Young Artist Uses Gravity as Her Paintbrush

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Toronto-based artist Amy Shackleton creates amazingly detailed paintings without using brushes, or even her fingers. Instead she just relies on gravity to slowly guide the paint across the canvas.

It’s almost impossible to believe anyone can paint such beautiful artworks without a paintbrush, but actually doing it all by using the laws of gravity? That can’t be true, right? Actually it can, and if you’re not going to take my word for it, just check out the timelapse video at the bottom of the page, that features around 30 hours of work compressed into just two minutes. I watched it several times, and I still can’t get over how talented this girl is.

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World’s Largest Collection of Clowns Is Kind of Creepy

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Ortrud Kastaun, a 61-year-old woman from Germany, has set a new Guinness record for the world’s largest collection of clown related items.

Orty, as her friends know her, has been collecting clowns for the last 15 years, and has so far amassed 2,053 different clown-related items. She’s had to move to a bigger house that would accommodate all her creepy smiling buddies, and has even opened a small clown museum close to her home, in Essen. But Kastaun hasn’t always been obsessed with clowns; it all started in 1995, when she was a recovering alcoholic going through therapy. “I remember being in therapy one day putting a jigsaw together. The image was of a clown in a jack-in-the-box. Something just clicked. From that I day on I began collecting clowns,” Orty remembers. It was a tough time for her but she credits clown for helping her get passed it.

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Stunning Landscapes Are Actually Built in a Fish Tank

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They may look like some of the most beautiful places on Earth, but they are actually miniature topographies of fictitious environments, built in a large fish tank, by New-York-based artist Kim Keever.

The pictures below look a lot like traditional paintings, but the process in which they are created is anything but traditional. In a era when technology allows artists to create large-scale works with a few clicks of a mouse, Kim Keever chooses to construct his surreal landscapes by hand. Using hand-crafted plaster molds, various found objects, color pigments and lighting, he manages to create realistic worlds captured with a large-format camera. Keever places his dioramas inside a 200-gallon fish tank, fills it with water, arranges the lighting and adds pigments at just the right moment, before trying to take the perfect picture. Although he uses a digital darkroom to emphasize color and tone, his photographs are unaltered in the process.

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Babushka Artwork Takes Quilling to a Whole New Level

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I’ve always found quilling a fascinating art form, but after seeing Yulia Brodskaya’s mind-blowing “Babushka” I feel there’s nothing a talented artist can’t do with just a few colorful strips of paper.

I discovered quilling a year ago, and since then I have posted a number of impressive works of art created using only strips of colorful paper, but I haven’t seen anything as impressive as Babushka since Susan Myers’ recreation of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. It takes a lot of skill to shape simple pieces of paper into a detailed artwork, but Yulia Brodskaya has definitely taken quilling to new heights, using light and shadow to create an awe-inspiring masterpiece that carries a powerful emotional message. The Russian-born artist says Babushka is “the first piece in the series of works which I consider a declaration of love to the material and the technique. It is also an attempt to raise a profile of this paper craft, which has been previously regarded with some disdain, and to bring this type of artwork on a new level in terms of its ability to convey meaning and emotions.” She’s definitely up to a great start and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

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Incredibly Realistic Pumpkin-Carved Portraits by Alex Wer

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Alex Wer is an awesome artist who can take just about any image and turn it into a piece of everlasting art, by carving it into a craft pumpkin. His Halloween creations look so almost to good to be real.

Alex Wer, also known as “The Pumpkin Geek” first started exercising his awesome talent as a pumpkin carver two years ago, by accident. His wife asked him to carve a pumpkin for her office Open House, and since he had always enjoyed carving pumpkins, he thought it would be fun. He only has a few weeks until Halloween, so he had to decide between carving a real pumpkin that would spoil within a week, or go for a craft pumpkin that could theoretically last forever. He went for the second option, and although he only created a logo and some script, Alex’s pumpkin was a hit at his wife’s event. Before he knew it he had 35 orders for custom logos and children pictures, and his “Orange Empire” was born.

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Incredible Photographs Look Like Traditional Chinese Paintings

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Using a style known as pictorialism, Chinese artist Dong Honh-Oai was able to create a series of amazing photographs that look like Chinese traditional paintings.

Born in 1929, in Guangzhou, China’s Guangdong province, Dong Hong-Oai left his home country when he was just 7, after the sudden death of his parents. The youngest of 24 siblings, he was sent to live within the Chinese community of Saigon, Vietnam. There he became an apprentice at a photography studio owned by Chinese immigrants and learned the basics of photography. During this time he became particularly interested in landscape photography, which he practiced in his spare time. At 21, after doing a series of odd jobs, he became a student at the Vietnam National Art University.

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Panama’s El Valle de Anton – Where Trees Are Square

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A few miles north of the Panama Canal Zone is the Valley of Square Trees a unique tourist attraction where trees of the cottonwood family have rectangular trunks.

Unique in the entire world, this group of square-shaped cottonwood trees grow in a valley created from the ashes of a giant volcano – El Valle de Anton. Featuring hard-right angles, the trunks of the square trees have baffled tourists and scientists alike, for several years. Experts from the University of Florida took saplings of the mysterious trees to see if they retain the same characteristics in a different environment, and concluded that their square shape must have something to do with conditions unique to the valley in which they grow. Evidence that the cause of this bizarre phenomenon is deep-seated is indicated by the fact that their tree rings, which represent its growth, are also square.

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Japan’s Anti-Groping Women-Only Train Cars

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Groping on public transportation is an international problem, but Japanese railway companies have found an effective way to stop it by introducing women-only train and subway cars.

It’s a known fact that Tokyo is overcrowded and that is most obvious during rush hour, when professional pushers shove people into train cars so the doors can close properly. Unfortunately this is the kind of environment where perverts thrive. Usually most people mind their own business, reading a magazine, checking their email or talking on the phone, but some men prefer to talk dirty to the women next to them and groping them. This kind of molestation or “chikan” as the Japanese call it, happens every day in Japanese major cities, and lost of women choose to be quiet and bear it, because of the way male-dominated Japanese society functions. But ever since Japanese railway stations introduced the women-only train cars, they don’t have to, anymore.

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Which Way Are They Looking?

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Venezuelan artist Jesus Gonzales Rodriguez creates mind-twisting images by putting together multiple photographs of a person and cutting along the edges. Every image is made up of a frontal and side-view photograph pieced together to form an optical illusion in which the portraits look normal at a glance, but only until your eyes detect the outlying visage. The photos below are part of Rodriguez’s “1/2″ project, which you can check out on his Flickr profile. Pretty impressive work…(still trying to figure out which way they’re facing)

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Retired Dentist Creates Functional Miniature Airplane Models

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Young C Park, a retired dentist from Honolulu, Hawaii, spends thousands of hours painstakingly working on fully functional models of famous fighter planes.

Every little part of Mr. Park’s planes is a miniature replica of the original. He spends hours on end manipulating aluminum into chains, cable and hinges for his creations and doesn’t leave his workstation until every part is up to his high standards. It might seem a little extreme considering we’re talking about models, but the 77-year-old retired dentist is very passionate about his planes and always aims to execute perfect replicas of the machines that have fascinated him throughout his life. His 1/16 scale models have retracting landing gear and working controls, but the levers are so tiny you need fine tweezers to operate them.

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A Walk through Shanghai’s Marriage Market

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Feeling lonely? Head over to Shanghai’s Marriage Market, a regular city institution where lonely souls, and especially their parents, come to find suitable partners.

“Female, born 1981, 1.62 meters tall, bachelor’s degree, project director at a foreign company, monthly salary above RMB 10,000, looking for someone born between 1974 and 1982, bachelor’s degree or above with a sense of responsibility for the family.” This is just one of the thousands of sheets of paper that decorate Shanghai’s lively People’s Square on weekends, when hundreds of local parents come here to “advertise” their single children. In a city where being single is a real stigmata, this little matchmaking corner is a last resort for lonely people and parents who hope to see their offsprings settled down. But it’s not about finding someone, it’s a bout finding the RIGHT one, a person who fits a certain description, both physically and socially.

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The Dissected Flowers of Fong Qi Wei

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Singaporean photographer Fong Qi Wei likes to pick apart flowers by hand and rearrange them on blank a canvas, creating incredible works of art.

In a series entitled “Exploded Flowers” 33-year-old Fong Qi Wei disassembles popular flowers like the rose, lotus or orchid, carefully rearranges  their components on a blank white canvas and then takes photos of them. The results are totally different than the flowers themselves, but just as beautiful and impressive. ” “Each of the images are done in one sitting, simply because flowers are amongst the most perishable things – so I cannot leave it half finished and work on it the next day as some petals may have wilted or dried up by then. I find that there is always a surprising amount of detail which we do not usually notice in flowers.” the artist says about his exploded flowers.

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Mind-Boggling Spiral Illustrations Are Made of a Single Line

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In one of the most impressive advertising ideas I have ever seen, Singapore-based art director and designer Chan Hwee Chong uses a single long line to create spiral recreations of famous artworks.

In an inspired advertising campaign for Faber-Castell, designer Chan Hwee Chong demonstrates his unbelievable talent by creating spiral illustrations inspired by some of the most popular masterpieces in history. Using the above mentioned company’s pens, he starts with a blank canvas, and by drawing a continuous line in a spiral he somehow manages to make detailed reproductions of the famous works of art. The level of precision and control in Chong’s creations is simply amazing, and although I watched a short video of him in action, I’m still not sure how he manages to achieve such detailed reproductions with a single line.

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Bian Lian – The Ancient Chinese Art of Face Changing

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Bian Lian, or Face Changing, as it’s known in the western world, in an old dramatic art associated with Chinese opera from the Sichuan Province. It is considered a part of China’s cultural heritage and is the only art form to be ranked as a level two national secret.

The skill and speed with which Chinese artists change their beautifully-painted masks has captured audiences’ imagination for centuries. Performers gracefully raise their hands, turn their heads and swing their arms, each time boasting a new mask. The secret of how they manage to change from three to twenty masks during a single performance without anyone realizing the trick has fascinated people since it started being practiced, during the Qing dynasty, around 300 years ago. It is said Bian Lian actually started out as a survival technique. People painted all kinds of designs on their faces to frighten wild animals, but as time went by it became a dramatic art performed on stage. Another legend tells of a people’s hero, a Chinese version of Robin Hood who stole from the rich and gave to the poor, who whenever cornered by guards would change his appearance to confuse them and escape.

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Zaira Pulido’s Human Hair Embroideries

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Zaira Pulido is a Colombian artist who uses long strands of human hair instead of thread to create embroidered works of art.

Bogota-based Zaira Pulido has been asking every one of her friends and people she’s into for strands of their hair to use in a series of embroidered artworks. She uses the human hair instead of the usual thread and creates various works, like embroidered portraits of her friends (each made with their own hair), an embroidered comb or a replica of her bra. I noticed some people find working with human hair disgusting, but personally I like seeing hair used as an art medium, and Zaira Pulido’s work is right up my alley.

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