I Dare You to Find the Real-Life Female Model Hidden in This Mind-Blowing Body-Painting

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Paul Roustan, an award-winning body painter from Chicago, has created an absolutely mind-blowing painting of a moth. When you first look at the black-and-white picture, all you can see is a moth with its wings spread out. Nothing looks amiss, not even when you look closely. But after you watch the making-of video, you’re left in a state of mild shock – there is actually a real-life female model hiding in the artwork. Scroll down for the revealing photos and video, but try to find it on your own first.

It was nice of the artist to create the helpful video. Without it, I don’t suppose anyone could have guessed the perfectly camouflaged secret of the painting. The entire image consists of a painted woman standing with her arms folded, against a similarly painted background. Audrey Biernacki, the model, blends into the surroundings so well that it’s impossible to tell her apart. The whole project took Paul seven hours to complete – five to paint the background and two for the model.

“On average, it takes me three hours to paint the entire body,” he said. “This one was a bit more meticulous lining things up, which is why it took so long just for a portion of the body.” Paul predominantly uses airbrushes on his human canvasses. He has been painting people since 2005 ‘out of curiosity’. He used to be an editorial illustrator for and adult magazine, and one day he came up with the idea of painting one of the models for a photo spread. The magazine agreed, and he has been hooked ever since.

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Mind Blown – These Soft-Looking Dresses Are Actually Carved from Marble

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The white dresses in the pictures below are so pretty and airy you’re probably already imagining yourself or your girlfriend wearing them. But unless you are or dating Wonder Woman, that’s never going to happen, because these lovely pieces of clothing with all their frills, pleats and waves have actually been carved out of hard rock by Scottish sculptor Alasdair Thomson.

A History of Art graduate from the University of Edinburg, Thomson says his love for sculpting began when studying classical and Renaissance works for his dissertation. He dabbled in the trade while working as an apprentice for an American sculptor between 2006 and 2008. Around the same time, he became interested in clothes and the way they are depicted through art. That’s when he decided to produce his own contemporary take on the classical subject.

“I started to play around with some flowing drapery forms and eventually started carving simple T-shirts and folded men’s dress shirts,” said 32-year-old Thomson. “I produced a piece of work that was a wall-hanging called Ruby and that is when I thought, ‘Okay, there is something in that.’” His latest work is showcased in ‘The Identity Collection’, a set of 12 sculptures that explore the way fabric hangs and folds and captures that lightness and gracefulness in stone.

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Microscopic Wonders – Incredibly Detailed Castles Etched onto Individual Grains of Sand

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Artist Vik Muniz is almost a regular here at OC. We first wrote about his art made from domestic and industrial junk in 2010. Then, in 2012 he was back with his recreation of classic paintings using torn magazine scraps. Now, in collaboration with artist and MIT researcher Marcelo Coelho, Vik has taken then opposite approach to his previous art forms. While his older, gigantic art could only be admired from high above, his latest work is microscopic – a series of sandcastles etched onto individual grains of sand.

Vik said that earlier he had the opportunity to work on an environmental scale. Around that same time, he thought of “going the opposite way around and actually making things so small that it would create a similar impression. They would be so tiny that they could only be imagined, they could not be seen.” When Marcelo was first approached by Vik, he thought it was a joke. “He came to me and said, I want to draw a castle on to a grain of sand. I think the sheer impossibility of that is what excited me.”

Vik and Marcelo spent four long years on trial-and-error experiments before they could successfully create the tiny, magnificent drawings. Each piece of art is less than half a millimeter in size – an inconsequential fleck of sand to the naked eye. Together, they devised a process involving both antiquated technology and innovative visual tools. Vik first created the sketches using a camera Lucida – an optical superimposition device from the 1800s that uses a prism to turn images in front of the viewer into projections on paper. Using this technique, he was able to trace the tiny castles.

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Self-Taught Artist Takes Creepy Special Effects Makeup to a Whole New Level

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26-year-old Sandra Holmbom is one heck of a talented makeup artist. Her work is so mind-blowing that it’s hard to believe she has had no professional training whatsoever. She admits that she really loves special effects makeup – a fact that’s pretty obvious from her pictures. It appears that she’s mostly her own model, creating the most horrifying looks like decaying, festering wounds, ripped-skin eye masks, ripped off eyebrows, skeleton masks, wrinkled faces and more.

I am completely in awe of what the self-taught Swedish artist has managed to achieve, especially because I cannot put on simple eyeliner without messing up. Sandra’s makeup is nothing short of perfection. She tries out various ideas for fun and posts tutorials on YouTube. Photographs of her finished ‘looks’ go up on her blog, ‘psychosandra’. “I get really nice feedback on my makeup,” she said. “It’s so fun to read all the comments from all the people out there. Sometimes it may be some who do not like or understand it. But if you’re looking to do weird things, you should take it as a compliment.”

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The Picture-Perfect Pencil Portraits of Natasha Kinaru

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Natasha Kinaru is a beautiful, young Russian artist whose pencil and pastel drawings of celebrities are incredibly realistic. So realistic, that they are often confused with digitally ‘enhanced’ photographs.

“I am inspired by people, so different, beautiful, interesting, mysterious, bright, talented,” said 21-year-old Natasha. “Drawing allows you to see them closer, try to guess the character, to convey mood, emotion. If it works – a portrait (is) alive, looking at it you can see the spark in his eyes and painted soul of the artist.” Some of her most popular drawings feature subjects like Benedict Cumberbatch (as Sherlock Holmes), Daniel Craig, Jim Parsons (of The Big Bang Theory fame) and Leonard Nimoy (Spock in the original Star Trek series).

Natasha said that she doesn’t draw for fame. In fact, anyone can sit down with her for a chat and even pick up a few tips on sketching. She makes her drawings using a complicated technique that involves layers. Using pencils of different softness, she creates tones, then draws the small details, completes the background shading and aligns the last layer. The end result is a character that is so alive and eyes that are so penetrating it’s almost impossible to believe it’s all done by hand, with pencils.

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Young Ukrainian Builds Awe-Inspiring Miniature Frigate with 17,000 Coins

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This is what I call expensive art! While most artists spend money on art supplies, this Ukrainian man actually used money itself. 29-year-old chef Sergei Nikolayev Knurov fashioned a detailed miniature ship out of a variety of Ukrainian coins. The final piece contains a whopping 17,000 coins, with bank notes for sails.

Sergei, a resident of Mykolaiv city in southern Ukraine, first started the project with coins from his piggy bank. But he soon ran out of material – his personal stash only covered the keel. So he began to exchange paper money for coins whenever possible at drug stores and markets, and sometimes with friends. When people found out what the coins were meant for, they were glad to part with their loose change. The coins Sergei used are mainly 2 and 10 kopecks, and the sails are made of 25 five-hryvnia notes.

At first, it wasn’t easy for Sergei to actually create the 3 dimensional model of the ship using just his sketches and notes. But lucky for him, his wife Alena is an amateur numismatist (a person who studies and collects currency). She helped him fuse the coins together using silicate glue, which worked pretty well. Sergei said that using regular super glue could have resulted in oxidization, but this way the metal structure will last longer.

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Believe It or Not This Beautiful Parrot Is Actually a Painted Woman – The Amazing Body Art of Johannes Stoetter

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You’ll have to look really close at this picture of a beautiful parrot to realize that it’s not a parrot at all. The rich red-and-gold plumes are, in fact, a woman’s limbs painted to perfection. The incredibly clever photograph is the work of 35-year-old body painter Johannes Stoetter. The artist, who lives in Italy, spent four long weeks planning the transformation of a female model into a hauntingly realistic parrot. The actual painting work took him about four hours to complete and he spent another hour positioning the model on a tree stump before clicking a series of photographs.

Stoetter’s photographs form the perfect illusion. But if you observe carefully, the head of the parrot is actually the woman’s left arm wrapped around her head. The wings are formed by her right leg and arm, while her outstretched left leg is made to resemble the tail. Stoetter said that he chose to have the model sit on a tree stump to enhance the life-like appearance. As you can imagine, the entire process was quite complicated and painstaking.

“It was quite hard to take the photo, to tell the model how to pose to make the parrot seem as real as possible and also to find the right point of view for me to take the photo,” said Stoetter. “It was not easy for the model to hold the position either. The whole process took about four weeks from start to finish.” Although it was tiresome, the artist said that it is immensely satisfying, especially when people compliment him for a nice picture of a parrot.

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Jailed Artist Creates Awe-Inspiring Mural with Prison Bedsheets and Hair Gel

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When Jesse Krimes was growing up, he probably never realized what a cruel pun his last name would turn out to be. In 2009, he was sentenced to 70 months in prison for possession of cocaine, after a long-drawn legal battle of unfair charges and accusations. While the judge recommended that he be sent to a minimum security prison close to his family in New Jersey, the Federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) chose to send him to a medium security facility far away from home.

According to Jesse, that was just the first of a series of measures taken by a system that is designed to dehumanize. The experience must have been extremely frustrating for him, to say the very least, but he did find a unique way of fighting back – through art. “The system is designed to make you into a criminal and make you conform. I beat the system,” he said with pride.

The extraordinary artist didn’t have fancy art supplies to work with. At his disposal were mundane objects like old New York Times (NYT) newspapers, prison bedsheets and hair gel. But these were more than enough for him to create something so striking that the world just had to stand up and take notice. He created an enormous mural by burnishing high quality visuals from NYT on to the bedsheets, using only a plastic spoon. He used the hair gel as a transfer agent.

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Woman Spends 14 Years with Mannequin Family, Proves Single People Can Be Happy Too

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You would think that a woman living with a mannequin family has got to be some sort of weirdo. Contrary to that expectation, Suzanne Heintz comes across as fairly normal. As normal as an artist can be, that is.

Suzanne is an art director at Starz Entertainment Group in Englewood, Colorado. Every day for the past 14 years, she has been coming home from work to her unique family – her synthetic husband Chauncey and never-growing adolescent daughter Mary Margaret. Over the years, she has traveled 16,000 kilometers across America and all over the world, taking happy portraits with her plastic loved ones as a part of an art project called ‘Life Once Removed’.

Before the mannequins became a part of her life, Suzanne said she was routinely badgered with questions like, “When are you getting married?”, specially by her mother. “Nobody’s perfect,” her mother said to her about 15 years ago, “If you are going to get married, you’ll just have to pick somebody.” To which Suzanne replied, “Mom, it’s not like I can go out and buy a family and make it happen.” Or could she?

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Italian Architect Builds Fantastic Airships That Actually Fly

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Luigi Prina might be 83 years old, but he still has the imagination of a child. The Italian architect’s studio is filled with miniature flying ships of all shapes and sizes, suspended from the ceiling with nylon strings. And here’s the special part – some of the ships really do fly. When Luigi twists the propeller and lets the toys go, they whizz around the room in loops and circles.

Luigi has been obsessed with ships ever since he can remember. He began building model ships at a very young age. When he was 16, he won a national aircraft modeling competition. The judges were particularly impressed by his superior craftsmanship – and also his age. “When I went to collect my prize, they asked me: ‘Why didn’t your father come to collect his prize?’ ‘What do you mean my father, I am Luigi Prina!’ They were quite upset by this,” said Luigi.

But it wasn’t until 50 years had passed that Luigi was inspired to make his model ships fly. “I met Eugenio Tomiolo, a Venetian painter and boat builder,” he said. “And then I said to him: ‘Do you want to bet that I can make the boats fly for you?’ And I made the first boat. I made it fly in his studio. He had painted his ceiling like a sky with clouds. When the ship began to go around the ceiling it seemed as if the clouds were moving.”

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Artist Uses Ashes of the Deceased to Paint Portraits of Them

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Adam Brown, a Missouri-based painter, is offering his clients a unique way to connect with their deceased loved ones. He mixes the ashes with paint pigments and uses them to create portraits of the dead, as a ‘lasting memory’.

The 32-year-old artist said: “It hit me that having ashes in an urn on a fireplace would be a good way to remember that someone died, but having them in a piece of art is a good way of remembering that someone lived.” For Brown to paint the portraits, his clients need to send him the cremated remains of their loved ones. “Out of respect, I still wear gloves when handling the ashes,” said Brown “And whatever is left over, I am careful to return. I only need about four to six ounces, depending on the canvas. The ashes would go into the background.”

He takes these ashes, which have the texture of sand, and mixes them with paints, craft glues and resins. Brown also incorporates the deceased’s favorite colors and personality into the artwork. He puts a written inscription at the back warning that the painting contains human remains. This is “in case it ever leaves the family and goes into auction, so people know what they’re buying.”

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Artist Turns the Streets of Toronto into Amazing Outdoor Art Gallery

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Peter Gibson, a Montreal-based artist, began a campaign in 2001 to encourage the city to build more bike lanes. Although intended as an activism effort, the campaign was artistic in nature – it involved huge drawings on black asphalt, plain for everyone to see.

A decade ago, around the same time, Gibson was actually charged with 53 counts of public mischief for drawing on the streets. But he was popular with the public and support poured in from everywhere, helping him to walk free.

Today, the reason for protest may no longer exist, but the art form sure hasn’t died out. Assuming the pseudonym ‘Roadsworth,’ (“where Wordsworth is a poet of words, Roadsworth is a poet of roads”), Gibson has cleverly transformed roads, sidewalks and parking lots into stunning pieces of art.

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Artist Carves Incredibly Accurate Fast-Food Kitchen Exclusively Out of Wood

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‘Carcass’ is an odd name for a kitchen, don’t you think? But this isn’t a regular kitchen we’re talking about. It’s a diorama on view at Kavi Gupta Gallery in Chicago. This happens to be artist Roxy Paine’s first solo show, ‘Apparatus’. Carcass is the full-scale replica of a real fast-food kitchen that Roxy made entirely out of wood.

The details of the kitchen are incredible – order screens, cash registers, deep fryers, soft-drink dispensers and stacked up containers for burgers and fries, all made of wood. There’s something very attractive about the neat, clean lines and the monochromatic appearance. Makes me want to reach into the photographs and touch the all-wood kitchen.

The absence of flashy logos lends the diorama a very gaunt appearance, something like that of an empty shell, hence the name ‘Carcass’. The large-scale model is entirely carved out of birch and maple wood and formed from steel. Roxy’s work is significant, according to Kavi Gupta gallery, because he has challenged the perception of visual language and how it affects the understanding of our environments.

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Artist Sculpts Animal Bones into Delicate Works of Art

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Artist Jennifer Trask creates sculptures that are so delicate, it’s easy to mistake them for paper. But they’re actually made of bones. I’m seriously awe-struck at how she can convert something as hard and dry as bone into such exquisite works of art.

Some of the petals carved by Jennifer are so thin and frail, they would be instantly pulverized if you touched them. Her complex pieces contain several motifs – delicate florals and mythical creatures surrounded by vines and curls, cleverly laced with gold and other found objects dating back to the 18th century. They usually form wearable pieces like pendants, necklaces, and brooches, or wall art.

The New York based artist, who received an MFA from SUNY at New Paltz, has a very philosophical reason behind choosing bones as her preferred medium. “As the ultimate expression of both physical sensation and emotional sentiment (e.g. ‘I feel it in my bones’), bone is the absolute reductive essence of both life, and death,” she said. “Initially made of living cells, evolving, incorporating evidence of how we lived, the material itself embodies a latent narrative.”

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Li Hongbo’s Flexible Paper Sculptures Will Blow Your Mind

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Chinese artist Li Hongbo’s sculptures look no different from the classic white Roman-style plaster busts that many sculptors create. But the real magic begins only when you get close and touch them. What appeared to be plaster, reveals itself to be multiple layers of very thin paper.

Li’s technique is stunning – He sketches his ideas before pasting glue in narrow strips across pieces of paper, and stacking them up to the desired height. He uses up to 8,000 layers for a single head. He then cuts, chisels and sands the block of paper using a band saw and angle grinder, just as though he were working with stone. So you could literally touch and play with the busts that Li creates. You could stretch the faces and distort features to reveal an accordion of paper layers, and then snap everything back together with ease.

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