English Artist Creates Detailed Button Mosaics

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English artist Ann Carrington uses hundreds, sometimes thousands of everyday objects to create awe-inspiring mosaics.

Not everyone looks at buttons, safety pins or metal coins and sees art, but for Ann Carrington, “all objects are saturated with cultural meaning. Mundane objects like knives, gloves, shoes, shells and tin cans come with their own ready-made histories.” Whenever she decides on what material she’s going to use for a certain work, there’s a certain reason for her choice. For example, her Pearly Queens series made with buttons was inspired by the Pearly Queens and Kings fashion movement, in London, while her bluejeans-made flag of America is a homage to this iconic American symbol.

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Robin Eley’s Incredible Hyper-Realistic Paintings

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There’s no way to tell, but you’re actually not looking at a photograph, but a hyper-realistic painting by London-born artist Robin Eley. Armed with a simple paintbrush he’s able to create photo-quality works of art that draw attention instantly.

Born in London, raised in Australia and educated in the United States, Robin Eley is a man of three continents. But more impressive than his life’s story and journey are his amazing hyper-realistic works. Most of the subjects depicted in his large-scale oil paintings are naked and wrapped in plastic foil, with each tiny detail of their bodies and countless reflection of their translucent covers expertly depicted by the artist. “Inspired by history, I extract from the present. Artifacts and textures that reflect the beauty and nobility of decline and question the modern obsession with perfection. While my subjects and technique are intentionally very real, the context in which they are painted is less defined, Eley says about his art.

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Russian Artist Creates Amazing Straw Paintings

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Irina Parosova, a self-taught artist from the Russian city of Syzran, creates mind-blowing artworks from straw. Work on just one of these masterpieces can take from one day to a whole month, depending on the complexity of the project.

Straw is usually defined as an agricultural byproduct that is mostly used for livestock bedding and fodder, thatching and basket making. But for Russian artist Irina Parosova straw is a complex artistic medium that can be turned into amazing artworks. The self-taught master started making straw art as a child, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. She was 11 years old when her geography teacher came back from a holiday and brought them a photo album as a souvenir. But it wasn’t the photos that caught Irina’s attention, but the straw-inlaid cover of the album. She went home, climbed to the attic of her house where some straw-filled mattresses were stored, pulled out a few pieces of straw and started replicating the photo of a ballerina she found in an old magazine. It wasn’t her best work, but at that age she already thought of it as a masterpiece. But then she abandoned straw for the next 21 years. it was only after the birth of her second child that she rediscovered this amazing art form, when she used it to provide for her family. Her Russian husband had problems with the Uzbek language and couldn’t find a job, so she had to use her artistic skills to feed her children. Her straw art helped them overcome the financial crisis and since then Irina Parosova has become an acclaimed Russian artist.

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New York artist Paints with His Own Blood

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In order to better “dissolve the barrier between art and artist”, New York-based artist Vincent Castiglia uses his own blood as a medium for his disturbing paintings. Throughout his artistic career, he has used around 12 pints of blood. “My work is literally a blood sacrifice on the altar of art,”the painter says.

While many artists claim a lot of sweat, blood and tears go into their art, Vince Castiglia is serious about the blood part. During the last 10 years, the painter from Hell’s Kitchen, New York, has been using his own blood as material for his art. In a recent interview, Castiglia said he was first inspired to use the bizarre art medium by a need to connect to his work “on the most intimate level.” It just so happens that human blood contains iron oxide, a pigment found in many traditional paints, as well as in iron ore and common rust. The 30-year-old begins his artistic process by drawing pen or graphite sketches on a white canvas, before proceeding to extract the “paint”, in the privacy of his own studio. Then he dilutes the blood and uses paintbrushes to create creepy reddish characters with twisted limbs, or in different stages of decay.

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Mark Powell’s Hellish Dioramas Will Freak You Out

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Looking at his nightmarish dioramas, you’d think Melbourne-based artist Mark Powell has been to hell and back. Bizarre, sinister and disgusting are just some of the words usually used to describe his art, but that’s most likely the reactions he was going for when he created these scenes.

Powell’s creepy dioramas are populated with monstrous characters going about their business, eating, dissecting things and even playing music in dark and disturbing basements. They remind me a little of scenes from Pan’s Labyrinth, only they’re way more troubling. The Australian artist models every one of his gory dioramas from silicone, which gives all the veiny monsters and pieces of flesh a disturbing organic look. Even though they might kill your appetite, you have to admit the level of detail in these bizarre artworks is pretty impressive. If you’ve ever imagined what hell might look like, I think Mark Powell’s masterpieces will give you a pretty good idea.

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Sonic Art – German Audio-Visual Artist Makes Pictures from Sound Waves

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Ever wondered what the sound of an airplane propeller looks like? Rainer Tautenhahn, a curious audio-visual artist from Germany can transform any sound into a colorful optic signal.

“The ears are the only ears we have that never switch off”, Tautenhahn told Deutsche Welle. “Ears never lie, in contrast to our eyes that sometimes deceive us”. He wanted to find out what a penetrating tone actually looked like, what’s the secret to a soprano’s voice that allows him to sing like that, and decided he could only reveal the magic of sound by turning it into light waves. He begins the artistic process by recording sounds with an ultra-sensitive microphone, but it’s not always as easy as it sounds. In order to get the right pictures, the 47-year-old waits until he gets the right levels. When he’s done, a computer software helps process noise into images, and although the final images look computer-generated, he never alters them in any way.

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Japanese Mother Uses Sleeping Toddler to Unleash Her Creativity

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While other mothers use their baby’s nap time to catch up on house chores or get some shuteye themselves, 41-year-old Mami Koide likes to turn her sleeping daughter Nuno into a living, breathing work of art.

When the sun sets over Tokyo, and it’s time for baby Nuno to go to bed, her mother, cartoonist Mami Koide, gets ready for work. After making sure the toddler is sound asleep she sets her on a canvas improvised from two mattresses covered with a fluffy blanket and makes her the protagonist in various artistic installations. The creative mother uses everyday items like clothes, socks and even vegetables to create fantastic sceneries around Nuno, who is always the center star. Once everything is in place, she climbs onto a chair and takes a bird’s eye photo of the artwork. Koide created he first art piece to send to her husband, who works as a bartender and is away from home during the night, but as the ritual continued, she put together a collection of around 200 images, which eventually became an illustrated book, and a best seller on Amazon Japan just a week after it was released.

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French Artist Buries Himself in a Tiny Hole for Seven Days, to Read

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How far would you go to find some peace and quiet for a nice read? French artist Abraham Poincheval stayed buried for a whole week in a tiny underground hole in the underpinning of a Marseille bookstore, with books as the only company.

On September 20, Abraham Poincheval began his unique performance, aptly entitled 604,800 seconds. Equipped only with a headlamp, some water, freeze-dried food, a camera and most importantly a small stack of books selected by the booksellers at the “Histoire d’un Jour” bookstore, he descended into a 62cm-wide and 1.7m-deep shaft dug in the underpinning of the Marseille venue. The size of the hole meant he couldn’t sit or stand up, making the claustrophobic experiment all the more difficult. He was covered with a stone lid and started enjoying his seven days separated from the outside world by reading. During all the 604,800 seconds he remained buried under the bookstore, Abraham filmed everything he did (which obviously wasn’t much, since he could hardly move), and the images were projected on the walls of the bookstore/gallery. He also stayed in touch with civilization via a microphone and speaker, which helped him communicate with visitors.

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Photo-Realistic Pencil Drawings by Self-Taught Artist Randy Hann

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It takes a great artist to show the true power of a pencil, and Newfoundland-based Randy Hann is one such artist. His breathtaking attention to detail translates into drawings that look more like shot with a professional camera than with a simple pencil.Randy Hann is definitely one of the most talented Canadian artists of our time.

The Newfoundland native takes inspiration from the people, wildlife and scenery that surrounds him every day to create spectacular works of art. Born in 1961, Randy says he can always remember being able to draw, even as a young child, but it wasn’t until years later that he started taking his innate abilities seriously. He didn’t attend an art school, but dedicated years to developing and refining his drawing technique. Today, the self-taught artist is internationally-known for his mind-blowing hyperrealistic works. His masterpieces have been exhibited in various art galleries, and many are found in private collections around Canada and throughout the world.

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The Real Starry Night – Astronomy Student Recreates Van Gogh’s Painting Using Hubble’s Deep Space Images

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Alex Harrison Parker, an American PHD astronomy student, used computer mosaic-making software to re-produce Van Gogh’s famous Starry Night painting from the most beautiful images captured by the Hubble telescope in the last 20 years.

“The idea came up around the time of Hubble’s 22nd birthday, when I thought it would be neat to assemble a collage of a bunch of Hubble images from over its history,” Alex told Discovery News. So he went online, downloaded Hubble’s top 100 pictures and used a mosaic software to create this new take on Van Gogh’s work of art. The passionate astronomer who likes to study the asteroids and proto-planets of the early solar system decided to go ahead with his unique project after cloudy weather prevented him from exploring the real starry night at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Artist’s Hyperrealistic Drawings Look Like Black and White Photos

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The first time you see Dirk Dzimirsky’s hyperrealistic drawings, you’re convinced they’re black and white photographs. In fact, that’s the feeling you get when you see them for the hundredth time, they’re that good.

I love this kind of ultra-realistic drawings. Ever since I first saw Paul Cadden’s graphite masterpieces I’ve been pretty much hooked on these photo-realistic works of art. Dirk Dzimirsky is another one of those rare artists who have the capacity to practically create a photograph with their own hands. Using photos just for inspiration, he sets up basic proportions and then draws layer upon layer until he creates something incredibly realistic. He uses light and shadow to capture the emotional essence of each human being he portrays in his art. “I want to capture and describe a persons precence and specific inner self. Similar to what a detailed writer might employ in their analysis of an individual, I portray not only the physical attributes, but more importantly the subjects inner presence of life,” the artist says.

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Craig Tracy’s Unbelievable Body-Painting Optical Illusions

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New Orleans-based artist Craig Tracy is considered a trendsetter in the art of body painting. He spends hour painstakingly painting his subjects’ bodies with water-based paint, before taking photos of them in unique positions.

The first time we featured Craig Tracy on Oddity Central, was in January 2010, right after he created a jaw-dropping image of a tiger from the contorted bodies of several models. It was one of his most amazing works, but the American artist now has an entire collection of mind-blowing images painted on human bodies. Born and raised in New Orleans, Tracy always knew he was going to be an artist, in fact everyone else knew it as well. “There was never any question regarding my being or becoming a professional artist. It was always just obvious and understood,” he says. Craig’s parents, whom he describes as “working class hippies”, nurtured his creative development and gave him the freedom to mature as an absolute individual. At 15, he received his first airbrush, as a gift from his parents, and just a year later, working as an airbrush artist in a local shopping mall, he had already learned to draw almost anything on a vast array of surfaces. After graduating from The Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, the young artist became an illustrator for advertising agencies and editorial publishing houses, and hated it. After six years, he left his career as an illustrator behind and started painting “murals, t-shirt designs and just about anything and everything possible”.

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Cartoonist Looking for Solvers of World’s Largest Hand-Drawn Maze

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Joe Wos, a Pittsburgh-based cartoonist and performer, is currently working on what he hopes will be the new world’s largest most difficult hand-drawn maze. Creating this thing is one daunting task, but nowhere as difficult as finding someone willing to spend approximately 40 hours trying to solve it.

Like all children, Joe Wos loved to doodle when he was young boy. He grew up to become an cartoonist, and as he approached 40 years old, he felt the need to achieve some “lifelong goals”, one of which was setting a Guinness record. He remembered that as a kid, he would create mazes on huge pieces of paper that often ended up on the walls of his home, and realized that could be his shot. After doing some research he learned Guinness had other maze-related records so he asked them if they were willing to acknowledge the world largest hand-drawn maze. They accepted, but with a number of conditions: Wos’ maze would have to be at least 10 square meters in size, it would have to be solvable, and drawn by him alone. Also, he needs five witnesses every time he goes to work on it. The 42-year-old cartoonist started this monumental project on July 27 and hopes to complete his intricate masterpiece by the end of September. “It’s not easy,” he told the Huffington Post. “One path has to remain open, but I have to keep about five paths available just in case I draw myself into a wrong path. And that will be terrible for the person who actually solves the maze because they may spend up to 30 minutes going down a wrong path as well.”

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Wacky Scientist-Turned-Artist Uses Bacteria to Create Art

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Zachary Copfer, a former microbiologist recently turned visual artist, uses bacteria like E.coli to create detailed artworks in petri dishes. His weird technique is aptly called “bacteriography”.

If you’re hungry for some out-of-this-world art, then Zachary Copfer’s bacteriography series should feed your appetite for a while. His photo-printing technique is unlike anything you’ve seen before, in that rather than using photo-sensitive papers, chemicals, or ink, Copfer uses live bacteria. The University of Cincinnati MFA photography student actually controls how the bacteria grows in order to form detailed works of art. Copfer stars his unique artistic process by turning bacteria like E.coli into a fluorescent protein and spreading it across a plate. A negative of the photo he wants to reproduce is placed on top of the plate and exposed to radiation, causing the bacteria to grow in strategic places and recreating a detailed image. Once the photo is replicated, the bacteriography work of art is coated in acrylic and resin to stop it degrading.

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The Mind-Blowing Date Stamp Paintings of Federico Pietrella

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Italian-born Federico Pietrella uses an item usually associated with corporate offices to created incredible works of art. It’s simply mind-blowing how he can use a restrictive tool like the date stamp to achieve this level of detail.

Looking at Federico Pietrella’s artworks from a distance, you’d never guess they were actually executed using a date stamp. But that’s in fact all he uses to create these amazingly detailed masterpieces that look more like pixelated black-and-white photos. He has been practicing his date-stamp painting technique for the last 15 years and his skill level has reached a level where it’s very hard to tell one of his works from an old photograph. As you can imagine, his is a painstaking work. Each one of his masterpieces takes between 1 – 2 months to complete, which is easily verified considering the artist uses the current date whenever he uses the stamp. “Time is a mysterious thing.  For me it’s the most important thing from which everything is derived- work, existence, life,” the artist says about his bizarre choice of tools.

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