Jim Power – The Mosaic Man of New York City

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For the past 26 years, Jim Power, known by most as The Mosaic Man, has been decorating the light posts of New York’s East Village with intricate tile and mirror mosaics. And the homeless 64-year-old is still at it.

“When I got into this, I was immortal all a sudden,” Power says about how he felt when he first started creating his art, in the late 1980s. The Vietnam veteran set out to make East Village a known arts destination by creating a trail of 80 mosaic-decorated light posts, each with its own theme and design inspired by local history and culture. At the height of his career as a street artist, The Mosaic Man was up to 70 light posts, but in the later part of the 80s and into the 90s, mayor Rudy Giulianni started a clean-up-the-city anti-graffiti campaign and took down 50 of his beautifully-adorned artworks. It was pretty hard to bear, but Jim never gave up on his dream of completing the trail, and managed to rebuild every one of them.

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Vinyl Portraits of Famous Musicians Created with Thousands of White Dots

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Daniel Edlen, from Phoenix, Arizona, is probably one of the world’s most patient artists. Using just white acrylic paint, he dabs thousands of tiny white spots on black vinyls to create amazingly-detailed portraits of famous musicians.

But why would an artist go through a painstaking process of dabbing white spots on records, instead of painting them the old-fashioned way, with a brush? Well, Daniel told My Modern Metropolis that  ”it’s challenging painting on raw records because the paint streaks if I stroke it. Dabbing is the only way it works, but consistency is hard because I don’t use any black and I can’t remove paint easily once it’s dried.” That means the talented artist doesn’t afford to make any mistakes during the creative process, and that’s probably why he can take up to a whole month to complete a single piece.

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Mind-Blowing 3D Sketchbook Artworks by Nagai Hideyuki

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21-year-old Japanese artist Nagai Hideyuki creates amazing sketchbook drawings which viewed from the right angle create a realistic 3D illusion.

We’ve featured some pretty impressive three-dimensional art in the past, and young Hideyuki’s works are right up there with the best. Using a technique known as anamorphosis, the talented Japanese is able to create mind-boggling masterpieces that seem to come to life right out of his sketchbook. At 17, Nagai dreamed of becoming a cartoonist, but soon realized drawing comics wasn’t the thing for him. Then, three years later, he stumbled upon Julian Beever’s street art, and instantly fell in love with the idea of creating 3D artworks. Unfortunately, he discovered drawing on the streets of Japan was illegal, so he started looking for another way to exercise his talents. That’s how his intriguing sketchbook art was born.

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Artist Creates Portraits with Strips of Shredded Money

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Using thousands of paper strips from shredded U.S. Federal Reserve Notes, American artist Evan Wondolowski creates impressive portraits of famous figures, from George Washington to Notorious B.I.G.

According to This Is Colossal, “Evan says that he starts with an underdrawing of the portrait on newsprint and then glues each shred of currency piece by piece before finishing up with a little vine charcoal to increase contrast.” Sounds like a pretty complicated process, but he does manage to restore value to worthless dollars, by turning them into unique works of art. So far, Wondolowski has used shredded dollars to make detailed portraits of icons like Stephen Colbert, Biggie Smalls or George Washington. Looking at how elaborate each of his pieces is, it’s no wonder he takes over a month to complete them.

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Guy Paints and Draws Incredible Portraits with One Continuous Line

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Think about the most impressive maze you’ve ever had to solve, and I guarantee it’s not as cool as what this Reddit user can create with a single continuous line.

I could never draw or paint anything worth looking at, but I’ve always been fascinated by what some people can accomplish if they’re given a simple pen or paintbrush. Reddit user “renbo” is definitely one of these incredibly gifted artists. He creates amazing portraits/mazes of celebrities and movie characters by drawing a single intricate line that never crosses itself or end. It’s just one continuous loop that somehow manages to emphasize the subjects’ most important features. In order to make sure his artworks are perfect, renbo says he tries not to lift the pen off the canvas unless his hand gets really fatigued.

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Vik Muniz Recreates Famous Artworks Using Thousands of Torn Magazine Scraps

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We discovered Brazilian artist Vik Muniz two years ago, when we came across his amazing portraits made exclusively with trash. Now he’s back with a whole new collection of mind-blowing recreations of classic paintings made from torn magazine scraps.

It seems everything Vik Muniz touches turns to gold, including outdated magazines. For his latest art series, Pictures of Magazine 2, the the Brooklyn-based artist used page fragments from various magazines to create impressive reproductions of known masterpieces by Van Gogh, Manet or Cézanne. We’ve seen magazines used as an art medium before, but Vik Muniz takes it to a whole new level of detail and complexity.

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Denimu – Using Old Blue Jeans in the Name of Art

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It’s hard saying goodbye to your favorite pair of jeans, even when they’re way beyond wearable, but English artist Ian Berry has found a way to avoid throwing away denim, by using it to create beautiful works of art.

Netherton-born artist Ian Berry, who now lives in Sweden, has made quite a name for himself after his unique art, called Denimu, took the art world by storm. It’s hard to believe the idea of using old denim as medium for his art came after a call from his mother, Christine, asking him to clean out his room. “It was about six or seven years ago my mum was clearing out my old room and she wanted me to go through my things. I found loads of old jeans and denims and I noticed the different colors and shades. I kept hold of them but it was only about 18 months later I began to do something with them.” Little did he know his experiment would soon make him and his denim art famous all over the world.

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Japanese Fisherman-Turned-Artist Creates Skeletal Artworks from Dead Animals

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Believe it or not, the Japanese use fish for something else than sushi. Take Iori Tomita, a former fisherman who now creates creepy works of art from various dead marine specimens.

28-year-old Iori Tomita uses scientific techniques of preserving and dyeing to transform dead fish into brightly-colored glowing pieces of art. The former fisherman applies over 10 different chemicals to each specimen, which break down the muscle proteins, making it transparent and revealing the skeleton. He then uses red and blue dyes to highlight the hard and soft cartilage. It sounds easy enough, but it’s really a complex eight-stage process which takes Tomita three months to a year to complete, depending on the size of the animals he’s trying to turn into morbid works of art.

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Chuck Close’s Incredible Fingerprint Portrait Will Blow Your Mind

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It’s not every day that you get to have your mind blown by a phenomenal piece of art, but today is one of those rare days. Feast your opticals on this unique portrait made by Chuck Close using only his fingerprints.

Entitled Fanny/Fingerpainting, this giant portrait was created in 1985, and depicts the artists’s wife’s late grandmother, Fanny. The oil on canvas artwork was executed using a technique developed by Close himself which involves the direct application of pigment to a surface, with his fingerprints. By adjusting the amount of pigment used and the pressure applied on the canvas with his fingers, Chuck Close managed to capture every crack and crevice of the subject’s face, just like a high-definition silver-toned photograph.

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Artist Uses Ink to Turn People’s Faces into Ephemeral Artworks

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Pinpin Co, a Chinese artist raised in Japan, uses a simple gel ink pen to turn her subjects’ faces into temporary works of art that are then washed away in a few seconds.

You’ve probably seen impressive body painting before, but what Pinpin Co does is truly unique. Using an 0.38mm gel ink pen, the young artist spends around five hours drawing on people’s faces, creating fascinating artworks that often capture physical or mental scars that each of them possesses. She is inspired by every person she uses as her canvas, their lives and experiences help Pin Pin create new and exciting works of art every time. “It often becomes a therapeutic process,” she told Japanese website Antenna7, in an interview, referring to the doctor-patient relationship that often develops between her and her subjects.

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Chinese Puzzle Balls – The Rubik’s Cube of the Ancient World

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For centuries, Chinese arts and crafts have been known around the world for their incredible beauty and finesse. If I were to pick a single object that best describes the Chinese attention to detail it would surely be an ivory puzzle ball. It’s definitely one of the most incredible things I have ever seen.

Chinese puzzle balls are ornate decorative items that consist of several concentric spheres, each of which rotates freely, carved from the same piece of material. Although the master carvers of old used ivory, in modern times you can find puzzle balls made of synthetic ivory, resin, wood, jade, and other materials. These detailed works of art are usually made up of at least 3 to 7 layers, but the world’s largest puzzle ball is actually made of 42 concentric balls all enclosed one within the other. Although the inner balls can be manipulated to align all the holes, Chinese puzzle balls got their name from people who, through the ages, pondered the mystery of making such objects.

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High-School Teacher Creates Whiteboard Masterpieces During His Lunch Breaks

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Minnesota-based artist Gregory Euclide creates amazing impermanent artworks in just 25 minutes, during the lunch breaks at the high-school where he teaches.

As unbelievable as this might sound, Gregory Euclide actually washes away the whiteboard masterpieces he draws every day, to make room for new ones. In an interview with Minnesota Original, the art instructor says his unusual habit of drawing on whiteboards started as a way to release stress after teaching 38 students an hour, five hours a day, for 8 months. He was beginning to feel a little restless so he decided to give himself 25 minutes every day to finish sketches he enjoyed drawing. He would use sumi ink, brushes, spray bottles, erasers, paper towels and pretty much anything else he could get his hands on around his desk.

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Optical Illusions at South Korea’s Awesome Trick Eye Museums

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Planting a kiss on Mona Lisa’s cheek, riding the legendary Pegasus and even getting peed on by a baby, it’s all possible at one of South Korea’s Trick Eye Museums.

I’ve never been to Korea, but apparently people there, like the Japanese, love to take photos of themselves with cool stuff, so it’s no wonder they’ve created a bunch of tourist attractions where people can immortalize themselves doing the craziest things. They’re called “trick eye museums” and feature various well-executed trompe l’oeil (French for “deceive the eye) artworks that either look like they’re coming out of the frame, or that you’re stepping in. If you manage to get a shot from the right angle, you can get some really cool photos of yourself interacting with the paintings. Judging by the photos I’ve found, these places are lots of fun.

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Digital Artist Creates Realistic Version of Van Gogh’s Starry Night

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Ever wondered what the sky must have looked like when Vincent Van Gogh painted his famous Starry Night? Well, Alex Cruz has and he even created his own realistic-looking version of the post-impressionist’s masterpiece, using Photoshop.

“I’ve often wondered about how the night ski looked to Van Gogh when he painted Starry Night,” Ruiz said. “I wanted this piece to be somewhat magical and fantastic, not just a normal night painting. Hence the large moon, large stars, transparent clouds, etc., yet keeping a mostly realistic feel to it.” I don’t know how long it took the Dutch artist to finish his famous artwork, but Ruiz did his in just 7 hours, using matte painting techniques in Photoshop. Art sure has come a long way since the 1800s.

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Belgian Artist Creates Elaborate Dresses Out of Simple Sheets of Paper

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Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave can use sheets of paper to create incredible garments many designers can’t really make out of fabric.

At first glance, Isabelle de Borchgrave’s creations seems made of expensive materials like silk, pleated cotton and damask, but in reality, her 18th century-inspired garments are made exclusively from paper. The Brussels-based artist painstakingly glues every “seam”, crumples, irons and fluffs paper to make it look like real lace and created buttons out of tiny rolls of paper, ultimately creating designer masterpieces you simply must see to believe they’re real. In her able hands, flimsy pieces of paper can become anything from ribbons to jewelry and feathers, a talent that makes de Borchgrave “unique”, according to French designer Hubert de Givenchy.

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