Steve Casino, better known as the “Painter of Nuts” creates detailed celebrity figurines out of peanut shells and mixed media. His collection includes big names like James Brown, Andy Warhol or Elton John.
One day, Steve Casino was eating peanuts, when he noticed one was kind of looked like him. So he started painting a cartoon version of himself on the shell and showed it to his friend, Neil. He thought it was pretty funny, and this inspired Steve to pursue this idea further. He decided to try a celebrity next, so he picked out another peanut and did Joey Ramone, of punk rock band The Ramones. It turned out pretty good for a first attempts, but he got much better at it with each new peanut figurine he made. Trying o perfect the technique, looking for the right materials and painting detailed faces was a lot of fun, and Steve was hooked. Now he’s known as the Painter of Nuts and his work is starting to get some much-deserved publicity on the Internet.
Although these nut figurines might seem pretty simplistic, they require a lot of patience and time. After studying his subject, Steve sometimes goes through hundreds of peanuts trying to find one that looks like them. Then, he cracks open the shell carefully, removes the nuts inside and glues it back shut. After that he covers the front side with wood filler and smooths it with sand paper. He adds legs, a base and feet and proceeds to making the peanut look like the celebrity of his choice. He draws a sketch based on photos and starts to add layers of paint. It can take up to 10 hours per peanut until he achieves the desired effect. The last thing he adds is the arms. The Painter of Nuts always leaves the back untouched, and loves to show people the peanut side of his figurines first, just so he can see their reactions when he slowly turns them around revealing the detailed portraits.
Johnny Cash & June Carter Cash
Each of Steve’s celebrity figurines is made by hand out of a peanut or two and preserved with a polyurethane coating. He takes commissions with a turnaround time of 4-6 weeks and charges around $500 per piece. It’s not exactly peanuts, but considering they’re all unique, I think the price is justified.
Spock & James T. Kirk
The Sex Pistols
via Laughing Squid