The Ancient Sport of Camel Jumping in the Deserts of Yemen

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The men of the Zaraniq tribe, on the west coast of Yemen, have a truly unique tradition – they jump over a row of camels just like modern daredevils jump over cars.

Famous throughout Yemen for their speed, strength and courage, the members of the Zaraniq tribe are the world’s only professional camel jumpers. Taking running starts, jumpers try to sail over as many camels as possible, before tumbling to the ground. During camel jumping events, the one who leaps over the highest number of camels is considered the winner. “This is what we do,” says Bhayder Mohammed Yusef Qubaisi, one of the champions of the the Tihama-al-Yemen, a desert plain, on the coast of the Red Sea.


Painter/Scientist Turns Neuroscience into Visual Art

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Greg Dunn is on his way to earning a doctorate in neuroscience, from the University of Pennsylvania, but he’s also passionate about pan-Asian art, so he decided to combine his two main interests into one unique art form.

Dunn paints neurons, the tiny cells that comprise our brain, using the Asian sumi-e style, an ancient technique that aims not just to reproduce the appearance of the subject, but to capture its soul. Sumi-e is regarded as the earliest expressionistic art form that captures the unseen. For example, East Asian Ink Brush Painting, as this style is commonly referred to, isn’t used to replicate a person’s appearance perfectly, but rather to express their temperament. In the same way, Greg Dunn doesn’t use photomicrographs as reference to paint a perfect picture of the neurons, but rather as a guide upon which he likes to add his own touch. Painting an exact replica of what he see would “rob the painting of sponteneity”, according to Dunn.


Carlos Zuniga Creates Art on Phone Book Pages

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Chilean artist Carlos Zuniga creates detailed portraits and images by simply striking out names from phone book pages, with black ink. Sounds simple enough, but the results are awe-inspiring.

Carlos Zuniga isn’t the first artist to use phone books as the main medium for his works. Alex Queral has also been using them to carve his amazing celebrity portraits, but Zuniga developed his own artistic technique, which allowed him to differentiate himself from everyone in the art world.

Asked how he came up with this unique way of creating detailed images, the South American artist says it all started with a project he did back in 2006, called The Origin of Species. Inspired by the Ludovico technique used in the 1971 film  the  A Clockwork Orange, he began striking out every line of text from Charles Darwin’s book, The Origin of Species. Throughout the whole process, he couldn’t stop thinking about how to depict his ideas in a figurative way. Figurative representation had always been a great interest to him, but his drawing skills were lousy, and after eight years of taking classes, he felt frustrated.


Photo-Realistic Living Grass Images by Ackroyd and Harvey

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Most artists prefer to paint or draw their artistic portraits, but Surrey-based English artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey grow theirs from living grass.

We’ve featured some pretty amazing art here, on Oddity Central, but this probably takes the cake. English duo Ackroyd & Harvey have managed to harness the power of photosynthesis to fix photographic images onto the blades of growing grass. They expose plots of seeding grass to a 400-W projector bulb passing through a negative for prolonged periods of time,  and the varying densities of the negative’s lighter and darker areas produce a full range of midtones by controlling the light levels in each area. The light produces green, or darker tones, while lack of light produces lighter (yellow) tones. Within only a couple of weeks, you can see the green portraits literally emerging from the ground, but wait too long and they will simply fade away, just like old photos.


Brooklyn Artist Creates Magical Sand Paintings on Sidewalks

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Colored sand, a great deal of patience and his bare hands are all Joe Mangrum needs to create his incredible sand pantings on the sidewalks of New York.

Joe Mangrum was a painter for many years, but only started creating art with sand in the Fall of 2009. He chose to work with sand because it’s an ephemeral medium that can simply be swept away at the the end of the day, after he’s had a chance to express his talent and amaze passers-by. I never thought sprinkling colored sand through the bottom of your fist could lead to such amazing works of art, but Mangrum’s creations prove patience and talent are the basis of truly incredible things. The gifted street artist spends hours on end on his hands and knees sprinkling his colored sand onto the sidewalk to create ephemeral masterpieces that catch the eye of everyone around him.


Dining in a Car at Taipei’s P.S. Bu Bu Restaurant

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Eating in a car is not everyone’s idea of an enjoyable meal, but at the P.S. Bu Bu Restaurant, in Taiwan, it’s a must. This automotive-themed venue features all kinds of auto accessories and even full cars as dining tables.

Established in 1999, by two classic car enthusiasts, P.S. Bu Bu is an innovative restaurant that serves all kinds of popular Western dishes, as well as fusion cuisine that caters to the tastes of Taiwanese people. Although the food is to die for, it’s not the main reason people choose to eat at P.S. Bu Bu. Most of them just come here to be transported back to the “swinging sixties” by the unique decorations and accessories of the restaurant. Parked inside the restaurant are iconic automobiles like the Mini Austin, Volkswagen Beetle, 1963 Cadillac Series 6200 Coupe or a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air.


The Mind-Blowing Book Carvings of Alexander Korzer Robinson

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Bristol-based Alexander Korzer Robinson creates incredible works of art by carving discarded encyclopedias and literally exposing their inner beauty. Book carving is one of the fastest growing art forms of the moment, and artists like Alexander Korzer Robinson, Brian Dettmer and Guy Laramee are leading the movement.

Korzer Robinson carefully cuts into the pages of old encyclopedias, exposing a part of its illustrations, while removing others, to create narrative scenes that are truly unique. While the images seem like they’re somehow suspended in a series of layers inside the book sculptures, they are actually left in their original place. It’s the artist’s technique that makes it look like they were placed there by hand. As you can probably guess by looking at the artworks below, book carving is a delicate and time-consuming process, but the end results are absolutely mind-blowing.


Fan Spends 14 Months Building Awesome Iron Man Suit Out of Cardboard and Fiberglass

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Mark Pearson, a 44-year-old repairman who loves comic books, has spent 14 months of his life creating an almost perfect replica of Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit, from sheets of cardboard covered in fiberglass.

Perason certainly isn’t the first one to build a replica of the famous Iron man suit, but his is definitely one of the most realistic looking, regardless of the materials during the build.  “I don’t know why I did it”, the repairman from Bradford, West Yorkshire, says, “I guess it was just a moment of madness. I decided on making the helmet then I said to my partner – I’m going to make the full suit.” The comics fan bought himself a 12ft cardboard model of Robert Downey Jr. in his iconic superhero suit, started work on the helmet, but simply couldn’t stop. He downloaded the templates from the Internet, and made them into cardboard moulds. Once those were all created, he was able to create the fiberglass parts of his magnificent Iron Man suit.


Dr. Rev’s Creepy Artworks Are Painted in Blood

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Dr Rev Mayers is an Australian tattoo artist with a passion for creating crimson artworks using nothing but blood. Using a variety of art techniques, he paints incredibly detailed yet somewhat creepy works of art.

Some artist would probably call Dr. Rev crazy for using his own blood on all of his paintings, but so far his disregard for the norm has proven very successful, as his works have been exhibited all around the world. The Sydney-based tattoo artist uses airbrushing, standard paint brushing, scraping, smudging and layering to create his realistic masterpieces that aim to depict growth, human constraint while capturing the viewer’s heart and soul. In time, he has managed to progress naturally from tattooing and doing body art, to his new found passion, blood painting.


Jeepney Buses – Art on Wheels in the Philippines

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Adorned with colorful accessories and shiny fixtures, the Jeepney buses of the Philippines are probably the most flamboyant means of public transportation in the world, rivaling even the art trucks of Pakistan.

Jeepneys are the most popular means of transportation in the Philippines, and are considered a symbol of the archipelago, despite recent controversy regarding their heavily-polluting emissions. The history of Jeepney buses dates back to the final days of World War II. When American forces withdrew from the Philippines, they either left behind or sold hundreds of surplus jeeps. The country’s public transportation had been destroyed by the war, so people started modifying the jeeps to accommodate more passengers and classified them as passenger-style jeeps. Recognizing the wide-spread use of these new vehicles, the Filipino government soon regulated their use.


Artist Creates Wonderful Artworks with Thousands of Jelly Beans

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California-based artist Kristen Cumings spends hours on end piecing together detailed works of art out of thousands of colorful jelly beans. Needless to say her pieces look good enough to eat.

Although it must be fun working with jelly beans for a living, making 4 x 6 feet murals out of them is definitely painstaking work. Cumings uses between 8,000 and 12,000 jelly beans for her stunning masterpieces and it takes over 50 hours to complete each one. She starts the artistic process by looking at a close up of the reference photo, and then visualizes where each colored jelly bean has to go. She then paints an acrylic version of the photo on a blank canvas, and once that dries, she begins applying the small beans and tries to match the colors as best she can. The painter/illustrator uses spray adhesive to make sure the jelly beans stick, and usually likes to start her artworks by recreating the main features, like the eyes and nose. Then she just starts applying the other jelly beans from the bottom up until the piece is completed.


The Colorful Street Carpets of Semana Santa, in Antigua

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In some Central American countries like Guatemala and Honduras, Semana Santa, or Holy Week, is celebrated in a colorful fashion, by creating beautiful street carpets made of sand and sawdust and decorated with plants and flowers, called alfombras. And nowhere are they most beautiful than in Antigua.

Easter is a very special celebration in all Catholic countries, but the people of Antigua manage to take it to a whole new level, every year. During the month of lent, processions run through the city streets, each Sunday, with people carrying large statues of Jesus Christ and the Virgin Mary. It’s truly a sight to behold, but it’s nothing compared to what happens during the last week before Easter. Local families and businesses work together to create the alfombras, incredibly beautiful carpets made of sand and sawdust, right on the cobblestone streets of Antigua.


A380 Themed Restaurant Lets You Experience Airplane Dining without the Turbulence

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Don’t you ever which you could just experience eating in a jumbo jet without actually having to pay a ticket and fly to who knows where? Me neither, but apparently there are people out there who love to eat on an airplane, otherwise why would anyone open an A380 jumbo jet themed restaurant, right?

Recently opened in Chongqing, China, the A380 restaurant tries to replicate the interior of the world’s largest passenger airliner, and comes complete with a crew of waitresses trained to talk and act like real stewardesses. The windows, adjustable seats, carpets, and even the cabin lighting have all been inspired by the A380, but luckily you’ll find more than the usual airplane food on the menu. The restaurant covers and area of 600 square meters and currently has 18 employees, including 9 flight attendants that had to go through a series of courses on how to apply their make up and act just like actual stewardesses.

Photo: CFP ..

Soda Maker Puts Bacon, Buffalo Wings in a Bottle

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Why eat stuff when you can drink it? That seems to be the philosophy behind Lester’s Fixins bizarre soda flavors that include bacon, buffalo wings or sweet corn.

I always though Japan had the strangest flavors when it came to sodas, but after seeing what Lester, “a good ol’ boy from Texas” puts in his bottles, I think the US can compete with the Land of the Rising Sun, any day. Produced by Rocket Fizz Soda Pop & Candy Shop, Lester’s Fixins is definitely not your usual beverage, but it’s definitely a must-try if you want to find out what your favorite treat tastes like if you drink it. So far, Lester has six flavors: bacon, buffalo wings, sweet corn, peanut butter and jelly, pumpkin pie and coffee


Skywalking – Russia’s Thrilling but Dangerous Photo Craze

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Skywalking is the latest photography craze among Russian teens. The idea is to be able to find a really high building, climb to the very top and stand at its very edge, imagining you’re on the top of the world. Then, you take photographs from up there to post on the internet. The teens participating in this form of skywalking do so without any sort of safety equipment. Needless to say, they enjoy it very much.

19-year-old Marat Dupri is one such teenager who engages in skywalking. He risks his life quite casually, scaling sky-high buildings and capturing photographs of the world below. It was about 18 months ago that he purchased a camera and started to take pictures from his own roof. But soon, he was aiming for bigger and better ones. Accompanied by a friend, he scaled a 33-storey building to the very top going right to the very edge of the 120 m high structure. According to him, “It was such a thrill; we couldn’t wait to do it again.” And they didn’t. One of the shots shows the group of teenagers scaling one of Russia’s seven Soviet skyscrapers, using a ladder. In another one, his friend is perched at the side of a monument to Peter I, 215 m in the air. There are even photos from atop the Moscow tower, one of the highest buildings in Europe. Dupri and his friends say they’ve taken a lot of photos by sneaking past guards and getting access to structures illegally. He thinks the risks are definitely worth it to take such amazing pictures. “When I am on the roof I have a feeling that the whole world is at my feet. All my problems and troubles are left somewhere down. The height exilarates me. I am enjoying with my home town views. It gives me energy and fills with enthusiasm to make new and great shots,” he says.


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