Azerbaijani Parking Attendant Turns Dusty Cars into Awe-Inspiring Works of Art

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For most artists, any surface can be used as a canvas, as this Azerbaijani man beautifully demonstrates by creating complex urban landscapes in the collected dust on cars. He discovered his talent and passion for drawing in dirt at his job as a parking attendant which he has been doing for over 10 years.

During work hours on one of the busiest streets of Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital, parking attendant Rafael Veyisov wipes off the dust on cars with his fingers, slowly contouring the shapes of tall buildings and flying birds. In his artwork, he generally illustrates real towns to educate people about other countries, but sometimes he also lets his imagination run wild and produces impressive original works. Surprised by his talent, the car owners who regularly leave their vehicles in Rafael’s care, often leave them dirty just to give him an excuse to play around, and take photos of his beautiful artworks.

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Incredibly Detailed Portraits Created Exclusively with Black Ink Dots

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Armed with nerves of steels, artist Pablo Jurado Ruiz creates incredibly detailed portraits by adding thousands of tiny ink dots to a white canvas. Talking about his creative approach, he explains: “With a creative concept based primarily on human representation, I try to tell stories through a minimalist and subtle vision. My current work is focuses on a simple but realistic drawing and worked in an impressionist technique, complex and very accurate as pointillism or stippling art. “

Born in 1973, in Malaga, Spain, Pablo fell in love with graphics at a very early age, after discovering American and European comics. Later, while studying art history and artists like Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Georges Pierre Seurat, Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, he became fascinated with painting. Today, Pablo Jurado Ruiz is known for his ultra-realistic portraits done with techniques like pointillism and stippling. The Spanish artist uses countless black dots on a white piece of paper to create amazing works of art inspired by his favorite themes: love, disappointment, nature and childhood.

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Lethal Alkaline Lake in Africa Turns Animals into Stone Statues

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When photographer Nick Brandt first visited Lake Natron, in Northern Tanzania, he was shocked by the macabre animal statues he saw aligned across its shoreline. He later found out something even more shocking – those were real animals calcified by the lake’s alkaline water.

Natron, which gives the lake its name, is a naturally occurring compound found in volcanic ash. It’s the same mineral the Egyptians used to preserve their mummies. The lake’s alkalinity is similar to that of ammonia, with a pH between 9 and 10.5, and the temperature of the water can reach 60 °C. No animal can withstand this caustic environment and venturing into the alkaline environment is usually fatal. As soon as birds and bats plunge into the waters of lake Natron, the minerals start turning their flesh into stone and preserving them exactly as they were in their final moments. Flamingos sometime use the predator-free salt islands that sometimes form on the lake for nesting, but it’s a risky gamble, as the photos below clearly show. Only invertebrates, a few algae invertebrates and some fish that live near the edges of the lake can survive this environment.

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More Mouthwatering Hyper-Realistic Food Paintings by Tom Martin

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They may look like high-resolution photos of delicious foods, but these are actually incredibly detailed paintings by acclaimed hyper-realist artist Tom Martin. All of his pieces is a least one meter wide and can sell for up to £17,000 ($27,000).

We first discovered Tom Martin’s amazing artworks back 2010, when we featured some of his most impressive food-related paintings. The 26-year-old artist has been keeping himself busy in these last few years, creating new stunning masterpieces guaranteed to make viewers drool over them. Most of his works focus on food, but you might notice there aren’t any greasy burgers and pizzas displayed in his paintings. “I focus on food and its content because it plays a very big part in my life at the moment,” the artist explains. “I am a keen fitness enthusiast and along with that comes a healthy diet and the science of learning how your body uses carbohydrates and proteins.” You will however find bowls of delicious-looking fruit cereal, toast and marmalade, and even small guilty pleasures like waffles and ice-cream.

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The Adorable Sushi Roll Art of Takayo Kiyota

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Tokyo-based artist Takyo Kiyota uses sushi rolls as a canvas for her art. Believe it or not, she never knows exactly what her edible artworks are going to look like, relying only on visualization when expertly placing the colored grains of rice inside the roll.

Just like in regular makizushi, or “rolled sushi,”, the ingredients in Takayo Kiyota’s rolls are laid lengthwise, bottom to top, then rolled shut in a sheet of seaweed. The loaf-shaped piece of sushi looks unimpressive on the outside, but slicing cross-sections reveals amazingly detailed works of art. From edible replicas of famous paintings and popular character of Japanese anime to gadgets like the Apple iPhone and Facebook “likes”, it seems there’s nothing Takayo can’t replicate in her makizushi rolls. But getting every grain of rice in just the right place seems like an impossible task, and the artist herself admits the slightest shift of an ingredient or overly exerted force when wrapping can completely throw things off. “I never know what the inside looks like so I’m never sure if it will come out the way I imagined. And I can’t make edits once it’s done,” Takayo, a.k.a Tama-chan, says. “It’s always a special moment when I make the first incision to reveal the image.”

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Talented Self-Taught Illustrator Doodles on Her Thighs

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We recently learned women’s thighs can be used as premium ad space, but Boston-based film student Jodi Steel found a new intriguing use for her upper leg. She recently shot to internet fame after photos of her detailed thigh drawings went viral on popular news sharing site, Reddit.

Like many other bored students, Jodi Steel used to pass the time during boring school lectures by doodling, only instead of exercising her artistic talents on the back of her notebooks, she did it on her bare thighs. Despite having no kind of formal training as an illustrator, Jodi’s dermal masterpieces look like the work of a seasoned artist, a fact which she attributes to relentless practice, despite what everyone else may think. Her talents didn’t go unnoticed, and after seeing the artworks on her thigh one day, a teacher at Emerson College, in Boston, asked Jodi to draw the illustrations for a ‘steam punk’ book called Steaming into a Victorian Future: A Steampunk Anthology. She recently uploaded photos of her thigh drawings on Reddit, where some of them were actually mistaken for tattoos. Steel has since gotten multiple job offer from all around the world, but she doesn’t want to work full time as an illustrator, instead hoping to one day to concept art for films and paint on the side.

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Lamborghini Aventador Model Made Entirely Out of Paper and Cardboard Looks Mind-Blowingly Realistic

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Seattle-based designer Taras Lesko has spent the last few months building a nearly-life-size replica of the Lamborghini Aventador exclusively out of printing paper and cardboard.

We first featured Taras Lesko’s paper masterpieces back in 2010, shortly after he had completed his amazing 4-foot-tall Freedom Gundam. In 2011 he surprised us all again with an even more impressive 7-foot Gundam made with 1,250 distinct paper parts cut out of 720 pages. Taras took a two-year-long break after that, but he has recently unveiled his latest work of art, a stunning paper-and-cardboard replica of the Lamborghini Aventador sports car. Using his design skills, the Seattle-based artist created all the necessary parts in computer programs like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and AfterEffects, printed them on hundreds of sheets of paper and used a precise X-Acto knife to cut them loose. To make sure his paper Aventador was sturdy enough to move around, Lesko used thick chipboard as a frame for the ultra-light vehicle which weighs just 11.3 kilograms.

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Young Vietnamese Artist Carves Portraits and Landscapes on Delicate Eggshells

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Vietnamese artist Ben Tre uses his steady hands and a tiny dentist’s drill to carve detailed portraits and traditional landscapes on chicken eggshells. The exquisite artworks can be mounted on an LED-illuminated base and used as artistic lamps.

Ben Tre says he only started carving eggshells a year ago, yet each of his numerous works appear to have been executed by a seasoned master. He apparently experimented with a number of fine tools to get the desired effect, before borrowing a small electrical drill from a dentist friend, and has been using it ever since. Ben takes about a day to complete on of his amazing eggshell carvings, and specializes in both celebrity portraits and landscapes. The eggs aren’t chemically treated to harden the shell, which makes the artworks very vulnerable, but Ben offers interested clients the option of having the eggshell carvings encased in a glass globe for protection. An LED illuminated wooden base is also available to enhance the beauty of his fragile masterpieces.

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Talented Artist Draws Realistic Celebrity Portraits with Common Ballpoint Pens

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Using regular ballpoint pens, UK-based artist Gareth Edwards draws incredibly realistic portraits of celebrities like Audrey Hepburn, Walt Disney, Natalie Portman and Humphrey Bogart with Candy Toxton.

“I began working in ballpoint pen because I was to lazy to sharpen a pencil, or put away my paints at the end of the day,” Gareth Edwards explains the choice of his medium. “The simplicity of the ballpoint pen first appealed to me at school. The initial scribbles I did then, have since become an addiction in trying to create a drawing that is so realistic its deceives its audience into thinking such a detailed piece couldn’t have been created with such a humble source.” And indeed, some of his celebrity portraits look so life-like it’s almost impossible to believe they are more that just artistic black-and-white photographs.

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The Catacomb Saints – Relic Hunter Photographs Europe’s Jewel-Encrusted Skeletons

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Paul Koudounaris, a history professor from California, has spent the last three years visiting ancient ossuaries and churches around Europe and photographing their macabre treasures. Among these are the Catacomb Saints, a series of jewel-encrusted skeletons said to be the remains of Christian saints.

Decorated with hundreds of precious stones and several pounds of gold and silver, the Catacomb Saints photographed by Mr. Koudounaris for his new book, Empire of Death, are skeletons dug up from Roman catacombs in the 16th century and installed in churches around Germany, Austria and Switzerland on the orders of the Vatican, to replace the sacred relics destroyed during the Protestant Reformation of the 1500s. Although none of them qualified as saints, authorities from the Vatican signed certificates identifying the dug-up skeletons as martyrs. The bones were packed in boxes and sent from Rome to various monasteries around central Europe, where nuns decorated them with gold and silver jewelry encrusted with precious stones. Since the skeletons were believe to be Christian martyrs, their bones couldn’t be handled by anybody, but only by those who had taken a sacred vow to the Church.  Once the decorative work was finished, the bejeweled remains were sent to churches and cathedrals where they reminded people of the spiritual treasures of the afterlife and acted as symbols of the Christian Church’s power in previously Protestant areas.

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Ken Delmar, the Artist Who Paints on Paper Towels

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Paper towel painting is a popular children’s learning activity, but American artist Ken Delmar is determined to turn it into a proper art form. For the last eight months, he has been using the flimsy kitchen disposables as canvases for detailed and vibrantly colored artworks.

71-year-old Ken Delmar has been painting most of his life, but he never imagined he would one day be exercising his artistic talents on paper towels instead of the linen canvas he normally used. The Connecticut-based artist had the epiphany one evening in early January of this year, while preparing to close his studio. He was using a paper towel to clean his brushes and knives when  he noticed the paint on the fragile paper looked more brilliant and energetic than the one he had spent so much time spreading on a regular canvas. He figured it was because the paint was being absorbed by the paper which gave it more depth and layers of richness, and started thinking of ways of ways to prevent the colors from blending into one another, or have them blend in an interesting way. He experimented with various paper towel brands and different consistency oil paints, until he found the perfect combination. The colors were astonishing and the unusual canvas made his works “edgy and different”.

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Wife Tells Husband to Take Up a Hobby, He Builds a Giant Wine Cork Rhinoceros

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Two California couples, Jim and Mary Lambert of Carmichael, and Bob and Di Nelson of Fair Oaks, have spent the last three years making a life-size rhinoceros sculpture out of plywood, foam and 12,000 wine corks.

It all started one day, three years ago, when Mary told her husband Jim to take up a hobby. Instead of choosing a typical passtime like fishing or woodworking, Jim immediately thought of the thousands of wine corks he had been collecting for the past 20 years, and said ‘OK, I will build a giraffe out of corks.’ But then he realized giraffes are 20 feet tall and quickly changed his idea. “I said, ‘Mary, forget the giraffe, we’re going to build a rhinoceros,’ ” Lambert told the Sacramento Bee. Jim’s sole artistic experience was an art class he had taken back in college, but Bob Nelson and his wife Di, old friends of the Lamberts, were eager to jump on board as soon as they heard about the quirky project. They put up their garage as a work space, and Bob, who was an architect, started working on the frame of the artwork. Using an online photo of a rhinoceros as a guide for proportions and size, Nelson crafted the structural frame from plywood and added pieces of plastic foam to give it the appropriate shape. All that was left to do was cover the whole 12-foot-long sculpture with Jim’s wine corks.

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Pop-Out Coffee – The 3D Latte Art of Kohei Matsuno

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Latte art has become very popular in recent years, with more and more talented baristas using the fragile milk foam as a miniature canvas for their artworks, but Japan’s Kohei Matsuno is already taking the delicate art form to a whole new level with his amazing 3D latte masterpieces.

Kohei Matsuno used to work in an Osaka restaurant where he used latte art to surprise his clients. However, he noticed people are not so easily impressed with the usual designs on their cups of caffeinated beverages anymore, so he decided to step up his game. He had become an expert at creating traditional Japanese landscapes, popular manga characters and realistic portraits on milk foam, but he still felt restricted by the flat surface of his delicious canvas. To make things really interested he began using large amounts of milk foam to design all kinds of cute shapes, decorating them with with a sharp utensil, usually a toothpick. This ingenious trick has made Kohei one of the most popular latte artists in Japan. Using the alias “Mattsun”, the young barista now spends his days taking ideas from his fans and turning them into delicious reality.

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Chinese Designer Combines Babies and Pets, Creates Disturbing Baby-Pets

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What if combining human and animal DNA wasn’t illegal, nor did it violate moral or ethical codes of conduct? What if technology allowed us to create hybrids between babies and pets that were still biologically bound to their parents but didn’t require a permanent responsibility and commitment? These are the questions Chinese artist Lingxizhu Meng tackles in her latest project, Baby-Pet.

Raising a child involves much more time and responsibility than owning a pet, which is why an increasing number of people are opting for the latter. Parents usually have to put their active lives on the back-burner in order to take care of a baby, but what if they didn’t have to? “The objective of this society’s endeavor is to create a new species that meets various needs. The result being something that is not your child but that is also not your pet. It serves as a combination of the purity that exists in both, the essence of affection one has when caring for a baby and the affection one receives when having a dog,” Lingxizhu describes her unique idea. “The animal human baby pet is a combination of baby and pet. Raising a child incurs significant financial costs, while pets in comparison are far more economical. Such as saving the cost of education, for example. The dogbaby life cycle is very short, similar to that of a dog, often only 11-­15 years of life. This is a circumstance that can enable elderly people to rise a dogba-by in the golden years of their lives. Some couples are not ready to ising a child. The dogbaby provides a link in their partnership without necessitating a permanent responsibility and commitment. Some singles who are occupied by an active social and work life but who have the desire to have a child find the benefit of a dogbaby’s growth process and need of attention levels much simpler to those of a child.”

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The Incredibly Lifelike Charcoal Portraits of Douglas McDougall

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Scottish artist Douglas McDougall uses charcoal, sandpaper and scalpel blades to create his amazingly realistic portraits of friends and people he finds interesting.

Douglas McDougall learned how to draw as a child to pass the time while going in and out of hospitals with a blood disease. He spent countless hours in hospital wards trying to draw his surroundings, and the experience fueled his passion for art. In his younger years, the 50-year-old artist used to do a lot of pen and ink illustration work during the night, after coming home from his day job, but eventually settled on charcoal as his medium of choice. “The immediacy of applying that blackness and the way in which it’s sucked into a white ground /paper/ forever excited me with a glorious kick of absoluteness”, the artist says, and after getting his hands on Conté compressed charcoal for the first time and discovering its power there was no going back. Today he uses various kinds of charcoal along with unusual art tools like sandpaper and sharp blades to create some of the most detailed hyper-realistic portraits I have ever seen.

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