Designer Turns Old Refrigerators into Beautiful Couches

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The Fridgecouch is the original concept of Canadian artist Adrian Johnson, who came up with the idea of combining used leather car seats with old refrigerators.

Adrian Johnson came up with the idea for his Fridgecouches in 2006, while searching for some stylish outdoor seating, for a wedding. It had to be relatively cheap and encourage people to relax and, as the artist puts it: “break free from the typical cliquey wedding scene.” A car enthusiast who’s always been trying to keep old cars running, Adrian went on one of his frequent trips to the junkyard, looking for spare parts. He stumbled upon a two-door BMW coupe, and noticed the cherry-red leather back seat was practically brand new. That’s when he knew back seats were exactly what he was looking for.

With part of his problem solved, Adrian spent that night thinking of something to put the car seat in that would have the same aesthetic look and could be found at a dump. His mind stopped at a refrigerator, and the next morning he rushed to the local dump, with a tape measure in hand. As he kept looking through the junk, his eyes got stuck on an old, almost perfectly preserved green olive refrigerator. The Fridgecouch was already born in his mind.

Fast forward to 2010, Adrian Johnson has only built three of his impressive-looking Fridgecouches, but hopes they will soon turn into a profitable business that will also teach people the value of reusing, instead of contributing to our world’s waste problem, by constantly buying brand new furniture from the store. Fridges and car seats are large scale wastes that are practically un-reusable and take a great deal of energy to crush and recycle. Through his concept, Adrian turns them both into a whole new product without wasting any energy at all.

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The Fat Monkey of Sao Paolo

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A giant sculpture looking like a fat, colorful monkey lying on its back, has become one of the most popular attractions of Brazilian city Sao Paolo.

The curious landmark has been featured on many spammy photo blogs around the Internet, in the last few days, but hardly any of them provided any real information about it. Luckily, I was able to find a link to the site of Fat Monkey’s creator, designer Florentijn Hofman.

Fat Monkey is a very interesting art installation simply because it’s made out of 10,000 colorful flip-flops, a true symbol of Brazilian beaches. It was created during the 2010 Pixelshow Design Congress, with the help of local art students. A part of the Obestias art series, Fat Monkey can now be admired on a lawn, close to the Pixelshow venue.

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Spice Skulls by Helen Altman

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Using common spices most of us put in our food, American artist Helen Altman creates all kinds of “spicy” lifesize skulls. She glues the various seeds together and molds them into human skulls that can be hanged as ornaments. I don’t now who would want to have this sort of thing around the house, but I’m sure they’d come in handy if you need to add some flavor to your food.

According to Designboom, her series of spice skulls explores “notions of reality versus artificiality in everyday life and the boundary between authenticity and absurdity”.

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5Pointz Aerosol Art Center – The World’s Premiere Graffiti Mecca

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5Pointz Aerosol Art Center is an outdoor art exhibit space where graffiti artists can exercise their artistic talent, legally. Dubbed a “an institution of higher burnin’ “, 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center is viewed as the Mecca of the graffiti art world.

If you’re interested in discovering one of New York’s off-the-beaten-track attractions, 5Pointz should definitely be at the top of your priorities. An old factory converted into an outdoor graffiti museum, the 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center features 200,000 square-feet of art covered space that will probably blow your mind. Practically every square inch of this once bustling industrial complex has been covered with colorful layers of graffiti paint, depicting everything from peace messages written in WildStyle to portraits of The Notorious B.I.G.

Provided they receive the approval of Jonathan Cohen, the curator of 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center, any artist from around the world can leave their mark on the largest graffiti art exhibit in the world. Artists from Japan, Brazil and the Netherlands have contributed to the space, and if you visit here on weekends, between noon and 7 pm, you’re likely to catch graffiti artists at work.

So if you happen to be in New York, head to Long Island City and visit 5Pointz. It’s always free, it’s always open, and it’s always has some new art exhibits for you to discover.

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Sofa Made of Coins by Designer Johnny Swing

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Johnny Swing is a very original furniture designer who decided to give literal meaning to the phrase “sitting on cash” by building a series of sofas and chairs out of thousands of coins.

His latest creation, entitled “All the King’s Men” was made out of thousands of 50-cent coins, which makes it not only ridiculously uncomfortable, but also insanely expensive. Each coin was welded to a steel frame, which obviously takes a lot of patience, but considering Johnny has done it a few times before, it probably wasn’t that much of a problem.

While it’s not the kind of comfortable furniture you’d want to slouch on when you get home from work, Johnny Swing’s coin sofa is definitely something to look at, especially knowing that owning it is actually illegal in many countries.

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German Artist Sails on the Thames in a Paper Boat

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After carefully folding it on the banks of the Thames, artist Frank Bölter jumped into his origami boat and sailed it under the surprised gazes of passers-by.

Named “To The World’s End”, Frank Bölter’s paper boat was part of the Drift 10 art exhibition, in London. It was created out of giant sheets of paper that he and the public at the Canary Wharf Docks folded, using origami techniques. Reinforced with metal poles, the unusual sailing craft didn’t seem to sink, and its creator was so relaxed that he laid back and read a newspaper, while the public stared at him in awe.

This is not Frank Bölter first strange boat. In 2007, he put together a boat out of Tetrapack (the aluminum plated cardboard that milk cartons are made of) and sailed in it around Lauenburg harbour, in Germany. Just like “To The World’s End”, it was folded using origami techniques.

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LEGO Masters Create Impressive LEGO Map of Europe

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A team of five LEGO enthusiasts have spent half a year working on an awesome map of Europe made of LEGO bricks.

The idea of building a large-scale LEGO map of Europe was first brought up in 2009, at a LEGO Fan Weekend event, and after months of careful planning, Vanessa Graf, Tanja Kusserow-Kurth, Torsten Scheer, Bruno Kurth and Tobias Reichling decided to actually start working on it. They began laying the first bricks in April 2010, and with the help of LEGO fans from around the world, the quintet managed to complete their masterpiece in September.

The giant LEGO map of Europe numbers an impressive 53,500 bricks, covers an area of 3.84 x 3.84 and features iconic monuments from all around the Old Continent.

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Matchstick Master Builds Impressive Matchstick Fleet

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David Reynolds, from Southampton, England, has spent over 10,000 hours gluing 250,000 matchsticks into a veritable matchstick armada of 20 legendary ships.

The 51-year-old retired oil rig worker first made headlines last year, when the Guinness Book of Records acknowledged his oil rig replica as the largest matchstick model in the world, numbering 4,075,000 matchsticks. But the matchstick master didn’t sleep on his laurel after this notable success. He kept on gluing matchsticks and this year he finally completed his amazing collection of 20 famous ships, including Nelson’s HMS Victory, the Cutty Sark, Queen Mary and even the Titanic.

The creator says he was inspired by the city of Southampton and England’s seafaring history, but the fact that his father worked on board the Queen Mary, and his life at sea as an oil rig worker also had something to do with it. He considers his intricate matchstick models a tribute to the men and women who  risked their lives at sea, throughout history.

Asked if he uses official plans from museums, to get every detail right, David Reynolds said that would cost him up to 1,000 pounds for each ship, so he prefers to use whatever photos and models he can find and do his own drawings. Each ship in his matchstick armada has taken between four and seven months to complete, and cost between 300 and 400 British pounds. The entire fleet took him around 10 years to build, and he says the hardest part was recreating the anchors, lifeboats and safety robes, as they take  tremendous patience and time.

Mister Reynolds discovered the art of matchstick model making when his son bought him a kit, when he was housebound after serious surgery. It started off as a hobby, but quickly turned into a passion that continues to bring him worldwide recognition.

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The Bizarre Human Ashes Sculptures of Wieki Somers

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Dutch artist Wieki Somers pushes the boundaries of recycling in her project “Consume or Conserve”, which plays with the idea of turning our loved ones’ ashes into everyday household items.

Instead of burying or cremating a beloved family member, wouldn’t you rather give this person a second life as a vacuum cleaner, or a toaster? This way you could cherish them forever, and they in term could feel useful by helping you with your daily chores. And would having our household items made from someone dear make us more attached to them, instead of quickly throwing them away as waste? That’s basically the idea behind Wieki Somers’ sculptures made from human ashes. Depicting weird scenes featuring toasters and dead birds, vacuum cleaners and dung beetles, and weighing scales and bees, these unusual artworks also come with a plaque stating the name and lifetime of the person they were created from.

For her human ashes sculpture series, Wieki Somers used donated remains and a 3D printer.

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Artist Spends 17 Years Carving Model of the HMS Victory

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Sculptor Ian Brennan has spent 5,000 hours, in the last 17 years, carving a piece of timber into a miniature replica of admiral Nelson’s famous HMS Victory.

60-year-old Brennan, from Warsash, England, only became a full-time sculptor when he was 34, but in just five years time he became a sculptor of the Royal House. That’s how he ended up doing restorative work on the real HMS Victory, for about a year. As recognition for a job well done, Ian Brennan received a piece of timber from the legendary ship, which he later decided to use as material for a small scale replica of the Victory.

While you may think centuries old wood would be easier to carve, this particular piece of timber was as hard as concrete, and Ian had to much more work into it than expected. 5,000 hours, throughout 17 years, to be exact, during which he went through several pairs of overalls and cut himself countless times. Just like the original HMS Victory, Ian’s replica features 104 guns, 37 sails, flags bearing Nelson’s inspirational signal ‘England expects every man to do his duty’, as well as 200 feet of intricate rope.

Ian Brennan knew he only had one chance at doing something like this, as he would never again get another piece of timber from the original HMS Victory, so he made sure his 47-inch replica was just perfect. His family has been very supportive throughout the 17 years of work, although I’m sure his wife Suzanne wished her husband spent more of his free time with her.

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Zhang Dexuan – The World’s Only Hair-Woven Portraits Artist

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While  Zhang Dexuan’s hair-woven portraits may by just slightly bigger than a fingernail, but their incredible detail require weeks, sometimes months of work.

66-year-old Zhang Dexuan, from China’s Sichuan province, claims he is the only artist in the world able to create detailed portraits from strands of human hair. Using just five simple tools and a magnifying glass, Zhang manages to created incredible portraits, from hundreds of hair strands collected from members of his family. Judging by the tools used, you might think the art of weaving hair is pretty simple, Zhang Dexuan claims he is the only hair weaving artist on Earth, and has practiced it for the last 54 years.

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Man Builds Wooden Replica of the Ferrari 365 Engine

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An Australian wood sculptor has created an amazing wooden replica of the Ferrari 365GTB V12 engine and is now selling it on eBay.

I couldn’t find much info about this one-of-a-kind wooden masterpiece, other than it’s entirely handcrafted from wood, including the manifold, and it weighs approximately 25 kilograms. It’s roughly the same size as a Ferrari 365GTB V12 engine, and unlike it the original, all it needs is care and love to run for a lifetime.

Most of us will probably never get to own a real Ferrari engine, let alone a whole sports car, so this wooden replica of the engine could be the closest you’ll ever get to owning an Italian wonder of engineering. The asking price is $6,000 and the owner is willing to ship it anywhere around the world.

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Stonehenge Replica at Freestyle Music Park, South Carolina

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The Freestyle Music Park was inaugurated in April 2008 near Myrtle beach, South Carolina. The 55-acres amusement park is also formerly known as the Hard Rock Park because it was designed on a rock-and-roll theme. In September 2008, the park was closed and reopened for public in May next year.

The amusement park is known for its Stonehenge replica. Stonehenge is a prehistoric monument from Wiltshire, England and is one of the most famous sites in the world, dating from 3000BC, according to archaeologists. The replica near the Myrtle beach is made from red old British phone booths and doesn’t fully resemble the original but only a semi-circle structure containing three inner trilithons.

Even if the Phonehenge from the Freestyle Music Park is not a very successful replica of the original Stonehenge monument, it has its role in attracting visitors at the amusement park, like any other replica around the world.

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Shain Erin’s Creepy Mummy Doll Series

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Shain Erin was drawn to art since childhood, making amazing works of art in painting, sculpture and digital media over the years. But Erin’s true passion have always been the mummies, which, according to him, are like “time capsules of ancient cultures and the lives of individual people. They are like books waiting for an audience.”

The artist has studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and he received not long ago the title for the Bachelor of Fine Arts. In the last years, Erin created several series of small figures that have been exhibited in the U.S., Australia, England, Norway, France, Germany and Canada.

Shain Erin was very pleased using dolls as an art medium and, while traveling around the world with his works of art, he challenged conventions and preconceptions about art and art-making. The artist also claims that his work won’t stop because there is an infinite array of expressive possibilities for the mummy dolls. Erin used Paperclay and fabric to create the dolls which are fashioned as zombies, skeletons, ghosts, monsters, mummies and not only.

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Furniture Made Out of Rusty Underwater Mines

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An Estonian sculptor, Mati Karmin, came up with this idea of creating furniture from old, rusty naval mines recovered from an ex-Soviet fortress on Naissaar Island. It seems that the naval mines were used in World War 2 and they had a “Blok” device and two electro-magnetic antennas, with the upper antenna kept steady by a buoy.

Mati Karmin has been trained in the Estonian Academy of Art and it started with bronze and stone sculptures. He drew attention for the first time in 1981 with the “Military Fox” sculpture that was made out of corroded scrap metals.

The Estonian sculptor’s passion for  furniture items created from underwater mines began 5 years ago on the Estonian Finnish Coast, which was populated with corroded mine shells. Karmin started to collect the naval mines due to their perfect and uniform aspect, with holes, spires and shackles. For creating furniture, he used only two forms of underwater mines, the hemisphere and the cylinder and the result was great. The sculptor managed to create impressive armchairs, aquariums, writing desks, toilets, beds, cupboards, swings, fireplaces, bathtubs and many more.

You can see some of Mati Karmin’s sculptures after the jump

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