Dutch Artist Takes Taxidermy to a Whole New Level of Creepiness

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28-year-old Noortje Zijlstra is a part of a new group of Dutch artists who are gaining recognition for their fusion of taxidermy and art. Noortje, in particular, takes the macabre practice of taxidermy to the next level – some of her pieces include a white dove’s head mounted on a shuttlecock,  a stuffed squirrel standing on its hind legs with a test tube in its throat serving as a flower holder, and a single preserved baby chicken leg mounted on a wooden stand, covered in fluffy white feathers. Her studio is also home to a family of mice with their hides replaced by decorative colored sugar.

“My work fuses taxidermy and art, sometimes creating work that may shock or even revolt, but I hope it serves as a catalyst for conversation,” she said. Her latest work involves a frozen crow carcass; she’s not yet sure what it’s going to become, but she hopes that the final piece gets people talking. During an interview with AFP, she demonstrated how she cuts into the bird’s breastbone before removing its insides. “This is what I do,” she said. “I take its ‘jacket’ off and use it as a medium for art. As soon as that happens, it ceases to be a dead animal.”

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This Man Has Photographed Everything His Right Hand Has Touched in the Last 11 Years

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Alberto Frigo is a man on a mission – for the past 11 years the 36-year old Italian has been photographing every single object that his right hand has touched. And he plans on continuing the bizarre project until he reaches retirement in the year 2040.

Frigo said that he had been fascinated about the idea of recording his life many years before he began the project. He tried embedded cameras for a while, but found the experience frustrating. Writing a journal did not appeal to him either, because the writing eventually fades.

The idea finally came to him in September 2003, and he started photographing every object his right hand came into contact with. Soon, he got so addicted to it that he simply couldn’t stop. And now it’s become a habit. “At this stage, my left hand now naturally photographs my right hand using objects without me really thinking about it.”

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Designer Turns Bananas into Beautiful Works of Art

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Dutch artist Stephan Brusche is an expert when it comes to transforming humble bananas into stunning artworks. The 37-year-old graphic designer carves the skin and flesh of the fruit to transform it into a variety of characters and animals – right from Marilyn Monroe and Homer Simpson to cute animals like giraffes, elephants or fish, and even biblical scenes.

Stephan says he began working with bananas on a whim. “It all started a few years back when I just started using Instagram. I was at work and I just wanted to post something,” he told the guys at Bored Panda. “I then noticed my banana and I figured it would make a nice post if I just drew a little happy face on it. I took a ballpoint pen and just started drawing. I was pretty amazed how pleasant a banana peel is to draw on. So the next day I did it again, now a pissed-off face.”

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Artist Creates Awe-Inspiring Portrait with 20,000 Teabags

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Shanghai-based artist ‘Red’ Hong Yi has made a name for herself in the art world by creating larger-than-life portraits of celebrities using unconventional materials. For her latest masterpiece Red used 20,000 teabags to depict a tea maker practicing his trade.

To create the incredibly complex portrait, Hong Yi stained the tea bags individually by steeping them in hot water, to create 10 different shades of brown. Hong managed to achieve this level of color variation by changing the boiling temperature for every teabag and the amount of water used. For the really dark tones, she used food dyes. Once the tea bags were ready, she carefully arranged them to form the portrait, then stapled and attached them to wiremesh before hanging them from a wooden frame.

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USB Sticks Buried in Walls All Around the World Make Up an Anonymous File Sharing Network

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‘Dead Drops’, a five-year-old project created by Berlin media artist Aram Bartholl, is probably the world’s most amazing file sharing network. It consists of USB flash drives embedded into walls, buildings and curbs all over the world. Anyone is welcome to hook up their laptops or smartphones to these drives, to drop or download files, or expand the network by embedding USB memory sticks in any old, crumbling wall in their own city.

The premise of the project is rather simple – just cement a USB stick into a wall with the port protruding, and post its location with photographs on the central Dead Drops database. Bartholl said that he created the project as a way to ‘un-cloud’ file sharing. “Dead Drops is an anonymous, offline, peer to peer file-sharing network in public space,” the project manifesto states.

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This Dad Has Been Covering His Arm in Tattoos of His Son’s Doodles

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While most proud parents hang up their kids’ art on their refrigerators, this Canadian dad has found a permanent way of celebrating his son’s work – by turning them into tattoos!

Keith Anderson, from Peterborough, Ontario, has been tattooing his son Kai’s drawings and doodles on his arms, ever since Kai was four years old. Now that Kai is 11, Keith has one tattoo to show for each year – parts of which were inked by Kai himself.

“Each one of these tattoos on my right arm my son has drawn over the years,” the proud father said in an interview with photographer Chance Faulkner. “The first tattoo is from when he was four; he is now 11. We add once a year from his drawing.”

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Artists Create Book Cover That Refuses to Open for Judgmental Readers

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While the age-old idiom tells us not to judge a book by its cover, this high-tech book-cover is designed to do the judging instead. Created by a group of artists at Amsterdam creative studio Moore, the book-sleeve has the ability to scan faces for prejudice. If it detects even the slightest hint of judgement, the book will simply refuse to open.

Aptly named ‘The Cover that Judges You’, the sleeve comes with an integrated camera at the top and facial-recognition software that scans the faces of people who approach it. “Our aim was to create a book cover that is human and approachable-hi-tech,” artist Thijs Biersteker said. “If you approach the book, the face-recognition system picks up your face and starts scanning it for signs of judgement.”

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Student Turns Her Exam Notes into a Unique Recreation of Van Gogh’s Starry Night

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Anthropology sophomore Van Truong recently combined art and biology in an effort to ace her final exam in December. While most of her college mates used lists and flashcards to memorize stuff, Van used a whiteboard to write out all her notes in the form of ‘Starry Night’, Van Gogh’s famous masterpiece.

“I knew I had to study for this exam, and I knew I’d be writing on this whiteboard for hours,” she said. “So I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be funny if I did it in a form where people didn’t know how to feel about it?’”

So when she got to Smathers Library on the University of Florida’s Gainesville campus, she started to write down all her notes with the words forming a replica of Van Gogh’s iconic painting. Three hours later, the masterpiece was complete.

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Artist Will Tattoo Anyone’s Name on Her Body for $10

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A Los Angeles artist is on a mission to cover her entire body with tattoos. She’s offering herself up as a human billboard by tattooing people’s names and designs all over her body, for as low as $10.

Illma Gore, 22, said that the initiative is a part of her ‘absurd and beautiful’ project called A Hundred Tiny Stories. She was actually trying to raise $6,000 through a Kickstarter campaign, in order to cover the cost of 60 hours worth of tattooing. She actually managed to raise a whopping $11,000, until the campaign got suspended.

“It’s art,” she explained. “It will annoy people or make them happy or make them smile. Either way, that’s what art’s supposed to do.”

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The Shockingly Realistic Sculptures of Kazuhiro Tsuji

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We’ve featured a lot of hyper-realistic paintings on OC in the past, but here’s something we haven’t seen very often – unbelievably realistic human busts. These 3D sculptures are so life-like that they could give Madam Tussauds a run for their money. They’re the work of Japanese artist Kazuhiro Tsuji, who employs a variety of mold making and sculpting techniques to create his wonderful art.

Born in Kyoto, Japan, Tsuji began to display an affinity towards art, painting, photography, nature, science and technology since childhood. Growing up, he experimented with various media, and finally discovered that ‘portraiture’ was his real passion. But with no money to attend college, Tsuji began to educate himself in the art of special effects makeup.

It all started when he came across a magazine that detailed the makeup techniques used in the 1976 TV mini series Lincoln. Inspired by the intricate craftsmanship, Tsuji gathered his meagre savings and used it to buy makeup supplies. “I took a life cast of myself and attempted to transform myself into Lincoln, which was all the more difficult considering I’m Japanese” he recalled.

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Handimals – Italian Artist Can Turn His Hands into Incredibly Realistic Animals

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Award-winning Italian artist Guido Daniele has an exceptional talent – he can transform human hands into ‘handimals’, hyper-realistic animal portraits.

With a career as an illustrator spanning over 40 years, Guido began to explore and experiment with body art and using the human body as a canvas in 1990. Gradually, he perfected the art of making his models contort their bodies into specific positions and using his painting skills to turn them into realistic portraits and scenes.

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See the World through Animal Eyes with These Bizarre Metal Helmets

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It’s easy to assume that there’s only one way to view the world, but in reality, different species perceive their surroundings very differently, based on the shape of their heads and the positioning of their eyes. We may never know if they see things that we can’t, but with this new range of immersive helmets, humans can finally get a glimpse of what it’s like to be in an animal’s shoes. Or head!

The fascinating aluminium helmets were created by Irish artists Anne Cleary and Dennis Connolly, from the architecture firm Cleary Connolly. Inspired by the pioneering experiments of psychologist George Malcolm Stratton in the early twentieth century, the duo spent several years trying to invent a device that could explore ‘the mysteries of visual perception’.

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German Artist Creates Photorealistic Oil Paintings

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Hyperrealistic paintings are always awe-inspiring, and the works of German artist Mike Dargas are no exception. His precise paintings are so rooted in reality that it’s easy to mistake them for real-life photographs. In his artworks, the 31-year-old artist from Cologne depicts human models in a plethora of emotions – lost in thought or internal conflict, or simply relaxed and radiating a heavenly grace.

Mike has been painting since childhood, and developed his talents by later attending art school. He worked as a tattoo artist in his early twenties, and eventually opened his own studio in Cologne. Inspired by artists such as Dali, Breton and H. R. Giger, he began to experiment with surrealism and realism.

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El Rodafonio – The Craziest Musical Contraption Ever Created

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The street theatre scene in Barcelona was completely transformed in 2010, with the invention of the Rodafonio – perhaps the weirdest musical contraption in the world. Created by renowned designer and musician César Alvarez Bayer, it consists of a gigantic wheel that’s four meters high and only 15 cm wide, like a huge waffle iron.

The wheel can accommodate a crew of five – the members of the Catalan music band ‘Factoria Circular’. Three musicians sit inside the wheel in their respective metal circles, playing their musical instruments – a guitar, a saxophone, and a set of drums – to various tunes, while occasionally spinning inside the giant wheel. The other two members are actors who pedal the wheel into motion, bringing the huge mechanical device to life.

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Artist Melts Glass Rods Together to Create a Loaf of Awesomeness

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Californian artist Loren Stump is a master of the ancient Italian glass art of murrine. The age-old technique involves fusing canes of glass together and slicing through them to reveal intricately patterned sections. It’s a lot like slicing through a Swiss cake roll or a loaf of bread to reveal a beautiful cross-section filled with mind-boggling classical imagery such as Da Vinci’s Virgin on the Rocks.

To create a murrine, Stump works backwards – he starts with a two-dimensional image. He then layers different colors of molten glass around a core, heating and stretching it into a rod. When cooled, the rod can be sliced into the desired thickness, with each slice possessing the same pattern in the cross-section. Murrine was first practiced over 4,000 years ago in the Mideast, and later revived by Venetian glassmakers in the early 16th century.

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