New York artist Paints with His Own Blood

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In order to better “dissolve the barrier between art and artist”, New York-based artist Vincent Castiglia uses his own blood as a medium for his disturbing paintings. Throughout his artistic career, he has used around 12 pints of blood. “My work is literally a blood sacrifice on the altar of art,”the painter says.

While many artists claim a lot of sweat, blood and tears go into their art, Vince Castiglia is serious about the blood part. During the last 10 years, the painter from Hell’s Kitchen, New York, has been using his own blood as material for his art. In a recent interview, Castiglia said he was first inspired to use the bizarre art medium by a need to connect to his work “on the most intimate level.” It just so happens that human blood contains iron oxide, a pigment found in many traditional paints, as well as in iron ore and common rust. The 30-year-old begins his artistic process by drawing pen or graphite sketches on a white canvas, before proceeding to extract the “paint”, in the privacy of his own studio. Then he dilutes the blood and uses paintbrushes to create creepy reddish characters with twisted limbs, or in different stages of decay.

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Mark Powell’s Hellish Dioramas Will Freak You Out

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Looking at his nightmarish dioramas, you’d think Melbourne-based artist Mark Powell has been to hell and back. Bizarre, sinister and disgusting are just some of the words usually used to describe his art, but that’s most likely the reactions he was going for when he created these scenes.

Powell’s creepy dioramas are populated with monstrous characters going about their business, eating, dissecting things and even playing music in dark and disturbing basements. They remind me a little of scenes from Pan’s Labyrinth, only they’re way more troubling. The Australian artist models every one of his gory dioramas from silicone, which gives all the veiny monsters and pieces of flesh a disturbing organic look. Even though they might kill your appetite, you have to admit the level of detail in these bizarre artworks is pretty impressive. If you’ve ever imagined what hell might look like, I think Mark Powell’s masterpieces will give you a pretty good idea.

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Clever Experiment Proves We Do Judge Books by Their Covers

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Brian Brushwood and Justin Young, hosts of the NSFW Podcast, managed to push their $0.99 e-book to the #4 position on iTunes, without having to write a single word. How did they do it? Easy, they included lots and lots of sex.

You’ve probably heard of Fifty Shades of Grey, the erotic novel that took the world by storm a few months back. At one point it was all everyone was talking about, although not all critics were impressed with the quality of writing. Still, it became a bestseller and managed to drag other erotic literature to the top with it, whether it was good or bad. Brian Brushwood, one of the hosts of the NSFW Podcast noticed this trend while he was trying to push his book on magic tricks, Scam School Book 2: Fire. Looking at the iTunes chart he discovered the top 10 was all erotic fiction. Even established contemporary writers couldn’t break into the top 10 because of all the erotic books that were capitalizing on the success of Fifty Shades of Grey. He thought “hey, we could do that”, and that’s how their clever experiment began.

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Sonic Art – German Audio-Visual Artist Makes Pictures from Sound Waves

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Ever wondered what the sound of an airplane propeller looks like? Rainer Tautenhahn, a curious audio-visual artist from Germany can transform any sound into a colorful optic signal.

“The ears are the only ears we have that never switch off”, Tautenhahn told Deutsche Welle. “Ears never lie, in contrast to our eyes that sometimes deceive us”. He wanted to find out what a penetrating tone actually looked like, what’s the secret to a soprano’s voice that allows him to sing like that, and decided he could only reveal the magic of sound by turning it into light waves. He begins the artistic process by recording sounds with an ultra-sensitive microphone, but it’s not always as easy as it sounds. In order to get the right pictures, the 47-year-old waits until he gets the right levels. When he’s done, a computer software helps process noise into images, and although the final images look computer-generated, he never alters them in any way.

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Bar Devoted to Female Self-Pleasuring Opens in Tokyo

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If you’re a woman looking for a girls-only bar where you can talk about love and sex without any inhibitions, the Love Joule female self-pleasuring bar in Tokyo’s Shibuya entertainment district might be the perfect place.

Japan is known for its wide array of weird bars and restaurants, so it should come as no surprise it now has its very own “love and sex bar dedicated to women”. It’s known as Tokyo’s masturbation bar, and judging by the female self-pleasuring toys put on display behind the bar, you’d be tempted to think it’s nothing but a fancy sex shop. In reality, Love Joule is just a place where women can come and talk about topics that have long been regarded as taboo in the Japanese culture, without feeling embarrassed or worrying about social repercussions. “Once they take a seat, customers are able to experience a pleasant place in which they can openly discuss masturbation,” says owner Megumi Nakagawa. “Since most people view female masturbation as something of a mystery or taboo, it is not a usual topic at typical bars.”

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Photo-Realistic Pencil Drawings by Self-Taught Artist Randy Hann

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It takes a great artist to show the true power of a pencil, and Newfoundland-based Randy Hann is one such artist. His breathtaking attention to detail translates into drawings that look more like shot with a professional camera than with a simple pencil.Randy Hann is definitely one of the most talented Canadian artists of our time.

The Newfoundland native takes inspiration from the people, wildlife and scenery that surrounds him every day to create spectacular works of art. Born in 1961, Randy says he can always remember being able to draw, even as a young child, but it wasn’t until years later that he started taking his innate abilities seriously. He didn’t attend an art school, but dedicated years to developing and refining his drawing technique. Today, the self-taught artist is internationally-known for his mind-blowing hyperrealistic works. His masterpieces have been exhibited in various art galleries, and many are found in private collections around Canada and throughout the world.

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Bagelheads – Japan’s Take on the Klingon Forehead

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Ok, so they don’t look nearly as cool as Klingons, but Japanese bagelheads really do look like they came from a galaxy far far away. For some reason, injecting saline into the forehead is becoming an increasingly popular trend in the land of the rising sun.

Bagelheads have been around for years, but they recently caused international controversy after the body modification technique was featured on National Geographic’s Taboo program. Three people underwent the bagelhead procedure in Tokyo, under the supervision of an expert and the watchful eyes of several body modification enthusiasts. They had large needles inserted into their foreheads through which saline slowly dripped forming a kind of reservoir. When enough saline built up under the skin creating a nice bulge, the body mod master simply pressed his thumb on it to give it that coveted bagel shape. For some reason, every one of the three subjects seemed pretty happy to have a deformed head.

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The Real Starry Night – Astronomy Student Recreates Van Gogh’s Painting Using Hubble’s Deep Space Images

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Alex Harrison Parker, an American PHD astronomy student, used computer mosaic-making software to re-produce Van Gogh’s famous Starry Night painting from the most beautiful images captured by the Hubble telescope in the last 20 years.

“The idea came up around the time of Hubble’s 22nd birthday, when I thought it would be neat to assemble a collage of a bunch of Hubble images from over its history,” Alex told Discovery News. So he went online, downloaded Hubble’s top 100 pictures and used a mosaic software to create this new take on Van Gogh’s work of art. The passionate astronomer who likes to study the asteroids and proto-planets of the early solar system decided to go ahead with his unique project after cloudy weather prevented him from exploring the real starry night at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Fight Like a Handsome Man – Inside the Male Model Fight Club

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It’s called Friday Night Throwdown, but most know it as the male model fight club, an unlicensed underground event that puts pretty boys in the ring with street fighters and real boxers. As you can imagine, models almost never win.

“I think it’s hilarious that the whole point of their being is to make money off what they look like, yet they’ll come throw down for a couple of hundred bucks,” one of the Friday Night Throwdown organizers says about the pretty boys who sign up to get their asses kicked for around $150. But for the people doing the fighting in the ring, the event is no joke. “I definitely tell everybody, ‘This is no bullshit. You’re about to get in front of 800 people. Get ready—and if you don’t, it’s still going to be entertaining for you to get your ass beat,’” the organizer says. And most of the models involved in this underground phenomenon take that advice very seriously. They train hard, and the fights have gotten more intense during the last two years that Friday Night Throwdown has been taking place in various downtown New York warehouses. It’s in the models’ financial interest to put up a good fight, because if the crowd likes them, they might get invited back and paid double or triple what they earned the first time. Still, despite their best efforts, only one male model has actually won a fight against a hardened fighter.

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Man Builds UFO House to Prove His Ex-Girlfriend Wrong

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Thinking of going to Roswell in the hopes of spotting a UFO? Don’t bother, just head out to the southern coast of Puerto Rico where you’re guaranteed to see one. It may not be able to fly, but it’s bizarre shape and colorful decorations make it quite a sight.

58-year-old Roberto Sanchez Rivera has been planning his unique UFO house for about 40 years. In a perfect world, I’d be saying his inspiration for the project was love, but this is the real world and Roberto’s true motivation was sweet revenge. In his youth years, when he was just a dreamy, artistic student from a poor family, he courted a girl by sending her love notes decorated with drawings of UFOs, and telling her he would one day build a UFO-shaped house. Not the usual pick-up lines, that’s for sure, but he eventually made her his girlfriend, if only for just three months. After she broke off their relationship, the girl’s mother told Rivera it was because she thought he would never amount to anything in life. Rather than crying his heart out, drowning his sorrow in booze or burying himself in work, the man started plotting his revenge. The truth is he was so devastated that he even contemplated suicide, but then he said “No, I’m going to show her, this person, I’m going to work that much harder to show her who I am.”

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Artist’s Hyperrealistic Drawings Look Like Black and White Photos

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The first time you see Dirk Dzimirsky’s hyperrealistic drawings, you’re convinced they’re black and white photographs. In fact, that’s the feeling you get when you see them for the hundredth time, they’re that good.

I love this kind of ultra-realistic drawings. Ever since I first saw Paul Cadden’s graphite masterpieces I’ve been pretty much hooked on these photo-realistic works of art. Dirk Dzimirsky is another one of those rare artists who have the capacity to practically create a photograph with their own hands. Using photos just for inspiration, he sets up basic proportions and then draws layer upon layer until he creates something incredibly realistic. He uses light and shadow to capture the emotional essence of each human being he portrays in his art. “I want to capture and describe a persons precence and specific inner self. Similar to what a detailed writer might employ in their analysis of an individual, I portray not only the physical attributes, but more importantly the subjects inner presence of life,” the artist says.

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Russian Dude Has Successful Career as a Female Model

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Meet Stanyslas Fedyanin, a 16-year-old guy from Moscow, Russia, who has gained notoriety for his very successful career as an international female body. Stas, as he likes to be called, says he is heterosexual, and even has a girlfriend, he just has an androgynous figure that makes him perfect for female modelling.

There are definitely people out there who believe a guy measuring 1.80m and weighing only 45kg modeling as a woman is pretty pathetic, but for his fans and people from the fashion industry, Stas Fedyanin is perfect. The rising star of Russian modeling is often compared with Andrej Pejic, another androgynous male model known for posing as a woman. Pejic is currently known as the “king of androgyny”, but 16-year-old Fedyanin may soon been known as an androgynous usurper, as his popularity in the fashion is increasing rapidly. Ironically enough, Stas is represented by Dopamin Models, a German male model agency.

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Craig Tracy’s Unbelievable Body-Painting Optical Illusions

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New Orleans-based artist Craig Tracy is considered a trendsetter in the art of body painting. He spends hour painstakingly painting his subjects’ bodies with water-based paint, before taking photos of them in unique positions.

The first time we featured Craig Tracy on Oddity Central, was in January 2010, right after he created a jaw-dropping image of a tiger from the contorted bodies of several models. It was one of his most amazing works, but the American artist now has an entire collection of mind-blowing images painted on human bodies. Born and raised in New Orleans, Tracy always knew he was going to be an artist, in fact everyone else knew it as well. “There was never any question regarding my being or becoming a professional artist. It was always just obvious and understood,” he says. Craig’s parents, whom he describes as “working class hippies”, nurtured his creative development and gave him the freedom to mature as an absolute individual. At 15, he received his first airbrush, as a gift from his parents, and just a year later, working as an airbrush artist in a local shopping mall, he had already learned to draw almost anything on a vast array of surfaces. After graduating from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, the young artist became an illustrator for advertising agencies and editorial publishing houses, and hated it. After six years, he left his career as an illustrator behind and started painting “murals, t-shirt designs and just about anything and everything possible”.

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Meet Hostgator Dotcom, Formerly Known as Billy Gibby, the Human Billboard

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If the name Hostgator Dotcom sounds familiar it’s because it’s also the name of a popular Internet hosting company. The man formerly known as Billy Gibby sold the rights to his name to the highest bidder, in addition to selling advertising space in the form of permanent tattoos on his face and body.

We’ve seen similar gimmicks in the past. Just last year we reported about Pat Vaillacourt, a Canadian man who charges $35 to tattoo people and business site addresses on his body, and earlier this year there was the story of Tina Beznec, from New Zealand, who auctioned off a portion of her buttock to be tattooed with whatever the winner desired, in an atempt to raise money for unpaid bills and a trip to Australia. But the case of Hostgator Dotcom is a lot more interesting. The Anchorage-based man started offering advertising spots on his body during the mid 2000s, in a time when the practice had become really popular. It was an easy way to fund his boxing career, so he could fight to support the cause of organ donation, and he even set his sights on claiming a Guinness record for most corporate logos tattooed on a human body. He’s still selling advertising space on his face today, in a constant selfless effort to support his family. In 2010, he took another extreme step and sold off the rights to his original name to the highest bidder, which happened to be Hostgator.com.

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Wacky Scientist-Turned-Artist Uses Bacteria to Create Art

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Zachary Copfer, a former microbiologist recently turned visual artist, uses bacteria like E.coli to create detailed artworks in petri dishes. His weird technique is aptly called “bacteriography”.

If you’re hungry for some out-of-this-world art, then Zachary Copfer’s bacteriography series should feed your appetite for a while. His photo-printing technique is unlike anything you’ve seen before, in that rather than using photo-sensitive papers, chemicals, or ink, Copfer uses live bacteria. The University of Cincinnati MFA photography student actually controls how the bacteria grows in order to form detailed works of art. Copfer stars his unique artistic process by turning bacteria like E.coli into a fluorescent protein and spreading it across a plate. A negative of the photo he wants to reproduce is placed on top of the plate and exposed to radiation, causing the bacteria to grow in strategic places and recreating a detailed image. Once the photo is replicated, the bacteriography work of art is coated in acrylic and resin to stop it degrading.

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