The Art-in-Art Collage Portraits of Maxim Ksuta

Using hundreds of small images of classic masterpieces, Russian collagist, portrait painter and historiographer, Maxim Ksuta, has created a series of unique portraits, called Art in Art.

According to English Russia, Maxim Ksuta believes some art forms have ceased to exist in the modern world, which is now getting ready to embrace something new. So he decided to give them new meaning and find a place for them by using tiny images of known artworks (paintings, sculptures, architectural motifs) dating from the antiquity and up to modern times, to create unique collage portraits of his friends.

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10 Coolest Finds of the Week #2

These are just some of the cool things I found this week and didn’t get the chance to cover:

Rottweiler Guard Dog Stolen from His Home (SWNS)

Intricate Miniature Models of Old Hong Kong (Flavorwire)

Meet Mimmi – The Bear WHo Likes to Practice Yoga (Environmental Graffiti)

Cenobio de Valeron (Atlas Obscura)

Tortoise Has Leg Replaced with Swivel Wheel (Geekosystem)

LEGO Animals Invade Bronx Zoo (Inhabitat)

Hair-Raising Harry Potter Babies (Bit Rebels)

The Crooked Forest of Poland (Neatorama)

Red Onion Flavored Wine in China (Asia Obscura)

Guillotine Slingshot Decapitates Zombies (Nerd Approved)

Toastman Creates Giant Toast Portrait of Marilyn Monroe

Maurice Bennet, also known as “The Toastman“, has created a large scale portrait of Marilyn Monroe using thousands of colorful pieces of toast.

Known for his original toast art, the New Zealand-based artist was commissioned by a Shanghai shopping mall to create one of his signature works. With the help of young local artists, The Toastman created a colorful portrait of Hollywood icon Marilyn Monroe, out of 6,000 pieces of toast. The original piece has already been completed and will be placed on display at the Xintiandi Mall, in Shanghai, on Monday, July 25.

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Girl Has Half of Brain Removed, Now Paints Like a Pro

The human brain is a remarkable thing, and the incredible story of Taisia Sidorova, who gained an amazing artistic talent after having the left side of her brain removed, is proof of that.

Three years ago, 21-year old Taisia Sidorova, from Sankt Petersburg, Russia, suffered a severe car accident that left her with a smashed skull and bone fragments wedged in her brain. Doctors were skeptical about her chances of survival, and was even given the last rites, but even after she had the left hemisphere of her brain removed, she hung in there. The part of her brain responsible for logic and analysis was replaced with a protective metal place, but even though her family was warned that a long, painful recovery period was to follow, and that Taisia may never be the same, they never gave up on her.

Irina Sidorova, the girl’s mother, remembers she was like a vegetable in the beginning, and doctors didn’t believe she would survive. But she stayed by her bedside praying, massaging her limbs and talking to her. The miracle she was waiting for occurred on New Year’s Eve, while she was crying on Taisia’s bedside. The girl moved her arm trying to wipe away her mother’s tears. It was the breakthrough nobody expected anymore, and in two years’ time she regained her strength, started to speak and even learned to hold a pencil and paintbrush.

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Rebecca Foster’s Poppy Seed Art

They might look like sloppy prints or stenciled graffiti, but in fact you’re looking at unique works of art made with thousands of poppy seeds. Unbelievable, I know.

These incredible illustrations are the work of British artist Rebecca Foster, renowned for her talent of turning food and spices into regular art mediums. She is regularly commissioned by famous brands in the food industry to create works of art using their products. Apart from this mind-blowing series of poppy seed illustrations, she has used other unusual ingredients, like steak and ketchup, or foods from a traditional Sunday dinner, to make her original works. You can check them out on Rebecca’s official site.

The poppy seed artworks below were created back in 2009 for a Hovis advertising campaign, and each illustration took around five hours to complete.

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Working Flintstones Car Replica For Sale

I’m a huge Flintstones fan, but apparently not as huge as this guy who actually built a replica of Fred’s iconic vehicle from wood, fabric and steel.

I haven’t yet been able to find the source of this story, but according to InAutoNews.com, this cool replica of the Flintstones car is actually for sale, online. And the best thing about it is that under all that wooden exterior is a functional, drivable car powered by a 4-cylinder 1.6 petrol engine. Although it looks like it uses two wooden drums as wheels, if you look closely you’ll see one of the four old-fashion tires revealed, in the front. Which is a good thing, because steering would have been a problem with the original prehistoric system.

According to the above mentioned car blog, the vehicle already has 80,000 km under its belt, although it’s listed as built in 2011. The top speed of the real-life Flintstones car isn’t specified, but I’m pretty sure whatever it is, it beats pushing it with your feet. If you’re interested and manage to find the actual sales ad, this nicely done replica apparently costs just 2,200 euros. Pretty cheap for such an iconic piece of cartoon history.

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Eccentric Sheikh’s Name Can Be Seen from Space

We’ve all scribbled our name in the sand, at the beach, when we were little, but whereas our writing were washed way by the first wave, sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan’s name will last a while longer.

The 63-year-old Saudi Sheikh decided he wanted his name carved into the dessert of Al Futaysi Island, so he had a team of experts working for weeks to fulfill his wish. The name “HAMAD” is 1,000 meters high, 3,000 meters long and can actually be seen from outer space. I guess this way the aliens will know what to call us… And if you thought the giant signature was at the mercy of the sea, think again; the letters form waterways and absorb the power of the tide and carry the water inland.

Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan is part of the ruling Abu Dhabi family and boasts a fortune second only to the Saudi King himself. Known as the “Rainbow Sheikh” for his collection of seven Mercedes 500 SELs painted in the colors of the rainbow, this powerful man has a taste for doing things on a large scale. He has a giant collection of around 200 cars, which he keeps in a giant pyramid, he has built the world’s largest truck, with a four-room bedroom fitted inside the cabin, and owns a custom-made motor home in the shape of our planet, which is exactly one millionth the size of Earth.

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California Cat Lady Adopts over 700 Feral and Abandoned Cats

Lynea Lattanzio wanted a cat when she was little, but her mother didn’t approve. Now she runs California’s “Cat House on the Kings” shelter and takes care of almost 800 cats.

Lynea’s inspiring story began in 1981, when, after going through a difficult divorce, she decided to move to a quiet place on the river. She bought a 6-acre patch of land and settled in by 1983. Soon after she started asking herself: “What was I thinking, single woman with no children living in a big house on 6 acres?”, but little did she know her decision would change her life forever. Nine years later, Lynea’s father asked for her help to replace his 2 Manx cats who had died of old age. On a quest to fulfill her father’s wishes, Lynea stopped by a local animal shelter and walked out the door with a box of 15 abandoned kittens (none of which were Manx). By the end of that year she had rescued and placed 96 abandoned cats, and had found her calling.

In 1993, Lynea Lattanzio came out of retirement to become a surgical veterinary techinician, an experience that both expanded her medical knowledge and help pay the veterinary expenses of her increasing cat family that now numbered 150 members. She also had to sell her diamond wedding ring and her 1973 Mercedes 450 SL – her pride and joy. In 1997, the Fresno County Board of Supervisors approved a zoning variance on Lynea’s property, which put her Cat House on the KIngs into the spotlight and brought in financial support and volunteers. In 2002, she expanded her cat shelter and added long-term boarding facilities and an area for FIV positive cats.

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Artist Recycles Old Maps into Beautiful Illustrations

You’ll probably never look at maps the same way again, after seeing the works of Ingrid Dabringer. She uses maps as canvases for amazing painted figure drawings.

Ingrid spins old maps searching for figures formed by interdependent lines, and after she spots them she cleverly uses the roads, colors and geography of the map to define her drawings. She basically transforms common maps into drawings of human figures and whimsical creatures, using acrylic paint to reveal their hidden shape. “I like to elevate the mundane. The Mundane is so saturated with meaning if we just take an extra second to dwell on it. The Mundane is saturated with symbolism,” Dabringer says about her art.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen maps recycled into works of art, but Ingrid Dabringer’s works are indeed some of the most creative and inspiring I’ve ever seen. If you like her map-art, you can check out more of it on her Etsy shop and her blog. Now if you’ll excuse I have an old World Atlas I’d like to explore.

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Father Sculpts Giant Clay Head of His Daughter

Indonesian artist Eddi Prabandono has created a giant clay sculpture modeled after the head of his 5-year-old daughter, Luz.

Tourists walking through Taman Budaya Yogyakarta, in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, will be surprised to see a 4 meter by 4 meter child’s head made of clay, in a 2,5 meters-deep hole in the ground. It’s not exactly the kind of sight you normally see in Indonesia, but it’s definitely breathtaking to look at. Part of the “Luz Series” envisioned by Indonesian artist Eddi Prabandono, the giant head in question is actually modeled after the head of his daughter, Luz.

Although he had the help of 15 workers, Eddi also needed to rent an excavator to make the hole for his giant clay sculpture, but the 47-year-old artist is just happy he received the support of local authorities who allowed him to dig a hole right in Taman Budaya Yogyakarta. Luz’s giant head is made of 25 tons of special clay and was created for the 2011 edition of Jog Art, and artistic exhibition featuring 241 artworks by over 150 artists.

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Chilly Willy – A Naughty-Looking Type of Chilly Pepper

If you’re looking for something hot and naughty-looking to spice up your meals, look no further than the willy-shaped Chilly Willy pepper.

I know what you’re all thinking “Photoshopped or genetically modified”, but in fact, Chilly Willy is a completely natural pepper variety that hasn’t been altered in any way. That’s just how they look… The plant itself is very rare species and while it was originally native to American states like Texas and Louisiana, it was mostly found in the private collections of very few gardeners. Luckily, now you too can grow your own phallic-shaped chilly peppers thanks to Chilli Willy kits that come with growing instructions.

Also known as Peters Peppers or Penis Peppers (for obvious reasons), these funny-looking bad boys also pack quite a punch; they have a heat level similar to Tabasco peppers and are 10 ten times hotter than Jalapenos. Chilli Willy is a registered trademark and the company behind it sells all kinds of products and accessories based on the shocking shape of the pepper.

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Artist Creates World’s Largest Lite-Brite Image

Rob Surette wanted to create something unlike any artist’s tribute to the tragic events of September 11, 2001, so he turned to one of his favorite childhood toys, Lite-Brite pegs, and managed to create the world’s largest Lite-Brite image.

Known for his quick brush strokes, the self described “fastest portrait artist in the world” once painted a portrait of Albert Einstein in just 60 seconds, but while his lighting speed hasn’t won him a place in the record books, his latest artwork, made from hundreds of thousands of Lite-Brite pegs, surely will. “It wasn’t like I wanted to beat that world record, I wanted to create something to add to the healing of Sept. 11,” Surette says about his 10 feet by 20 feet Lite-Brite creation entitled World Peace. Made from 504,000 pegs, and weighing around 1,750 pounds, it depicts 100 faces of different races, cultures and religions and is meant to promote world peace.

“I felt that with my inspiration, to have it be a world record will help catch more people’s attention and help it travel and be seen around the world,” Surette said about his work. He first got the idea of creating the largest Lite-Brite image after seeing a picture of the current record holder on an art blog. It was the Lite-Brite recreation of a training sneaker made by Lori Kanary, with 374,004 pegs. As a matter of fact Kanary actually shared some trade secrets with Rob Surette after hearing the motivation behind his work of art, and he apologized for breaking her world record.

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Woman Pays $10,000 for Non-Visible Artwork

The Museum on Non-Visible Art, or MONA, houses a variety of non-visible works of art that can only be admired by reading the artist’s description. Sounds weird, but believe it or not, someone actually paid $10,000 for one of these ‘masterpieces’.

I have to admit I’ve always wondered why some people spend thousands, sometimes millions of dollars on abstract art pieces that look like the work of someone who has nothing in common with art. But then again, I’m not very art-inclined. Anyway that doesn’t seem so strange to me anymore, not since I read this article about a woman who paid $10,000 for an artwork she can’t even see. “Fresh Air” was just one of the works exhibited at the Museum of Non-Visible Art, a strange project supported by actor James Franco that tries to take conceptual art to a whole new level. There is an official website and even an explanatory video, but basically this museum hosts works of art that don’t exit in the physical world, instead they are imagined by the artist.

So when someone buys one of these unusual creations all they get is a card with a description of the artwork made by the author and a letter of authenticity. You can place the card on a blank wall in your house or an art gallery and describe it to visitors, so they may enjoy it as well. Here’s the description for Fresh Air, the recently sold artwork:

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10-Year-Old Girl Is World’s Youngest Sake Expert

Akane Niikura, 10, has passed the Sake Institute of Japan’s expert test even though she’s 10 years too young to even taste the traditional rice wine.

Akane was already considered a child prodigy in Japan, for her cooking skills, but now that she’s an official sake expert, her notoriety is expected to grow even more. Although it will be around 10 years before she is allowed to taste sake, the 10-year-old connoisseur can already tell what dish will complement a certain variety of sake, simply by smelling it and observing the way it clings to the glass. Her small nose proved so accurate an instrument that the Sake Institute of Japan had to acknowledge Akane Niikura as a sake expert, after she passed their tests without drinking a drop of rice wine.

As the daughter of a sake bar owner, Akane was always around different types of rice wines from various regions of Japan, and in time managed to tell them apart and learn what foods they best go with. After school, this amazing fourth-grader helps her mom in the bar by recommending sake to customers. Most of them seem pleased with her choices and that’s when the little girl feels happiest. When she grows up, she wants to be a sake bar owner, just like her mother.

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Italy Mixes World’s Largest Mojito Cocktail

We all love Mojito, and the bigger the cocktail glass the better, right? Well they don’t come much bigger than the one prepared by Italian cocktail experts, near Lake Pusiano.

Thousands of liquor lovers gathered in Italy’s Lombardy region, near Lake Pusiano, to watch cocktail connoisseurs prepare the world’s largest glass of Mojito, and hoping to sample some of it. On July 14, during the historic event, bartenders mixed large quantities of rum, sugar cane juice and mint and managed to create a 1,300 liter version of the delicious Cuban drink.

Bartenders from Raptor Ltd and Cafe Eupili spent around 75 minutes adding and carefully mixing the ingredients in a giant glass, while a thirsty crowd of 4,000 cheered them on. A Guinness Records representative acknowledged the new world record, which beat the previous one of “only” 877 liters, set in 2010, in Italy. I guess Italians have a thing for Mojito cocktails.

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