, and his parents would encourage him to put them back together. He followed their advice long after he became a grown-up and he now has 50 years experience in creating beautiful sculptures out of junk.

He spends most of his time scouring the streets of Philadelphia for discarded materials, and brings them all back to his workshop. Right now, there are over 100,000 items in his shop, organized into 2,500 categories, from corn holders to gold-plated shark teeth. No matter how weird or useless an item seems, Leo will find a place for it in one of his beautiful artworks. Both the frame and surface of his sculptures are made of junk objects, assembled with nails, bolts and screws.

Throughout his career, Leo Sewell has created over 4,000 trash sculptures, from life-size models of animals, to a 24-foot-long dinosaur or his amazing 40 foot Torch. His art is displayed worldwide, including in over 40 museums and in both private and public collections.

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The Mind-Blowing Origami Sculptures of Eric Joisel

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Eric Joisel was one of the most gifted origami artists the world has ever seen, and even though he recently passed away, he lives on through his amazing folded paper masterpieces.

Eric Joisel dedicated most of his life to art, in many of its forms, including drawing and sculpting. He took up origami in 1983, and just four years later had his first exhibition, in Paris. It was proof of his immense talent, but the French artist knew that it took a lot more hard work to take his art to the highest possible level. Whenever someone asked him how long it took him to finish one of his paper artworks, he would say “35 years, because that is how long it has taken me to get to this level.”

Unlike the paper boats or birds people usually associate with the art of origami, Joisel’s works are more like paper sculptures created from a single sheet of paper. The blueprint for a single figure could take several years to complete, and the folding process lasted hundreds of hours, but the result was truly magnificent. By dampening the sheet of paper, the artist could curve it into intricate shapes, allowing him to create details like furrowed brows or veined hands. Some of his larger creations, like the paper rhino you’re about to see below, were created from giant sheets of paper, measuring 15 feet by 25 feet (about the size of a studio apartment).

Although his works sold for thousands of dollars, Eric Joisel lived in a modern farmhouse, and spent several hours a day working on his origami sculptures. He died on October 10, 2010, from lung cancer. He was just 53 years old, and had so much more to give to the art world…

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Tree-Cycle – The Recycled Christmas Tree of The Rocks

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Made up of 100 recycled bicycle parts, Tree-cycle is one of the most original Christmas trees this year.

For the past two years, Sydney’s The Rocks area has featured a mind-blowing Christmas tree made of recycled materials. In 2008, the chosen medium was chairs, 2009 was the year of recycled bottles, and this year organizers went for bicycle parts. The seven-meter-tall tree was constructed using the bicycle parts provided by a group called CMA Recycling, and took a total of eight weeks to design and build.

The Tree-cycle Christmas installation can be admired until December 28, when i will be taken apart. Once dismantled, the bicycle parts will be recycled once again, by CMA Recycling.

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The Edible Dresses of Sung Yeonju

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Sung Yeonju is a brilliant young Korean artist who took the art world by storm with her incredible series of dresses made of various foods, entitled Wearable Foods. Born in 1986, in Seoul, South Korea, Sung Yeonju graduated from the Hong Ik University in 2010, and has already made a name for herself by creating various garments out of foods like bread, red cabbage, tomatoes or spring onions.

She is a fine artist who uses photography as her main medium to create her vision. “Wearable Foods” series is the first long term project she started two years ago and it still continues to this day. This series deals with the concept of creating images that interchange the actual reality and the made-up reality on many levels. This body of work is her version of the made-up reality, which destroys the core meaning of clothing, which is the ability to be worn. This series of her work forces viewers to defy the actual meaning, functionality, and the aspects of what clothing signifies in our lives. The essence of clothing and food has been reinterpreted. Each element does not fulfill its own role and yet, each suggests an unconventional and even contradicting role – un-wearable clothing that is made out of the materials that do not last. Yeonju’s spectacular images make you believe and desire her made-up reality. She will be participating in an upcoming Korean Contemporary Art Group Exhibition in Los Angeles. For more information, please visit yeonju.me

I wonder if Sung Yeonju had something to do with Lady Gaga’s famous meat dress. Or maybe that was Dimitri Tsykalov’s work

 

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Saimir Strati Creates the World’s Largest Industrial Screw Mosaic

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Saimir Strati, the well-known Albanian master of mosaics has created yet another masterpiece, a giant mosaic made of 300,000 industrial screws.

Strati, who already holds four Guinness records for various mosaics, has just applied for a fifth one, the world’s largest mosaic made with industrial screws. His latest artwork measures 490 cm by 240 cm and features a portrait of Greek poet Homer in the middle of a giant banknote, entitled “currency of the soul”. The Albanian artist who has previously created impressive mosaics out of nails, bottle corks and paintbrushes, has dedicated his latest masterpiece to his fellow art creators from Tirana, Albania.

Saimir Strati has spent two weeks creating his unusual banknote mosaic, using 300,000 industrial screws.

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Chinese Artist Showcases Venus de Milo Statue Made of Excrements

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Zhu Cheng, one of China’s most famous and talented sculptors, has helped nine of his art students to create a replica of Venus de Milo out of excrements.

Now, I know we’ve had quite a few strange art mediums here at Oddity Central, from garbage to chewing gum, but excrement has to be the weirdest one yet, by a long shot. Zhu Cheng helped and direct a team of nine art students to recreate the Venus de Milo statue out of feces. Now, the source doesn’t actually specify if we’re talking about animal or human excrements, but I’m pretty sure it’s the last one…A symbol of beauty created from something so disgusting, the idea is pretty cool, but I can’t help but be grossed out by the thought of having to mold feces into a statue with your hands.

Ad you can see in the photos, the excrement-made Venus de Milo is encased in a transparent box, to protect it, and make sure the smell of crap doesn’t drive everyone away from the exhibition at Henan Art Museum in Zhengzhou city, China.

But the most unbelievable thing about this “shity” statue of Venus de Milo is that it was actually bought by a Swiss art collector, for a staggering 300,000 yuan ($45,113). Talk about spending money on crap, right?

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Street Artist Hailed as China’s Chalk God

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Mr. Hou is an average Joe who recently became popular thanks to a few photos of his chalk art being posted on Chinese forums.

The first photos of Mr. Hou’s 3D chalk art first appeared late last month, and Chinese netizens quickly gave him the nick name “Chalk God” and compared him to the architects from the sci-fi blockbuster Inception, for his ability to create unbelievably realistic-looking landscapes.

Because his works first appeared on a Chinese forum, his identity had to be dug-up by the media, and everyone was surprised to discover the talented chalk artist was just an average citizen who exercised his talents for the fun of his little boy. The humble Mr. Hou said he doesn’t believe his artwork are that impressive, but actually the ideas behind them.

Check out a video of Mr. Hou in action, at the bottom.

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An Art Eggcident in Leeuwarden

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like if giant eggs started falling from the sky, right in the middle of your city? Of course you haven’t, but Hank Hofstra has and he decided to show the whole world.

Dutch artist Hank Hofstra was tired of looking at boring old Zaailand, the main square of Leeuwarden and one of the largest in the Netherlands, and decided to do something about it. There had been lots of topics on making the landmark more appealing, but nothing had really been done about it. Remembering an old Dutch saying, “To lay down the first egg, you have to start with the first egg”, Hofstra decided to lay the first eight giant eggs, himself.

After meeting with local authorities and companies involved in the Art Eggcident, the artist and his team spent two days spray-painting the eggs, each one around 100 meters in diameter. As you can expect, the giant sunny-side-up eggs immediately drew the attention of passers-by, but reactions were very different. Hours after the Eggcident’s completion, 80% of people who saw it said it was hideous, but now, weeks later, 80% of people say it’s brilliant. Shops around Zaailand Square definitely appreciate Hank’s work, since it bought in tons of tourists and boosted their sales.

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The Ledger Paper Buildings of Jill Sylvia

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Artist Jill Sylvia uses ledger paper sheets to create amazing replicas of famous buildings, like the US capitol or the White House. One thing is for sure, you don’t have to like accounting to fall in love with her art.

Usually used to compile accounting information, ledger sheets become a very original art medium, in the hands of Jill Sylvia. Using a drafting knife, she removes the spaces where numbers are supposed to be, by hand, leaving only the grid separating the boxes. She then uses the resulting lattice to create intricate artworks, including models of American structures. I’d say it’s a great way of reusing a now obsolete material to create timeless artworks.

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The Chewing Gum Portraits of Jason Kronenwald

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Jason Kronenwald is an extraordinary artist who creates incredible celebrity portraits out of chewed pieces of bubblegum.

Gum Blondes” is a series of portraits of famous blondes, from Britney Spears to Madonna and even Hillary Clinton. Although I’m pretty sure he isn’t the first artist to do portraits of these stars, he is the first one to do it using only chewing gum. Jason Kronenwald executed his first chewing gum artwork in 1996, and over the years improved his technique to the point where you couldn’t guess the only medium is colored bubblegum. He recently opened a new exhibition of portraits, entitled “A Fresh Pack of Gum Blondes.”

While I’ll admit it’s hard to believe, Jason adds no dye to his chewing gum portraits. Colors and tones are obtained by simply chewing a variety of colored gum, regardless of their brand. He even has a team of chewers, so he doesn’t put any gum in his mouth, unless he absolutely has to. Each portrait is created on a plywood surface, which is then sealed with an epoxy resin that protects and preserves it for long periods of time.

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The Intricate Paper-Cut Maps of Karen O’leary

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They may not be as helpful as conventional maps, when you need to find your way through a metropolis, but Karen O’leary’s hand-cut paper maps are simply stunning to look at.

Karen O’leary is definitely one of the most patient people on the planet. She spends most of her days cutting away at thick white watercolor sheets of paper, until she creates jaw-dropping replicas of conventional city maps. While you could easily mistake Karen’s hand-cut maps with laser-cut ones, the amount of time and patience she puts into every one of her works makes them unique masterpieces. For each one of her maps, the artist spends a great deal of time drawing it in detail, and only after begins the painstaking process of cutting.

If you’d like to own one of Karen O’leary’s intricate hand-cut paper maps, you can find a wide range of cities, from Madrid to Sydney, at her online Etsy shop. While the $1,100 price tag may seem a bit discouraging, judging by the amount of effort Karen puts into her art, you’ll find it’s a bargain.

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Bridget Polk – The Rock Lady of New York

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Bridget Polk is a New York resident who came to be known as the “Rock Lady”, by fellow New Yorkers who saw her amazing balancing rocks, on the banks of the Hudson River.

Polk, a 50-year-old personal assistant from the upper West Side, began experimenting with rock balancing about a year ago. The idea had been planted in her head a while ago, when a friend showed her the works of a rock balancing artist in Sausalito, and added that she probably couldn’t do it herself. Competitive by nature, Bridget took the comment as a challenge and began practicing rock balancing, on her daily walks along the Hudson River.

She soon found that she had a natural talent for the art of rock balancing, and that it inspired her and people who laid eyes on her works. And that’s understandable, because Bridget Polk’s rock balancing skills are truly remarkable, enabling her to stack rocks in seemingly impossible positions, with their wide ends in the air, balancing on a tiny tip.

When she sees photographers and passers-by admiring her rock balancing masterpieces, Bridget admits she’s tempted to walk up to them and say something like “I did that!”, but she prefers to just stand back and observe people’s reaction. Some of them knock down the rocks, to convince themselves they aren’t glued together, but most of them just try to add to her work or build rock stacks of their own. Regardless of their reactions, Bridget Polk says she feels happy about making any kind of contribution to their daily lives.

The Rock Lady of New York will soon be leaving the Big Apple, to live with her partner, in Portland, Oregon, but she has made sure her rock balancing legacy will live on even after she’s gone. She has been teaching some of her admirers the secrets of the art, and she’s certain that with a bit of practice, they’ll soon follow in her footsteps.

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The Wonderful Can Sculptures of Canstruction 2010

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Every year, dozens of teams of architects and engineers compete in creating the most impressive can sculptures for the Canstruction exhibition.

This year, 25 teams did their vest to arrange around 100,000 cans of food into detailed sculptures that would ultimately win them the title of Canstruction champions. The intricate works of art are on display at the World Financial Center Garden, in New York City, until November 22, and visitors are encouraged to donate canned foods like tuna, beans or vegetables. Once the exhibition closes, all the cans are donated to the poor people of New York, by City Harvest.

Last year’s Canstruction winner was a piggy-bank sculpture made from 3.024 cans of salmon and 24 cans of tuna, but this year, judges have a tough decision to make. They have to pick between mosaics of Marylin Monroe and Super Mario, a can-made van and several other mind-blowing creations.

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Ben Wilson’s Tiny Chewing Gum Masterpieces

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English urban artist Ben Wilson has made it his mission to make the streets of London more colorful, by painting every piece of old chewing gum he can find on the pavement.

Over the last six years, Wilson has been roaming the streets of London, looking for pieces of chewing gum to turn into miniature works of art. Spitting a piece of gum, rather than throwing it away in a bin, or at least using a tissue is definitely the wrong thing to do, but fortunately, an artist like Ben Wilson can turn the whole situation around, using his talent.

Wearing a paint-covered coat and carrying his trusty paint kit, Ben spends most of his days looking for suitable pieces of gum to turn into artworks. He needs them to be a bit old, so that they lack any moisture, then heats them up and applies lacquers. This makes a much better surface for his acrylic paints and hardens the piece of gum. He paints his own designs, but also gladly accepts commissions from passers-by or institutions like the Royal Society of Chemistry, who asked him to paint 118 themed chewing gum artworks, one for each of the known elements.

Each of his beautiful pavement masterpieces takes between a few hours and days to complete, depending on the level of detail. So far, Ben estimates he has painted around 8,000 pieces of gum throughout London, and he doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon, although his passion got him into trouble, a couple of times. He’s been arrested twice, but the charges were eventually dropped, since he wasn’t the one who threw the pieces of gum on the pavement, in the first place.

Ben Wilson’s chewing gum art have made him quite popular around London, and even in distant South Korea, where he was featured on a television show.

 

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