Smoking Tiger Rug Made from 500,000 Cigarettes

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Xu Bing, one of China’s most renown contemporary artists, has created a unique tiger rug from 500,000 cigarettes. And it looks smoking.

A real tiger rug is a rare thing to have, but rarer still is one made from hundreds of thousands of tobacco cigarettes. Weighing an impressive 440 pounds, this cigarette rug has to be one of the largest tobacco-inspired art installations in history. It was created by a group of artists by stacking hundreds of thousands of cigarettes on their ends, in the shape of a tiger pattern rug. The unique work of art will be on display at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, through December 4, 2011, and will be moved to the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, in January 2012.

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Meticulously Detailed Drawings Made with Graphite and Chalk

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Paul Cadden is a Scottish-born hyperrealist artist who creates painfully realistic artworks using only graphite and chalk.

I’ve posted some pretty realistic drawings in the past, like Rajacenna’s detailed celebrity portraits, Juan Francisco Casas’ photo-like ballpoint pen drawings, or Paul Lung’s pencil artworks, but the pieces you’re about to see are on a whole other level. Using simple materials like graphite and white chalk, Paul Cadden is able to replicate complex photos down to the tiniest details. Whether it’s the countless wrinkles on an old man’s face, the smoke from a lit cigarette or the water dripping from someone’s face, he makes it look unbelievably realistic.

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Disabled Street Beggar Creates Beautiful Typography, Sells It to Font Supplier

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Chui Xianren, a disabled street beggar from Shangdong, China, has recently become an online star after photos of his beautiful handwriting were posted on a popular Chinese site. Now Founder Electronics, the biggest Chinese font supplier in the world has decided to acquire his unique typography.

There are many talented font designers out there, but the case of Chui Xianren is a special one. The 49-year-old from Hei Longjiang province, northeastern China, was seriously injured when a barrel of fuel exploded at his work place, 18 years ago. His face and hands suffered severe burns and all but his fore and index fingers were paralyzed. Although he was unable to work, Chuy somehow still managed to practice his handwriting and started supporting himself by begging in the streets and showcasing his amazing talent by writing with colored chalk.

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Jason Sho Green’s Mind-Blowing Doodle Portraits

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Jason Sho Green uses a simple ball-point pen to create incredibly intricate portraits that are actually made of other smaller drawings.

Whether we’re good at it or not, we all like to doodle, but American artist Jason Sho Green has taken the pastime to  a whole new level with his amazing doodle portraits that look like modern-day mosaics. Seen from a distance, his works looked like detailed recreations of his subjects, for which he uses shadows to outline the fine characteristics of the face, but as you approach them you realize there’s a lot more to them. Jason actually uses a ball-point pen to “assemble” his portraits from various doodles, including images of people, animals and fantastic creatures.

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Russian Artist Paints with Molotov Cocktails

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Radya Timofey, a 23-year-old Russian artist is taking the art world by storm with a series of original paintings made by throwing Molotov cocktails at his canvases.

They are often used to cause chaos, but young Radya Timofey is turning Molotov cocktails into art tools to create beautiful portraits of soldiers who fought in World War II. He uses a mix of home-made napalm and oil-based substances to sketch the outlines of the portraits and then throws a Molotov cocktail at the canvas, setting it ablaze. After the artwork has stopped burning, a charred figure is revealed. Although the actual “painting” takes place in abandoned outdoor areas, Radya Timofey says “of course it’s dangerous to use fire like this, but we are careful. We put them on the hospital as a testament to their bravery, in life they literally did have to put their faces in the fire to fight the Nazis.”

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Young Artist Uses Gravity as Her Paintbrush

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Toronto-based artist Amy Shackleton creates amazingly detailed paintings without using brushes, or even her fingers. Instead she just relies on gravity to slowly guide the paint across the canvas.

It’s almost impossible to believe anyone can paint such beautiful artworks without a paintbrush, but actually doing it all by using the laws of gravity? That can’t be true, right? Actually it can, and if you’re not going to take my word for it, just check out the timelapse video at the bottom of the page, that features around 30 hours of work compressed into just two minutes. I watched it several times, and I still can’t get over how talented this girl is.

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Stunning Landscapes Are Actually Built in a Fish Tank

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They may look like some of the most beautiful places on Earth, but they are actually miniature topographies of fictitious environments, built in a large fish tank, by New-York-based artist Kim Keever.

The pictures below look a lot like traditional paintings, but the process in which they are created is anything but traditional. In a era when technology allows artists to create large-scale works with a few clicks of a mouse, Kim Keever chooses to construct his surreal landscapes by hand. Using hand-crafted plaster molds, various found objects, color pigments and lighting, he manages to create realistic worlds captured with a large-format camera. Keever places his dioramas inside a 200-gallon fish tank, fills it with water, arranges the lighting and adds pigments at just the right moment, before trying to take the perfect picture. Although he uses a digital darkroom to emphasize color and tone, his photographs are unaltered in the process.

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Japanese Art Collective Turns Street Rats into Taxidermied Pikachus

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Chim Pom, an art collective from japan, have found an ingenious way of dealing with Tokyo’s rat problem while attracting the attention of Pokemon fans; they caught some street rats and turned them into real-life taxidermied Pikachus.

But how does anyone come up with such a crazy idea? Well, it was all about the concept of “super rat”. The rats of Center-gai street, in Tokyo’s Shibuya ward got the nickname “super rats”because of their alleged immunity to human-made poison. They’re a real nuisance and aren’t afraid to come out of their hiding places even when people are walking by. Apparently there are thousands of giant rats lurking around the place, and this got the six members of Chim Pom about the famous anime character Pikachu, from the hit series Pokemon. they decided to catch some of these super street rats and turn them into real-life versions of the yellow, electrically-charged cartoon rat.

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World’s Biggest Carved Pumpkin Is a Tribute to Zombies

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Life-size zombies crawling out of a 1,800-pound giant pumpkin? You have to face it, Halloween carved pumpkins don’t get a lot cooler than that.

A crowd of Halloween fans gathered at the New York Botanical Garden, the other day, to see pumpkin-carving master Ray Villafane work his magic on the world’s biggest pumpkin. Ray, an established artist known also for his incredible toy and sand sculptor, had something special in mind for this year’s event, and it’s safe to say zombie fans were pleased with his idea. He used two of the largest pumpkins from this year’s harvest, one of them a record-holder, to create a creepy scene featuring zombies covered in pumpkin guts crawling out of a giant squash. Ray spent hours painstakingly carving his undead work of art, but his efforts were generously rewarded with cheering and clapping.

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Babushka Artwork Takes Quilling to a Whole New Level

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I’ve always found quilling a fascinating art form, but after seeing Yulia Brodskaya’s mind-blowing “Babushka” I feel there’s nothing a talented artist can’t do with just a few colorful strips of paper.

I discovered quilling a year ago, and since then I have posted a number of impressive works of art created using only strips of colorful paper, but I haven’t seen anything as impressive as Babushka since Susan Myers’ recreation of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. It takes a lot of skill to shape simple pieces of paper into a detailed artwork, but Yulia Brodskaya has definitely taken quilling to new heights, using light and shadow to create an awe-inspiring masterpiece that carries a powerful emotional message. The Russian-born artist says Babushka is “the first piece in the series of works which I consider a declaration of love to the material and the technique. It is also an attempt to raise a profile of this paper craft, which has been previously regarded with some disdain, and to bring this type of artwork on a new level in terms of its ability to convey meaning and emotions.” She’s definitely up to a great start and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

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Incredibly Realistic Pumpkin-Carved Portraits by Alex Wer

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Alex Wer is an awesome artist who can take just about any image and turn it into a piece of everlasting art, by carving it into a craft pumpkin. His Halloween creations look so almost to good to be real.

Alex Wer, also known as “The Pumpkin Geek” first started exercising his awesome talent as a pumpkin carver two years ago, by accident. His wife asked him to carve a pumpkin for her office Open House, and since he had always enjoyed carving pumpkins, he thought it would be fun. He only has a few weeks until Halloween, so he had to decide between carving a real pumpkin that would spoil within a week, or go for a craft pumpkin that could theoretically last forever. He went for the second option, and although he only created a logo and some script, Alex’s pumpkin was a hit at his wife’s event. Before he knew it he had 35 orders for custom logos and children pictures, and his “Orange Empire” was born.

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Incredible Photographs Look Like Traditional Chinese Paintings

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Using a style known as pictorialism, Chinese artist Dong Honh-Oai was able to create a series of amazing photographs that look like Chinese traditional paintings.

Born in 1929, in Guangzhou, China’s Guangdong province, Dong Hong-Oai left his home country when he was just 7, after the sudden death of his parents. The youngest of 24 siblings, he was sent to live within the Chinese community of Saigon, Vietnam. There he became an apprentice at a photography studio owned by Chinese immigrants and learned the basics of photography. During this time he became particularly interested in landscape photography, which he practiced in his spare time. At 21, after doing a series of odd jobs, he became a student at the Vietnam National Art University.

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Which Way Are They Looking?

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Venezuelan artist Jesus Gonzales Rodriguez creates mind-twisting images by putting together multiple photographs of a person and cutting along the edges. Every image is made up of a frontal and side-view photograph pieced together to form an optical illusion in which the portraits look normal at a glance, but only until your eyes detect the outlying visage. The photos below are part of Rodriguez’s “1/2″ project, which you can check out on his Flickr profile. Pretty impressive work…(still trying to figure out which way they’re facing)

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Glitter Girl Is Made of 50,625 Hand-Mounted Sequins

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Jeremy Kirsch has creates what is probably the world’s first photographic sequin mosaic, comprised of 50,625 independently-mounted sequins, which move and sparkle when they catch the light.

The artist from Glendale, California created this unique work of art for the ArtPrize 2011 competition, where although it didn’t win the big prize, it caught the eye of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! ”How this piece didn’t win the big money at the contest I will never know, said Edward Meyer, VP Exhibits and Archives for Ripley’s. ”Everyone was talking about it as the “must see” piece. I fell in love with it instantly, and considered it the number one “must have” piece for Ripley’s from this year’s Artprize.”

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Retired Dentist Creates Functional Miniature Airplane Models

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Young C Park, a retired dentist from Honolulu, Hawaii, spends thousands of hours painstakingly working on fully functional models of famous fighter planes.

Every little part of Mr. Park’s planes is a miniature replica of the original. He spends hours on end manipulating aluminum into chains, cable and hinges for his creations and doesn’t leave his workstation until every part is up to his high standards. It might seem a little extreme considering we’re talking about models, but the 77-year-old retired dentist is very passionate about his planes and always aims to execute perfect replicas of the machines that have fascinated him throughout his life. His 1/16 scale models have retracting landing gear and working controls, but the levers are so tiny you need fine tweezers to operate them.

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