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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Artist Creates Controversial Collages from Adult Magazine Clippings (NSFW)

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British artist Jonathan Yeo creates collages and portraits of various celebrities from adult magazine clippings. He doesn’t call them insults, but “comments on people who trade off their morality and sexuality.”

Yeo isn’t the first artist we’ve featured who uses the controversial medium as a means of expression. Brussels-based Tom Gallant creates intricate cutouts from hardcore adult magazines that make it hard for the viewer to identify the really NSFW parts, whereas Yeo’s art is more straightforward. All the viewer has to do is get closer to one of his original works of art and he’ll quickly be able to spot a series of reproductive organs from both sexes, lace panties, female breasts and other raunchy details. Jonathan Yeo rose to international fame in 2007, after creating a portrait of George W. Bush out of hardcore magazine clippings, and has since created a number of celebrity portraits out of the vulgar material. His “victims” include Sarah Palin, Sean Connery, Tiger Woods ans Sarah Palin.

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Talented Artist Paints on Discarded Pennies

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American artist Jacqueline Lou Skaggs uses tiny discarded pennies as canvases for her miniature paintings. The level of detail she’s able to achieve is truly awe-inspiring.

Initially these coins were going to be spent- nestled with other coins in an exchange of goods. Or tossed back to the sidewalks from whence they came. Nice thoughts. However, these works remain hoarded as art rather than currency or discarded, valueless copper.

Her series, Tondi Observations, consists of 12 pieces painted over the faces of presidents and monumental buildings.

This small body of twelve works consist of images painted on found, discarded pennies and reflect a decision to move away from making “pictorial” images. A grand finale of sorts paying homage to the binding ideologies that define our family, religious, social and political worlds. Paid tribute no less on the face of discarded coins these iconic images transcend the coins value while defacing it. 

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Artist Creates Incredible Portraits Out of Thousands of Tiny Colored Paper Dots

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I love it when artists go to great lengths to create extraordinary art. Case in point, Nikki Douthwaite, a young British artist who uses tens, sometimes hundreds of thousands of tiny paper dots to assemble incredibly detailed artworks.

Nikki Douthwaite is a master of dot art. She uses colored dots produced by a hole punch, and painstakingly sticks them, one by one, on a canvas layered with double-sided sticky tape, with a pair of tweezers. Can you imagine spending up to 12 hours at a time arranging thousands of colored dots to create just one of these amazing works of art? It requires mountains of patience, but for Nikki every piece is a labor of love. Inspired by the pointillism work of 19th century French painter Georges-Pierre Seurat, she came up with the unusual technique during her Interactive Arts degree at MMU. Seurat created images using dots of coloured paint, which the human eye blends from a distance, but Douthwaite developed her own unique technique, by replacing the paint dots with tiny bits of paper. The dedicated artist, from Timperley, Cheshire, has suffered repetitive strain injuries in her arm, hand and shoulder after spending hundreds of hours sticking hundreds of thousands of paper dots, but has never considered giving up on her art.

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The Mind-Blowing Staple Art of Baptiste Debombourg

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For most of us staples are necessary office accessories, but for French artist Baptiste Debombourg the tiny pieces of metal are a unique art medium that allow him to create detailed masterpieces inspired by Italian Mannerism and the German Renaissance.

We first featured Baptiste Debombourg on Oddity Central in March, after he unveiled a monumental mural made with 450,000 staples, but he’s been keeping busy and now has an impressive portfolio of new awe-inspiring staple artworks. For years, the French artist has been gradually perfecting his unique technique taking to a level where he’s now able to create detailed re-interpretations of famous classic paintings. Instead of relying on the usual art mediums, like acrylic or oil paints, he takes these simple objects we use in our every day lives and creates thought-provoking works that blend classic and contemporary art. His Aggravure series contains hundreds of thousands of staples and is currently on display at the Krupic Krestig Gallery in Cologne.

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Russian Pensioner Decorates Her House with 30,000 Plastic Bottle Caps

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Olga Kostina, a Russian pensioner from the Russian village of Kamarchaga, in the Siberian taiga, has decorated her simple wooden home with artistic patterns made from over 30,000 plastic bottle caps.

The Siberian taiga is one of the most beautiful natural ecosystems on Earth, but with a population density of just 3 people per square kilometer, it can be a very lonely place sometimes. But one woman living in the rural area at the edge of the taiga’s endless forests has found a very entertaining hobby to help pass the time when there’s simply no one around to talk to. Olga Kostina started collecting all kinds of plastic bottle caps from soda bottles and when she decided she had enough, she began using them to decorate the walls of her wooden house, in Kamarchaga village. The pixelated patterns that cover most of her home range from traditional macrame motifs to animals living in the neighboring forest. The Russian pensioner placed every single bottle cap by hand, using a hammer and nails to fix them in place, and used the macrame technique (hand woven and knit knots) to create the intricate mosaics. So far she has used over 30,000 plastic bottle caps and her home has become a local landmark of sorts. But she’s not planning on stopping until her house and adjacent structures are covered with colorful patterns.

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Skilled Artist DRAWS Victorian Photographs with a Pencil

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You could swear these old photos were taken decades ago, and have been stored away some place collecting dust, but in fact these tiny artworks are painstakingly drawn by Paul Chiappe, with a simple pencil. Mind blown yet?

28-year-old artist Paul Chiappe, from Edinburgh, Scotland, has been drawing with pencils ever since primary school, and throughout the years his skills have improved to such a degree that he’s now able to create detailed photographic artworks. I remember even in primary school meticulously copying images for art class,” Chiappe remembers. “I would end up drawing dolphins and things from wildlife books. Basically, anything I would draw I’d make sure it was as realistic as possible.” Now he’s become an expert at creating Victorian-style photographic artworks in such stunning detail that you actually need a magnifying glass to tell them apart from real photographs.

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Don’t Sneeze! Beautiful Dry Tea Illustrations by Andrew Gorkovenko

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Moscow-based graphic designer Andrew Gorkovenko has recently created a series of awe-inspiring dry tea illustration, as part of a series of packaging designs for Triptea. I’d definitely buy some, if only for the box artworks.

Talk about an unusual and refreshing art medium. There are a few thing I imagined could be done with dry tea, but drawing definitely wasn’t one of them. Obviously, Russian graphic designer Andrew Gorkovenko has a richer imagination, since he came up with the idea of using the nicely-scented dried and ground tea leaves to create these amazing concept illustrations for Triptea ‘s packaging. Using only basic tools to manipulate the dry tea on white paper canvases, Gorkovenko created a series of intricate designs which illustrate the origin of the different tea varieties – the Great Wall of China and a detailed pagoda for green tea, a picturesque Ceylon landscape for black tea, etc. As Christopher from Colossal notes, Andrew really went above and beyond for this campaign. Triptea must be pleased.

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Artist Creates Gigantic Snow Artworks Using Only His Feet

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They look like something aliens might have created, but the large-scale snow circles spread around the Les Arcs sky resort, in the French Alps, are actually the work of one man –  British artist Simon Beck.

Using an orienteering compass, measuring tape and a pair of snowshoes, 54-year-old Simon Beck turns the hills and frozen lakes around Les Arcs into geometrically-perfect immaculate masterpieces. His intricate prints are huge, often spanning the equivalent size of six football fields, but while you’d be tempted to think Beck needs at least several days to complete just one of these patterns, he really only needs about 10 hours, on average. Hard to believe, considering they’re all done by walking with snow shoes, but Mr. Beck doesn’t mind the exercise. In fact, that’s what made him take up the unusual habit. Because of some problems with his feet, the artist cannot run anymore, so plodding on level snow was the least painful way of getting some exercise. And he’s not one to hold back, walking around in the snow until he’s completely exhausted, and using a headlamp if it gets dark first.

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CW Roelle’s Wondrous Metal Wire Artworks

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CW Roelle is often referred to as the “Wire Magician” and looking at his breathtakingly intricate wire artworks, it’s easy to see why. The Rhode Island-based artist somehow manages to twist black metal wire into detailed masterpieces that resemble pencil drawings.

The first time CW Roelle used wire as an art medium was in 1997, during the second semester of his junior year of college. One day, when drawing a model, he suddenly felt he wanted to reach in, grab the lines of his drawing and just move it around. That night he started redrawing his classroom works with wire. Over the years, his skills improved immensely, and Roelle is now able to create detailed works of art with nothing but metal wire. Some of his pieces can take just a few hours to complete, but there have been some that have taken the artist as long as four months to finish. He says most of his medium-size artworks take about two-three weeks, which is actually less than his realistic pencil drawings take. Because they are all handmade, no two wire drawings are the same.

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Intricate Doodle Portraits Are Made with a Single Continuous Line

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Pierre Emmanuel Godet is a French self-taught artist living in Barcelona who creates incredible artworks with a single continuous line. And as if that wasn’t impressive enough, the little doodles that make up his artworks tell the tale of the subjects he’s trying to depict.

On his blog, Pierre Emmanuel Godet says he used to work in Research Engineering, in his native country of France, but he had always been more interested in art, so one day he decided to take a leap of faith and become a professional artist. Although he has an impressive collection of oil and acrylic paintings, his one-line drawings are by far him most amazing works of art. He started this unique series in 2010, while exploring the idea of making art with very few materials. Godet’s first attempts were chalk drawings on the streets of Dublin, Ireland, but as he got better he transposed them on canvas, with Indian ink. In the beginning he created simple shapes, like animals and symbols, but as he became more experience he moved on to more elaborate works, like celebrity portraits. Each of these amazing renditions is unique and contains objects, shapes and stories related to the person they’re depicting. It’s hard to tell from a distance, but if you look closely, you can see that almost all the doodles (apart from exceptions like the eyes, or the nose) are linked together in a continuous line.

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Artist Creates Beautiful Mosaics from Discarded New York Metro Cards

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German artist Nina Boesch uses discarded New York Metro Cards to create beautiful mosaics inspired by the Big Apple. The resourceful collage master reckons she has used about 30,000 metro cards, so far.

To most New-Yorkers, the iconic metro card becomes just a useless piece of plastic after they’ve gotten on the subway, but for Nina Boesch it becomes an invaluable piece of art precisely after it’s been thrown away. The 33-year old artist gathers material for her amazing mosaics scouring the metro stations of New York City. “I can’t leave a subway station without looking around, it’s almost OCD at this point,” she says. “Sometimes you’re lucky and you find a whole stack of them.” She has become famous for using hundreds of these yellow, black and blue pieces of plastic to create intricate collages, each with its own New York-inspired theme. So far she has assembled portraits of famous New-Yorkers like Woody Allen and Catherine Hepburn, as well as renditions of the Statue of Liberty, yellow cabs or the New York Subway.

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Twin Brothers Take Doodle Art to the Next Level

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Sergei and Vyacheslav Savelyv are two twin brothers with an extraordinary talent for doodling. They uses colored pens and pencils to draw what seem like endless circular doodles and create incredibly detailed portraits of world famous icons.

Sergei and Vyacheslav Savelyv have so far displayed their wonderful artworks only in their home town of Petrozavodsk, in Russia’s Karelia region, but I think you’ll agree their talent deserves worldwide recognition. The creative duo who works under the name “SaveL” have an impressive doodle portrait portfolio of famous celebrities like Johnny Depp, Robert De Niro or Antonio Banderas, all created with ordinary pens of pencils. Their technique looks a lot like what many of us used to do on the back of our notebooks in school to check is a pen still worked, only their loops form very detailed images. We’ve seen some truly mind-blowing doodle art in the past, like the works of Sagaki Keita or Jason Sho Green, but while they assembled their masterpieces out of tiny little drawings, these Russian twins use the simplest form of doodling to create intricate portraits.

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Ukrainian Artist Creates Unique Paintings with Fish Bones Scales and Eyes

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Elena Zhuravskaya, an amateur artist from Kiev, Ukraine, uses fish bones, scales and even their boiled eyes to assemble amazing paintings on velvet canvases. Although her work is virtually  unknown outside her native country, I hope this article changes that.

I found photos of Elena’s works on a wonderful-yet-obscure blog called Viola, and after doing some “digging” I was able to find more info on this wonderful artist and her unique trade. Ms Zhuravskaya, who works as an architect in Kiev, has a very interesting hobby – she likes to use fish leftovers (bones, scales, eyes) to create detailed ivory-like paintings on dark velvet canvases. The self-taught artist has invented a number of bone-processing techniques which allow her to manipulate the fine medium into whatever shape she desires, although she admits working with such delicate materials is a painstaking process. So far, her fishy artworks have been displayed in various galleries around Kiev, leaving art-enthusiasts in awe of both her bizarre medium choice and amazing attention to detail.

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