The Matchstick Fleet of Bernardo Cassasola

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Argentinian artist Bernardo Cassasola has spent a large part of his life building ship models exclusively out of matchsticks. Now, he’s the proud owner of an entire fleet of incredibly detailed wooden vessels.

“It’s related to life. When I want to be somewhere I just sit down and I can fix my gaze on what I do. I feel wonderful sensations. I can be anywhere in the world because I’m just working with matchsticks,” Bernardo Cassasola once said, in an interview with Reuters. The 63-year-old artist from Argentina has been creating matchstick models since the age of 13, and as the years past, his creations became larger and more detailed. His impressive collection numbers millions of matchsticks, and includes musical instruments like guitars, banjos and violins, architectural models and impressive ship replicas. Throughout his life, Cassasola created a number of extremely accurate matchstick galleons, but his most noteworthy masterpiece is, without a doubt, the 10 feet six inches (3.2 m) war ship he worked on for 7 and a half years. This painstaking labor of love features stunning details like a tiny wooden helm, a scope, down to the handles of the ship’s doors. The multi-decked galleon was unveiled in 2008, when Bernardo Cassasola also announced his next challenge – a 10-meter-long replica of the Titanic made from matchsticks. This guy should definitely meet Wayne Kusy, the man who builds ships with toothpicks, I’m sure they’d have a ball.

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Mind-Blowing Portrait Made by Hand with 2.1 Million Dots Hides an Amazing Story

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The portrait below was painstakingly done by hand, in 138 hours, using a technique called stippling, which required the artist, Miguel Endara to “draw” it with around 2.1 million ink dots. As amazing as that may be, it’s the story behind this incredible work of art that’s really mind-blowing.

The man whose face Endara recreated with millions of dots is Benjaman Kyle. You probably don’t know who he is, and believe it or not, neither does he. Back in 2004, he was left unconscious behind a dumpster at a restaurant in Richmond Hill, Georgia. He had no belongings, no ID, suffered from severe sunburns and was almost blind from cataracts. The hospital he was taken to already had a Jon Doe, so they named him Benjaman Kyle, using the initials of the fast-food restaurant where he was found. Benjaman had no idea who he was, and didn’t really remember anything about his life before the incident. After months of medical evaluation, he was diagnosed with retrograde amnesia. Authorities coudn’t find out who he really was, so Benjaman Kyle became the only missing person in America whose whereabouts were actually known. Worse still, without a social security number and a valid ID, his life was about to become even more complicated.

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English Artist Creates Masterpieces by Painting with Tea

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Liverpool-based artist Carne Griffiths creates magical artworks by combining traditional mediums like ink with drinks like tea, vodka, brandy, whiskey and other alcohols.

39-year-old Carne Griffiths relies on drinks to make his art stand out. He isn’t the only artist to find his inspiration in drink, famous masters like Vincent Van Gogh and Salvador Dali enjoyed a glass of alcohol to release their creative talents, but Mr. Griffiths has a very different approach – he uses them as paint. “I have drawn with fountain pen for many years, often with plain water washes. When I decided to leave my post of creative director at an embroidery firm to pursue a love of drawing I experimented with liquids such as brandy,” Carne said in an interview about his medium choices. “I liked the effect this had on the inks I was using but decided that an alternative that wasn’t such a wasteful crime would be a better option so I started experimenting with different types of tea.” Using a combination of ink and tea allows the English artist to create repeating layers which he then partly washes out with various types of tea, and making new drawings out of what appears beneath.

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Israeli Artist Upcycles Bicycle Chains into Intricate Dog Sculptures

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Israel-based artist Nirit Levav has found a way to create beautiful art an recycle metal, at the same time. She uses discarded bicycle chains to create realistic sculptures of man’s best friend.

Nirit Levav Packer graduated from the Parsons School of Design, in New York City, with a degree in fashion design. She built a career for herself, specializing in bridal gowns, but after years of working in the fashion industry, Nirit realized she couldn’t satisfied her artistic urge to create solely as a designer. so she started broadening her education by studying iron sculpting, pottery, jewelry and ceramics. Although her newly acquired skills helped develop as an artist, it was at her father’s theater sets workshops that she most of her training, including welding, metal cutting and experimenting with various materials and substances. The time spent in her father’s workshop also inspired her love for recycling, as nothing was ever thrown away there and everything could be used to create something new.

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Controversial Artist Unveils Work Created with Hundreds of Dead Insects

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Damien Hirst is known as one of the most controversial artists of our time, and his latest work only adds to his reputation. Capaneus, part of the ‘entomology‘ series that hirst has been working on since 2009, features hundreds of insect species placed in intricate geometric shapes and fixed in place with household gloss paint.

Considering many people find insects, spiders and scorpions disgusting or even frightening, it’s fair to say Capaneus is not an artwork for the faint of heart. However, considering Hirts’s past “masterpieces” include a diamond-encrusted baby skull, and an installation where maggots hatched, developed into flies and feasted on a severed cow’s head in a glass box, I’d have to say his latest creation is one of the least controversial. According to the English artist’s website, “this work’s title derives from Dante’s ‘Inferno’ which recounts how the warrior king Capaneus is struck down with lightening and thunder bolts by the angered deities whom he has held in contempt. Dante’s account originates from the Latin epic poem ‘Thebaid’ in which it is described how, body and helmet aflame, Capaneus falls from the walls to the ground below where he lies outstretched, ‘his lifeless body as immense as that of a giant.” Like the rest of the artworks in the “entomology” series, Capaneus alludes to Hirst’s long time interest in the nineteenth century fascination with natural history and the irony involved in having to kill something in order to look at it.

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24K Gold Pills Will Make Luxury Addicts Poop Gold

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Created back in 2005 by by late New York artist Tobi Wong in collaboration with Ken Courtney, these swallowable 24G gold pills are said to turn your innermost parts into chambers of wealth”.

Gold Pills were originally launched by Wong and Courtney as part of their ‘Indulgence’ line – an art project that comments on society’s ‘ever-expanding market of luxury items’, but in the last seven years, they’ve become quite the hit with luxury addicts, and their price has skyrocketed to $425. That’s probably just chump change for rich kids looking for new ideas to take their already decadent lifestyles to new heights, so it’s no wonder Citizen:Citizen, the webstore selling the pills states that they are ‘temporarily unavailable’. It’s not clear if for the above-mentioned price you get one or three gold pills, but I bet some of the people who bought them actually swallowed them to see if it makes their poop glitter. Either that or they are really big fans of Tywin Lannister.

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Anamorphic Illusion Master Likes to Play with Our Minds

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Something about the image below is not what it seems, but you probably guessed that already. Why else would such a common looking photo be posted on a site like this, right? But can you guess what’s strange about it?

These are not the first time I post anamorphic illusions on OC, but I’m pretty sure they are the most realistic yet. The trick is actually very simple: YouTube artist Brusspup skews high resolution photos of ordinary objects, then films them from just the right angle to make them look incredibly realistic. So real, in fact, that even after he reveals the illusion, you still can’t wrap your head around how on Earth he makes seem look so real. If you just can’t believe your eyes, Brusspup was kind enough to provide the high-res images of the images in his video, so you can try out the trick for yourself. The slat-lined template must be printed on a transparency sheet and, Brusspup reminds us, if you’re printing on an ink jet, you must use the transparencies that are made specifically for ink jet printers. Also, don’t mess around with the size settings, or you’ll probably end up with an optical illusion that is more baffling than it’s supposed to be.

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Ukrainian Artist Creates Incredibly Detailed Artworks from Sand and Seashells

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Svetlana Ivanchenko is a talented Ukrainian artist who uses overlooked natural materials like sand, seashells, quartz, tree roots and tree bark to create wonderful mosaics that look almost painted by hand.

Born and raised in Yalta, on the shores of the Black Sea, Ivanchenko was always fascinated by the abundance of natural materials that surrounded her. She studied at the Crimean Art School, under the supervision of renowned artist Sergei Bokaeva, and later graduated from the Glukhivskiy Pedagogical Institute. The artist currently based in the city of Dnepropetrovsk uses a variety of sand, shells, quartz and tree parts to create amazing works of art inspired by her place of birth and the warmth of the female body. It’s hard to believe, but every little piece of material used to create the artworks is placed by hand, and no coloring other than that of the composing elements is used. As Pinar from My Modern Metropolis notes, Svetlana “merges the various textures and colors brilliantly, making it difficult to imagine the frames being made of anything else.” Her natural masterpieces have been exhibited in international galleries, and many of them reside in the private collections of connaisseurs in Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Estonia and the Dominican Republic.

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Polish Artist Builds Mind-Blowing Matchstick Church Models

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Children are generally not permitted to play with matchsticks, but nothing could keep Wieslaw Laszkeiwick away from the tiny sticks of wood. Ever since he was a child, building models out of matchsticks has been more than a pastime for the self-taught master. He treats the activity like a prayer. And what he likes to build most are houses of prayer. Now 58 years old, this Polish folk artist works with hundreds of thousands of matches, pieces of cardboard and microscopic slides for several months at a time, creating beautiful replicas of churches around the world.

Laszkeiwick lives in a wooden house with his son, where one of the rooms is used as a workshop. It’s in this room that he spent over 40 years creating detailed structures using matches. One of Laszkeiwick’s most notable works was a replica of the 17th century monument, the Church of St. Nicholas in Zamosc. The completed structure stood almost 5 feet tall and was intended to be a gift to Pope Benedict XVI. What pleased him so much about the St. Nicholas church was its spherical dome. To create the replica, he used almost half a million matchsticks bound on to matching paper. After the building was complete, he covered it with several coats of varnish and special glue that prevents the matches from warping after they are attached. He also mounted a bulb inside to illuminate the intricate stained glass windows, made from hundreds of pieces of glass. Elements such as doors and gates were carved, and a he fashioned a bell out of specially prepared matches. It took him a whole year to complete the project.

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Eduardo Relero’s Mind-Blowing Optical Illusions

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Argentinian street artist Eduardo Relero has the special talent of turning something as dull as pavements into incredible three-dimensional artworks that put people in danger of walking into lampposts starring at them.

48-year-old Eduardo Relero, who lives in Madrid, Spain, will spend up to two weeks working on one of his amazing 3D murals, which when viewed from the perfect angle look to be rising up from the pavement or sinking deeper into it. The talented artist began creating his beautiful artworks in 1990, on the streets of Rome, and has since then gone on to create breathtaking murals in Germany, France, Spain and America. “I realized that by taking my art out in the public, to festivals, theaters and events, I would be free to make drawings more to my liking, ” the artist says, adding that it’s also a great way of getting ideas across to big groups of people. With themes ranging from flying lions, giant waterfalls and gaping craters to giant feet sticking out of gaping holes in the ground and ancient figures lying in tombs that are actually just the tops of public benches, Relero seems to be one of those artists that never run out of ideas.

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German Artist Creates Art from Chaotic Splotches of Tea, Coffee and Juice

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Stains of coffee and fruit juice are dreaded by most people, but German artist Angela Mercedes Donna Otto actually uses them as the basis for her creative artworks. She randomly pours colored drinks on paper canvases and spends hours contemplating the splotches, looking for familiar shapes.

At the base of Angela Mercedes Donna Otto’s art is “apophenia”, a term used by psychologists to describe the pursuit of the human mind to construct meaning, order and forms even from chaotic structures (e.g. seeing faces and shapes in clouds). She starts the creative process by making random splotches of coffee, tea and various fruit juices on a paper canvas, to create all kinds of chaotic patterns. Then, she spends hours on end in her studio, contemplating the stains and using her imagination to identify meaningful patterns and shapes. Finally, the motifs she finds in the visually stimulant material are extracted from the patterns by drawing with colored ink. Though they are carefully worked out in detail her pictures provide a wide range of interpretation, different approaches and scope to “see more”.

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Peter Bulow – New York’s Subway Sculptor

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Peter Bulow, a psychiatrist from Washington Heights, is just like any other New Yorker – he spends a chunk of his day commuting on the Subway. But unlike others who tend to doze off or are busy on their smartphones, Bulow prefers doing something much more creative and artistic – he sculpts. He has actually managed to convert the A-train into his own personal studio and his fellow commuters, into models. Armed with a blob of clay and a sculpting knife, he picks a subject and creates miniature busts of them. His completed works are usually stored in his violin case. Among several sculptures, you can find things like a school-girl on her way to a violin lesson, a macho guy with headphones, a couple snuggling, a woman wearing a fur collar, a few sporting dreadlocks and turbans.

Bulow started his unique Subway pastime about four years ago. “I had a long commute to work, so I thought it would be a good time to practice sculpting portraits,” the 52-year-old says. He has degrees in clinical psychiatry and art, and is a researcher at Columbia University. Not only is he an artist and a psychiatrist, but an immigrant and the son of Holocaust survivors. Born in India to a German father and Hungarian mother, Bulow’s sculpting days go far back into his childhood in Berlin when his uncle took him to the zoo and he made clay lions. Before his son Isaac was born, he would go to a stone carving studio after work. But now, he does it to and from work. So far, he has completed over 400 sculptures and he views them as portraits that help him “capture a moment in time.” Bulow feels a live connection with his subjects, especially because he has a fascination for people’s inner lives. He is so deeply moved by his art that he says, “When you look at a sculpture you feel all these emotions, but it’s not the sculpture that’s doing it; it’s you. It interests me how art affects the brain.” In fact, he is so much into sculpting miniature busts that he is writing a book in which he is attempting to connect all the portraits he’s made with his research in neuroesthetics (how the brain interprets music and art).

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Celebrity Portraits Made from 5,000 Sweets Taste as Good as They Look

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Florida-based artist Cristiam Ramos creates portraits of celebrities like Marylin Monroe, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj out of thousands of sweets, giving the expression “eye candy” a whole new meaning.

The 32-year-old Mexican artist uses Gummy Bears, liquorice, M&M’s, bubble gum and after dinner mints to craft colorful portraits of various celebrities. Each of his tasty artworks contains over 5,000 individual sweets, and his largest creation so far, a life-size candy motorcycle is made up of over 20,000 sweets. Ramos says he got the idea to use sweets as a medium for his art four years ago, while he was in a park. He saw a dad give his son a piece of candy to sooth his pain, and after seeing the boy smile, he realized sweets make human beings happy. He kept thinking “what if they saw one of their favorite artists enshrined in their favorite sweets?”. That thought turned into a reality soon enough, and now Cristiam Ramos’ celebrity portraits sell for up to $18,000, depending on the size of the picture and amount of sweets used. Celebrities immortalized in candy by Ramos also include Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. Believe it or not, there’s no paint used in any of them.

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Amateur Artist Turns Apartment Building into Urban Art Gallery

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Dmitry Bochkarev, an amateur artist, from Moscow, Russia, has turned an ugly communist-era apartment building into a colorful art gallery, by covering the walls, staircases and doors with various painted artworks.

While most graffiti artists sneak around to find places where they can exercise their artistic talents, amateur artist Dmitry Bochkarev asked people’s permission before he began painting on their walls and doors. It all began 17 years ago, after Dmitry experienced clinical death. He had a vivid dream that helped him discover his talent for painting, and from then on he started painting the inside of his apartment building, in Moscow’s  Biryulyovo district. Until then, the place was just a grey reminder of the Soviet era, and a victim of littering and ugly graffiti. But once colorful cartoon scenes and nature-inspired landscapes started appearing on the walls, it all stopped. Not even vandals have had the heart to ruin Bochkarev’s artworks, and neighbors say it’s the best thing that ever happened to their community. Residents started smiling to each other again, and they became so proud of their art-covered building that they even organize viewing tours for friends and family.

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Incredibly Detailed 34-Meter-Long Train Model Is Made Entirely from Chocolate

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Created by master chocolatier Andrew Farrugia, from Malta, this edible train model has set a new Guinness World Record the longest chocolate structure in the world. It measures a whopping 34 meters in length and features every detail of a classic steam-powered choo-choo.

Unveiled at the “Brussels Chocolate Week”, in Belgium’s capital city, this tasty masterpiece had everyone drooling. Made of 2,755 pounds (1250 kilos) of the finest Belgian chocolate, donated by chocolate brand Belcolade, this 34-meter-long steam train replica took Maltese chocolate artist Andrew Farrugia a painstaking 784 hours to complete. If you’re wondering about calorie volume, this delicious masterpiece packs a massive 6.5 million calories. Farrugia got the idea for the train last year, when visiting Belgian Chocolate Festival in Bruge. “I had this idea for a while, and I said what do you think if we do this realization of a long chocolate train, you know, because a train you can make it as long as you like,” he told the press.

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