Alumosaics – Beautiful Works of Art Made from Recycled Aluminum Cans

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Jeff Ivanhoe has been using aluminum cans to create his incredible artworks since 1981. They’re called ‘alumosaics‘, and as you’ve probably already guessed, they are colorful mosaics made of aluminum.

Aluminum has been around for over 100 years years, and during that time it has proven to be one of the world’s most versatile and easily recyclable materials. We use it to make light construction and car parts, as electronics casings, and even to make unique Christmas trees. But Jeff Ivanhoe has found yet another use for aluminum. He uses recycled soda and beer cans to create his famous alumosaics, a delightful art form he and his wife Barbara invented by pure chance.

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21st-Century Cavemen – 30 Million Chinese Live in Caves

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This title might seem a bit shocking, but considering China’s total population, 30 million really isn’t very much. Still, millions of people living in caves in this modern era is kind of strange, wouldn’t you say?

According to a report by The Los Angeles Times, millions of Chinese people have gone underground, to live in caves. So I guess calling someone a caveman in China really shouldn’t be taken as an insult, especially if you consider many of these burrowed dwellings have all the facilities of modern homes. Because they take advantage of the existing landscape, China’s cave houses don’t require too many other building materials, and since the hills and mountains they are dug into act as natural insulation all year round, they are more energy efficient than most conventional family homes.

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Banana Tattooist Turns Fruits into Awesome Artworks

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Multimedia artist Phil Hansen uses a technique similar to pointillism to turn ripe bananas into organic canvases, recreating some of history’s most famous artworks.

If this offbeat art doesn’t make you go bananas, I don’t know what will. Hansen’s works are just so detailed it’s hard to believe all he uses to create them is a common pushpin and the banana’s natural oxidation process. The talented artist just punctures the peel repeatedly with the pushpin and the banana, and as the the banana browns, his intricate designs are revealed. Phil Hansen is currently promoting his book, Tattoo a Banana: And Other Ways to Turn Anything and Everything into Art, due next month. In it, he explains how to create art from anything at hand – – like a piece of toast, your own fingerprints, or a stack of marshmallows – using offbeat techniques.

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Guerrilla Gardener Turns Potholes into Miniature Works of Art

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Steve Wheen realized nobody likes to hit potholes on their way to work, so if authorities weren’t going to fill them, he would. Steve became a guerrilla gardener, traveling around the world and turning ugly potholes into charming miniature gardens.

“Guerrilla Gardening has been around for a long time, in fact one of the earliest examples I know about is when wives of servicemen used to go out planting flowers along the train tracks during WW1 so their husbands would have a pretty journey home,” Steve Wheen says, but he’s taken it to a level where it’s perceived as an art form. The London-based artist started pothole gardening during his university years, partly to make art, partly as a hobby, and mostly to highlight how crappy East London’s streets were. Since then, he’s traveled to other big cities, like Milan, to turn potholes into tiny gardens featuring all kinds of small props.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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