Pixelated Self-Portrait Is Made from Over 10,000 Nails and Screws

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Inspired by the work of mosaic art masters like Saimir Strati, artist Shannon Larratt has created a unique self-portrait from thousands of different nails and screws.

Shannon used a four foot sheet of heavy 3/4″ plywood as canvas and six different kinds of nails and screws space roughly 5/16″ apart. He estimates there are around 20,000 pixels in his project, and over 10,000 nails. The whole thing weighs around two hundred pounds, and the artist plans to hoist it up from an I-beam, in his studio.

The first thing Shannon did was take a photo of himself, which he then manipulated in Photoshop, so the colors would match the general range of the nails, and then converted it into an indexed color image using a custom palette that matched his nail set. He stacked up all these conversions as layers, and then started the manual labour, occasionally changing or shifting the nails slightly, to improve translation.

The result of his work is just incredible, although the artist says he has learned a lot from this project and he will do a lot better next time. But, because the process of creating one of these pixelated portraits is so time-consuming, Larrat doesn’t know exactly when he will start work on another one.

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Artist Builds One-of-a-Kind Imperfect Boats from Discarded Materials

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John Taylor is a self-taught artists who uses scrap wood, computer parts, hockey sticks and various other discarded materials to create unique replicas of famous sea vessels.

John has been fascinated with ships ever since he saw a photo of his great-grandfather standing on the deck of a vessel, during the Spanish-American War. He was only a child, but the obsession stuck with him throughout the years, and, as an adult, he began creating these unique models of ships he saw in old photos. Working from his garage in San Juan Capistrano, he turns buckets of junk (computers chips, nails, copper wire, lawn chairs, drift wood, staples and more) into imperfect interpretations of old sea vessels.

A landscape architect by trade, John Taylor will use any materials he can find that will give him the old, tattered results he aims for. “If it’s an exact replica, there’s no room for you to really wonder about it,” he says, trying to explain why he creates models that look like they’ve been fished from the bottom of the ocean, instead of making perfect replicas of the ships that inspire him.

The 3 to 5 feet long models are based on real boats, from Civil War river boats to World War II battle ships, John finds in old photographs.They are an authentic rendition of memory, rather than accurate historical replicas.

 

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The Decaying House Models of Daniele Del Nero

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Italian artist Daniele Del Nero uses scale paper models of houses and mold to create a series of grotesque yet fascinating buildings that look like they’ve been abandoned for centuries.

In reality, it only takes Del Nero a few weeks to achieve this repulsive yet intriguing effect. With a background in building engineering and architecture, he creates realistic models out of black paper, which he then dampens and covers with a thin dusting of flour. The models are then placed in a transparent plexiglass case, where the mould takes over. Within two days it starts to grow on the building’s walls and after just two weeks it dies and leaves behind what the artist calls “a dusty spider-web which covers the model like a rambler plant”.

Del Nero avoids direct contact with the mould, removing the glass cover only to take photos of his artworks, and he even used to throw the models away after shooting them, but his vision has changed and he now believes “the models are part of my work as well as my photographs.”

Daniele Del Nero says the idea for his grotesque collection, entitled “After Effects”, was inspired by man’s perception of urban spaces – “We are used to imagining our cities as permanent and definitive, but it’s amazing how little time it takes for nature to reclaim its spaces”.

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The Bullet Hole Paintings of Viktor Mitic

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One of the most controversial artist of our time, Viktor Mitic paints his artworks with semi-automatic rifles, hand-guns and shotguns.

Although he was acquainted with firearms from the time he spent in the National Service for the Serbian Army, in the former Yugoslavia, Viktor Mitic first got the idea of using guns in his art, after an art critic said his art needs to be more penetrating. Then, just before the war in Afghanistan started, he saw a report on a military group who destroyed 2,000-year-old statues of Buddha. ‘I wanted to use similar energy. The weapons had been around for a number of years, but no one has used them to paint with yet. I wanted to use it as a tool of creation, rather than of destruction’ Mitic says.

His bullet hole paintings include a replica of Picasso’s Gurnica, as well as portraits of popular figures the likes of JFK, Marylin Monroe, John Wayne, John Lennon and many others.

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BMW Made of Bricks Costs More than the Real Thing

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A BMW Z4 model made from hundreds of bricks is now being sold for $125,000.

Chinese artist Dai Geng spent more than a year cementing bricks together and then carving the massive block into an impressive replica of the 155 mhp BMW Z4. Except for the windows, everything is made from brick, even the hinges that allow the door to open and close just like metal ones. The car was unveiled in January 2010, and has been on display, in Shenzheng City, for the last year. Now the artist wants to sell it and make a nice profit.

Although this brick BMW Z4 is definitely an impressive replica, down to the interior trimmings, the price tag of $125,000 seems prohibitive. But Dai Geng is confident that one of China’s rich businessmen will want to buy it as and ornament for their gardens…

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Cong Langui – China’s One Legged Chalk Art Master

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Cong Langui is a talented Chinese chalk artist who travels across the country creating amazing artworks that make people stop in their tracks and stare in amazement.

Cong may not be the only talented chalk artist in the world, but the hardships he has had to cope with throughout his life, make him stand out as a truly impressive person. He was born in the Linyi countryside, Shandong, and was diagnosed with bone cancer, when he was just 16 years old, and had his left leg amputated. It was a terrible blow for a young man, but he found comfort in painting, and started making replicas of world-renown artworks, every day.

At the age of 21, Cong Langui left his home and began traveling from city to city, living off his amazing chalk paintings. Now at age 48, the artist says he’s been to every one of China’s provinces, except Tibet and Xinjiang. Life was never easy for Cong, especially with only one leg, but by painting chalk masterpieces on city streets, he’s always made enough money to get by and keep traveling. Always hungry for cultural knowledge, the one legged artist would visit the art museum of every city he traveled to, in order to improve his cultural accomplishment and level of chalk drawing.

Every one of his chalk artworks takes hours to complete, but Cong feels that his pastel technique is of relatively low difficulty, and his biggest dream is to study painting in oil, watercolor and ink. Well versed in the art of chalk drawing (he has drawn Da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” more than 300 times), Cong feels the need for a new challenge.

After the earthquake of Sichuan, even though he could barely afford to survive, Cong Langui insisted that all the money people gave him, for his amazing street art, be donated to the Hubei Red Cross.

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The Ledger Paper Buildings of Jill Sylvia

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Artist Jill Sylvia uses ledger paper sheets to create amazing replicas of famous buildings, like the US capitol or the White House. One thing is for sure, you don’t have to like accounting to fall in love with her art.

Usually used to compile accounting information, ledger sheets become a very original art medium, in the hands of Jill Sylvia. Using a drafting knife, she removes the spaces where numbers are supposed to be, by hand, leaving only the grid separating the boxes. She then uses the resulting lattice to create intricate artworks, including models of American structures. I’d say it’s a great way of reusing a now obsolete material to create timeless artworks.

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Rev Angel – A Camaro with the Face of a Lamborghini

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Let’s face it, we’d all love to drive a Lamborghini, but few of us can actually afford to buy one. The 1994 Chevrolet Camaro, on the other hand, is a lot cheaper and looks almost the same as a Lamborghini Gallardo. Well, at least this one does.

Looking at the Rev Angel for the first time, you could probably swear it’s the beautiful Lamborghini Gallardo you’ve always dreamed of. It certainly looks the part, but under that gorgeous exterior, you’ll discover the framework of a humble old 1994 Chevrolet Camaro. Aww, come on, no need to be disappointed now, it’s a perfectly good Lambo replica, and the owner just changed the original engine with a 300 HP LT1 engine that he guarantees will help you beat any tuner cars, old Corvettes and muscle cars.

And you know the best thing about Rev Angel? It cost only $3,000. That’s a worthy price to pay for such a nice looking replica of the Lamborghini Gallardo.

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Zac Freeman’s Incredible Junk Portraits

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Looked at from up close, Zac Freeman’s artworks look like common piles of junk, but take a few steps back and you’ll discover amazingly detailed portraits.

You know that stuff most of us throw away after a while, things like old buttons, LEGO bricks, keyboard keys? That’s exactly the kind of material Zac Freeman uses to create his unbelievable portraits. He began gathering junk and found objects in 1992, and started gluing them to pieces of wood, creating various portraits.

In the words of the artist:

“I was interested in communicating through visual representation in apparent 2-dimensional space and through the actual objects used for the medium in 3-dimensional space. It is very important to me that I incorporate the actual objects into the art as opposed to a picture or rendition of it because it better expresses the intention of the artwork. I feel the junk is more powerful being present. It is an actual thing to be reckoned with that existed in this time and place and carries energy in and of itself.”

I was thinking about how many artists use junk as an art medium these days, and then it hit me: it might seem like a peculiar thing to use in art, but junk is everywhere around us, and so easy to come by, so it’s no wonder artists use it in their artworks.

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Vietnam’s Ceramic Road Sets New World Record

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Stretching 3.95 kilometers, along Hanoi’s Red River, Ceramic Road has been declared the world’s longest ceramic mural, by the Guinness Book of Records.

Ceramic Road was a massive art project, initiated by artist Nguyen Thu Thuy, out of love and passion for Hanoi, and as a special way to celebrate the city’s 1000th anniversary. She first got the idea for a record-breaking ceramic mural in 2003, when she discovered ancient bricks and ceramics from the Ly dynasty, and other artifacts from the Tran dynasty, at an archeological site. She thought about the long history pf these findings, and decided a mural would best reflect the patterns of Vietnamese history.

Nguyen Thu Thuy reached out to fellow Vietnamese, as well as international artists for help in realizing her dream, and mural masters from all around the world started coming to Hanoi, to leave their mark on Ceramic Road. Some created contemporary design patterns, others used Vietnam’s history as inspiration, and even recreated famous paintings out of ceramic tiles. Nearly 100 artists, from countries like Mexico, Brazil, France, Denmark and many others participated in the creation of Ceramic Road.

The whole thing was completed on September 25, and on October 5, a representative of the Guinness Book of Records inspected Ceramic Road and acknowledged it as the longest mural in the world, spanning over 7,000 square meters. A window into Vietnam’s fascinating history, and an unbelievable artwork, Ceramic Road is set to become one of Vietnam’s most popular tourist attractions.

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Pixelated Princess Peach Built Out of Plastic Bottle Caps

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A real Super Mario fan spent months collecting plastic bottle caps in order to build a pixelated portrait of the lovely Princess Peach.

After saving her from the clutches of the evil dragon, several times, Instructables user skeplin decided to create a tribute to Princess Peach. With the help of his family, he managed to collect around 1,000 plastic bottle caps, in a few months time. His children were in charge of washing them, while skeplin prepared the 26 colors needed to complete the project.

He used a little bit of Perl and ImageMagick to figure out all the colors, then hand-painted every bottle cap using a dowel rod. Once that was done, he set and glued the bottle caps in place, on a 28×35 grid, and completed a lovely pixelated portrait of Princess Peach that now hangs proudly in his home.

It all sounds easy enough, but once youc check out all the steps, on Instructables, you’ll think twince before having a go at it, yourself. Video at the bottom.

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Master Modeller Builds Unique Matchstick Armada

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We’ve seen some pretty amazing things built entirely with matchsticks, but Phillip Warren’s matchstick fleet is in a class of its own.

79-year-old Phillip Waren has spent the last 62 years of his life creating incredible ship models out of old mtachsticks and the wooden boxes they used to be packed in. He started building his amazing matchstick models when he was just 17, using the things around him, and since matchsticks were much more common back then, finding large supplies was a very easy task.

The master modeller, from Brandford, Dorset, has created every ship built in the Royal Navy since 1945, as well as 60 other ships from the US navy and other impressive floating fortresses from 18 other nations. One of the largest ships in his collection is the famous USS Nimitz, the largest aircraft carrier in the world.

Throghout his career as a ship model builder, Phillip Waren created over 400 individual ships, as well as 1,200 airplane models that make his aircraft carriers look more real. The average ship in his collection is made using around 1,500 matchsticks and takes about a month to complete, but for his larger creations he used over 5,000 matchsticks and 200 wooden boxes. These took him about a year to complete. All in all, Phillip Waren used around 650,000 matchsticks, to create his entire fleet.

Although many museum curators told him his matchstick creations are worth serious money, Phillip Waren considers them invaluable, and has never once considered selling them. He decided not to ensure them either because he feels “the purpose of insurance is to replace things when you lose them. These can never be replaced”.

Sadly, his collection isn’t going to grow much bigger than it already is, not because Phillip Waren is getting to old, but because the wooden boxes used as packaging for the matches have been replace by cardboard ones, and his stockpile is running low.

Take a look at Mr. Waren’s detailed collection and prepare to have your mind blown:

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The Soon to Be World’s Longest Bench of Littlehampton

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With a capacity to seat up to 300 people, the bench of Littlehampton Beach is already the longest bench in Britain, but is preparing to snatch the title of longest bench in the world.

Designed by the guys at Studio Weave, the 324-meter-long bench of Littlehampton is definitely a sight to behold. It was made from tropical hardwood, salvaged from landfills and old seaside groynes, thus making it a monument to modern recycling.

Built along the promenade, the unique bench twists and turns, bends around trash bins, meanders around lampposts, and even goes into the ground to allow easy passage between Littlehampton’s Blue Flag Beach and the green that surrounds it.

The project may have been executed by the designers of Studio Weave, but it was initiated by locals and entrepreneurs of Littlehampton, who wanted something special for ther beloved venue. Students from a local school provided valuable insight about what makes Littlehampton Beach unique, and offered ideas about the color pallet used on the bench.

With its one-of-a-kind design and color scheme, the Littlehampton bench is already a famous British landmark, but the residents of the seaside resort have their sight set on a place in the record books. They are preparing to extend Littlehampton bench to 621 meters, and make it the longest bench in the world.

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The Junk Portraits of Vik Muniz

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Using domestic and industrial junk, Brazilian artist Vik Muniz is able to recreate anything, from photographs to famous paintings.

Just because the artworks of Vik Muniz is made of junk, doesn’t mean it stinks. he’s actually been living in New York for the last 27 years, and is now recognized as one of the most original artists in the Big Apple. Over the years he has worked with various mediums, from chocolate syrup to caviar and even diamonds, but it seems garbage has become his favorite.

The “Junk Portraits” series of Vik Muniz features reproductions of classic paintings like Saturn devouring one of his children, by Goya, Mars, God of War, by Velasquez, or Sisyphus, by Titian. They have all been recreated from various junk items, on a giant warehouse floor and photographed from an elevated position, to make individual objects hard to distinguish.

Although the actual recreation of his junk portraits from garbage, might seem like the most important part of his job, his work isn’t completed until he takes photos of them.

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World’s Most Expensive Sushi Is Covered in Gold and Diamonds

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An ambitious chef from the Philippines has created the world’s most expensive sushi, wrapped in sheets of gold and small African diamonds.

Angelito Araneta Jr., a young chef from Manila, managed to create yet another delicious treat for snobs the rich and famous. The ingredients used in his serving of sushi are not much different than what you’d expect to find in any other pieces of sushi you’ve had before, except for some thin sheets of 24 carat gold and a bunch of .20 carat African diamonds.

The five pieces of gold and diamond sushi cost around $2750 and can be found in a restaurant in Manila. You might think no one buys this incredibly expensive dish, but according to Angelito Araneta Jr, his unique sushi is often used in marriage proposals and during courtship.

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