Ukrainian Painter Turns Communist Apartment Building Into an Inhabitable Art Gallery

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Communist-era apartment buildings from the former Soviet Union are some of the ugliest edifices in the world, but Ukrainian painter Valery Haroun managed to turn one of them into a marvelous art gallery.

The apartment building in Odessa, Ukraine looks pretty ordinary from afar, but as you draw near the entrance, you realize there’s something special about it. The building’s door has been painted to look like that of a palace, the bland concrete pillars look like old temple columns and there’s a mural of naked Aphrodite looking right at you. Pretty unusual, but we’ve all seen graffiti artworks on apartment buildings, right? But it’s actually the interior of this place that’s truly stunning. Each of its nine floors is covered with colorful artworks, from reproductions of Claude Monet and Victor Vasnetsov, to postcard illustrations and cartoons like Winnie the Pooh and Madagascar.


Cartoonist Turns Ordinary Styrofoam Cups into Original Artworks

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Malaysian-born artist Cheeming Boey uses a simple sharpie pen to turn simple Styrofoam cups into unique works of art that sell for hundreds, even thousands of dollars.

Styrofoam cups don’t usually attract a lot of attention, unless they’re mentioned in discussions about environment pollution. They’re cheap and disposable, so  no one really cares about them. Neither did Cheeming Boey, until six years ago, when he discovered they could be used as an original canvas for his sharpie doodles. He was in little coffee shop, in Irvine, California, when he got the urge to draw, but found himself without a piece of paper. So he just grabbed a Styrofoam cup from the trash can and unleashed his artistic talent. The result surprised Boey himself, and the artist immediately realized he was up to something.


The Beautiful Cut Canvas Portraits of Kuin Heuff

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At first glance, Dutch artist Kuin Heuff‘s portraits seem to be made up of a dizzying number of converging lines, but in reality, the creative process couldn’t be more different.

The Rotterdam-based artist, whose work focuses on the intricacies of the human face, starts off by creating acrylic paintings of the faces she wants to render. But while other artists would leave it at that, she takes her art to a whole new level by taking a sharp knife and cutting away maze-like patterns to create negative space. The process becomes even more impressive when you realize how important deciding when and where to cut, considering every stroke of the knife is irreversible. Yet Kuin Heuff pulls it off with relative ease, showing incredible skill and an eye for what’s important in her art.


Stunning Portraits Made with a Single Sewing Thread Wrapped through Nails

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Japanese artist Kumi Yamashita creates mind-boggling portraits by wrapping a single UNBROKEN black thread around galvanized nails, on a clear white board.

In the four years since I started Oddity Central, I’ve had the opportunity of discovering many great artists. Most of their works are nothing short of impressive, but there are a few whose artistic genius is simply breathtaking. Kumi Yamashita is definitely one of those few. The Japanese artist living in New York City uses all kinds of common objects to create arresting images, in her quest of exploring art beyond the confines of traditional media. Perhaps her most impressive technique is creating portraits by using a single thread weaved around a series of nails, on a white background. We’ve seen portraits created with thread and nails before, but nothing quite like what Yamashita can do.


Hundreds of Paintings Come Together to Form Stunning Mural Mosaics

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Invented by Lewis Lavoie, Mural Mosaic is an artistic concept which brings together hundreds of artworks painted by various artists into one exceptional image.

Lewis Lavoie created his first mural mosaic in 1997, for a retaining wall next to an art gallery in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada. For this, the artist painted hundreds of individual paintings that were ultimately assembled to make up the face of Michelangelo’s David. It was a monumental achievement that helped Lavoie gain international attention for his unique style. But that was only the beginning of the mural mosaic movement, as seven years later Lewis takes his ingenious concept to the next level, by inviting 70 different artists to create the first community mural mosaic. During a live 24-hour painting marathon, each artist makes his contribution to the “Heritage Fiddler” mosaic.


Artist Paints Herself Dressed in Bizarre Dead Animal Dresses

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In her 2007 self-portrait series, Booty, Julie Heffernan painted herself dressed in creepy dresses made from dead animal carcasses.

David Cohen, art critic of The New York Sun, describes Julie Heffernan’s paintings as “a hybrid of genres and styles, mixing allegory, portraiture, history painting, and still life, while in title they are all presented as self portraits.” The American painter uses self-portraits and a mix of history, art and high fashion to offer the viewer a wealth of visual entertainment. But her 2007 series, called Booty, is by far the most intriguing. In this colorful collection of portraits, the artist presents herself draped in pompous dresses made of dead animal carcasses, flowers and fruits. Like Heffernan’s other art series, these bizarre-yet-beautiful paintings are a constant dilemma between the gorgeous and the grotesque, attraction and repulsion.


Dutch Artist Turns Dead Cat into Remote-Controlled Helicopter

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Like many other animal lovers, Dutch artist Bart Jansen found it hard to part with his pet cat, Orville, after he was hit by a car. So he decided to turn the dead feline into a unique piece of artwork called the Orvillecopter.

Jansen named his beloved pet after the famous aviator Orville Wright, so I guess it makes perfect sense that he decided to turn the cat into a remote-controlled helicopter. After having the Orville stuffed by a taxidermist, the artist teamed up with radio-controlled helicopter expert Arjen Beltman to make the cat fly for the first time. Beltman designed a custom mechanism and attached it to the stuffed cat to create a truly bizarre flying machine called the Orvillecopter. Bart Jansen unveiled his unique creation on Saturday, at  the Kunstrai art festival in Amsterdam, and described it as half cat, half machine.


Talented Composer Makes Beautiful Music with Instruments Provided by Mother Nature

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Meet Diego Stocco, the guy who can make music from anything, even raw nature. In celebration of Earth Day, he staged an innovative musical experiment in which he used all kinds of unusual but completely natural instruments.

Who knew tree bark or orange peel could sound so groovy, if orchestrated by the right person? In his new performance, “Music from Nature”, Diego Stocco uses professional microphones and a customized stethoscope to best capture the sounds of nature as made by several uncommon musical instruments, including trees, leaves, almonds and bees. The result is too cool to describe, you just have to listen for yourself.


Artist Creates Creepy Self-Portraits Out of His Own Frozen Blood

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Back in 1991, Marc Quinn started one of the most bizarre art projects in history – making detailed self-portraits from his own frozen blood. He has been making a new one every five year or so, since then. Yes, they’re creepy, but think of it this way – it must be reassuring for Mark to know that if he ever needs a transfusion, he’s got a few gallons of blood he can use.

Marc Quinn created his “Self ” series as a means of recording the changes of his face throughout the years, such as countenance and ageing, and if you look closely at the four blood portraits he has made so far, you’ll notice his face has indeed matured over time. Of course, he could have used a more common material for his artworks, but the message wouldn’t have been as powerful as using his own blood. According to Scientific American magazine, “by crafting these heads out of his own blood, Quinn reconnects us to the the fact that in the fullness of time, no artist’s attempt at immortality through self-portraiture will prevail. And of course the series will presumably end in the course of the artist’s life, so the artwork’s time-dimension has a death of sorts as well.”


Charlotte Mann’s Meticulously Detailed Marker-Drawn Murals

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Don’s you ever wish you could take a magic marker and simply draw things into existence? I’m talking about things like a better view for your house, new furniture or a brand new bicycle. That’s exactly what Charlotte Mann can do.

Most of the time, we don’t like it when other people draw on our walls, but a lot of people would love to have English artist Charlotte Mann go to work on their home, because she has the power to make their every dream come true with her trusty marker. Mann, who used to be a fashion designer, creates intricate murals on white walls, turning bland space into impressive masterpieces. Her wall decor installations have been so popular that the artist confesses she has never had to look for work. Most of her works have served as backdrops for various events, like fashion shows, but she has also unleashed her artistic talents on living spaces, proving a few doodles go a long way when it comes to redecorating.


Artist Creates Large Scale Portraits by Chipping Away the Plaster Off of Derelict Buildings

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Can beauty be created out of destruction and chaos? Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto believes that it can, and offers his incredible chiseled portraits on the side of buildings, as proof.

23-year-old Farto, aka Vhils, grew up in Seixal, on the outskirts of Lisbon, and became interested in graffiti art during the late 1990s. Apparently, at some point that just wasn’t enough for him and he started looking for other ways to express his creativity through urban art. He came up with subtractive art, which involves creating detailed portraits by breaking away pieces of walls, by using various techniques. His amazing works have been chiseled onto various derelict buildings around Europe and featured in exhibitions alongside pieces by world-renowned street artists the likes of Banksy. The young artist hopes his “faces in the city” portraits will inspire people to see beyond what meets the eye.


Cecelia Webber Uses Naked Bodies to Create Human Flowers

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Los Angeles-based Cecelia Webber takes nude photos of the human body and assembles them in the shape of flowers and butterflies, to create some of the most stunning images you’ve ever seen.

Three years ago, Cecelia Webber was a neuroscience graduate from USC, working in the lab all day and indulging in photography in her spare time. And then one day, it happened… “It was an accident, really,” the young artist told Modern Luxury. “I shot a nude figure against a black background and it looked so much like a petal I just went with it.” A Photoshop expert, Webber began layering hundreds of photographs she shot into a single piece to create vibrantly colored flowers made up entirely of the human body. Legs became petals, arms became stamen, and she kept finding new ways of turning instances of the human form into parts of her unique flowers.


Stunning Flowers Are Actually Paint Splashes Photographed at the Right Time

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I love splash photography, but this is the first time I’ve seen an artist using this technique to create unique flowers, some with their own liquid flower pots. The patient man behind this amazing art is Jack Long, a talented photographer who spends months planning and experimenting to create these stunning pieces.

Armed with superhuman patience, a high-speed camera and lots of paint, Jack Long set out to create a series of beautiful images called ‘Vessels and Blooms’ in which he tried to create liquid flowers out of colored paint droplets captured in mid-air. The skilled photographer spent several months planning and testing different techniques in order to achieve the best results possible, and judging by his photos, I’d say his work paid off in the end.


Alumosaics – Beautiful Works of Art Made from Recycled Aluminum Cans

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Jeff Ivanhoe has been using aluminum cans to create his incredible artworks since 1981. They’re called ‘alumosaics‘, and as you’ve probably already guessed, they are colorful mosaics made of aluminum.

Aluminum has been around for over 100 years years, and during that time it has proven to be one of the world’s most versatile and easily recyclable materials. We use it to make light construction and car parts, as electronics casings, and even to make unique Christmas trees. But Jeff Ivanhoe has found yet another use for aluminum. He uses recycled soda and beer cans to create his famous alumosaics, a delightful art form he and his wife Barbara invented by pure chance.


Banana Tattooist Turns Fruits into Awesome Artworks

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Multimedia artist Phil Hansen uses a technique similar to pointillism to turn ripe bananas into organic canvases, recreating some of history’s most famous artworks.

If this offbeat art doesn’t make you go bananas, I don’t know what will. Hansen’s works are just so detailed it’s hard to believe all he uses to create them is a common pushpin and the banana’s natural oxidation process. The talented artist just punctures the peel repeatedly with the pushpin and the banana, and as the the banana browns, his intricate designs are revealed. Phil Hansen is currently promoting his book, Tattoo a Banana: And Other Ways to Turn Anything and Everything into Art, due next month. In it, he explains how to create art from anything at hand – – like a piece of toast, your own fingerprints, or a stack of marshmallows – using offbeat techniques.


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