Talented Artist Recreates van Gogh Paintings with Spices and Food Coloring

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Cincinnati-based photographer, Kelly McCollam recreates classic paintings, particularly Vincent van Gogh’s, using salts, spices and food coloring.

You could say Kelly McCollam is literally spicing things up in the art world, with her original interpretations of van Gogh’s masterpieces. While most people use pinches of seasoning to make their cooking tolerable, the skilled photographer uses handfuls to create artworks. Her favorite materials include salt, food coloring and various spices, from cloves and onion chips to mustard and lemon powder. After carefully spreading the spices on a board and arranging them to best replicate van Gogh’s works, she photographs them and simply wipes them off. It’s kind of painful, considering the effort and patience that must go into something like this, but Kelly is a photographer, and that’s what she’s really all about. The grainy and flaky textures of the artworks really improves the quality and effectiveness of her photos, which become masterpieces in their own right.

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Art Critics Go Bananas over Paintings Made by Monkey

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Pockets Warhol is a monkey who lives in a sanctuary near Uxbridge, Toronto. The monkey was named after American pop artist Andy Warhol, whom he resembles, with his wild white hair. But that’s not what he’s famous for. Pockets has a little art scene of his own going on. His paintings sell for as much as $300, and he even has a Facebook page.

The teenage monkey has been living in the sanctuary since his owner gave him up due to ill health. He was put in a rehab program that introduced him to non-toxic children’s paint, in order to keep him occupied. Volunteer Charmaine Quinn never realized that his work would one day become famous. She says that Pockets has the attention span of a 3-year-old, so it’s not always easy to get him to concentrate on a painting. But when he gets going, each piece sells for a minimum of $25. He loves working with bright colors, and the unique aspect of his work is that he doesn’t make use of a painting brush. Instead, he uses his bushy tail, furry butt, hands, feet and even tongue as tools. The paintings themselves are quite abstract, with colors splattered all over the canvas.

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Extinct Bird Sculptures Made from Leftover Bones

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Christy Rupp, an artist based in Chelsea, has created skeletons of extinct birds with the help of chicken bones that she collected over a period of time. Rupp describes herself as an ecological artist. She’s put up the sculptures for display at a museum called the “Extinct Birds Previously Consumed by Humans.” Her goal is to draw attention to the number of species we humans have driven to extinction.

“In our lifetime, more things have gone extinct than in all of the time before us,” she said. Rupp is a vegetarian, and collecting chicken bones wasn’t easy for her. She started by rummaging through garbage cans at parties and barbecues. She would literally wait for people to throw out food, and sometimes get kids to help her too. Sometimes, she would wait for her friends to finish their meal, asking for the carcass as soon as they were done. She even went as far as putting an ad in a local circulation, asking people to save bones for her.

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Week in Hell – Five Days Locked in a Hotel Room, Making Art

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It sounds like the title of a horror flick, but it’s actually a short video documenting artist Molly Crabapple‘s project, for which she locked herself in a hotel room covered the walls with doodles.

Molly started contemplating “what happens when an artist leaves their studio, their cliches, and their comfort zone and draws beyond the limits of their endurance” and she also wanted “to see what tarts and squidbeasts look like frollicking on a massive scale”. So she decided to spend her 28th birthday locked in an East Village room, covering the walls with art. She began by launching a Kickstarter fundraising campaign to help cover the cost of her daring project, including the photographic talents of Steve Prue. In September 2011 she did just what she promised, and spent five days locked in a room making art. Luckily, she wasn’t alone, as she brought along Keith Jenson from Brainwomb to document the experience, and also had a “cast of muses, musicians and miscreants” to keep her company.

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Tyree Callahan and His Amazing Chromatic Typewriter

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It might look like just an old typewriter, but Washington-based artist Tyree Callahan has actually converted this antique 1937 Underwood Standard typewriter into an art instrument that makes beautiful paintings.

Callahan replaced the ink pads of the typewriter with colored paint pads and the letters with color markers, to create a painting machine he calls a Chromatic Typewriter. So instead of creating paintings with brushes, he types them with his unique typewriter. While it would take a while getting used to, and although it will probably never yield the detailed results of a brush, I have no doubt this thing could produce some pretty awesome artworks. After all, artists like Keira Rathbone use conventional typewriters to create exceptional works of art using just letters and symbols. I know it sounds strange, but lets face it, artists have used stranger things to unleash their painting talent (vomit, remote-controlled cars or their lips, just to name a few).

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English Artist Paints Using Remote-Controlled Toy Cars

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Artist Ian Cook has a unique painting style which involves dipping remote-controlled cars in paint and driving them across the canvas to create colorful contemporary artworks.

Nicknamed “Pic-cars-so”, 28-year-old Cook has developed a special painting style known as “Auto Drawing”. He uses various remote-controlled toy cars to spread acrylic paint across the canvas, creating incredibly detailed masterpieces. “I wanted to be an artist from a young age and decided that to be successful I needed something completely unique,” Ian says about his bizarre choice of “brushes”. “I’ve always been mad about anything with wheels and I figured that using cars to paint cars would capture peoples’ imaginations, so I experimented at home by driving some remote control models through paint.” Believe it or not, the idea first came to him after he got a remote-controlled car for Christmas and was told not to get paint on it.

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Artist Uses Fire and Soot to Create Unique Masterpieces

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A true artist can create art out of literally anything, even ashes. Steven Spazuk, a Canadian artist, is doing just this. Through his unique technique of burning paper and drawing on the soot, he creates breathtaking monochromatic images.

He has perfected his art form over ten years of practice. Spazuk uses candles and torch flame to partially burn thick pieces of paper. He then makes use of various tools to draw directly on the soot. A collection of burnt paper are gathered together to create the entire drawing. Spazuk says that he often works piece by piece, collecting a multitude of unique elements that he assembles into mosaics. “Entities that, once grouped together, afford a different meaning and provide a new perspective that is both novel and complementary,” he says. He mostly creates images of human faces or bodies, which contain a soulful element.

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Photocopied Portrait Recreated with 3.2 Million Dots

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People have been photocopying their body parts for a while now, and even though it’s still pretty funny, it’s not that impressive at it once was. But what about a portrait of a photocopied face recreated with over 3 million dots, is that impressive enough for ya?

Artist Miguel Endara started out with a portrait  of his father’s photocopied face, and somewhere along the way he decided to recreate it with millions of dots made with a variety of Micron pens. he took a piece of paper, drew an outline of his dad’s face with a pencil and started adding dots. As you can imagine, this kind of painstaking work takes a lot of patience, and luckily Miguel managed to keep it together for all the 210 hours it took him to finish his masterpiece. He even made a cool video documenting his amazing effort and posted a high resolution image of the portrait on his website, so you can actually see all of the 3.2 millions of dots he had to use.

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Germaphobe Artist Spends Four Days Living and Sleeping with Pigs

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I’ve always thought that the best thing in the world would be getting paid to just eat and sleep. Well, Miru Kim, a Korean-American performance artist found a way to do just that. Except, she calls it a form of art. Influenced by Buddhist teachings that all livings beings are connected in a circular manner through life force, Kim wanted to mingle with animals and feel her existence more than ever.

She therefore decided to eat and sleep with pigs, naked, for four straight days. Starting last Friday, she ended up spending 104 consecutive hours in a makeshift pen right in front of her gallery, in the company of pigs. Her project “I Like Pigs and Pigs and Pigs Like Me,” for Art Basel in Miami, is in fact a small scale version of what she had done earlier, when she curled up naked next to pigs in hog farms.

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Kieron Williamson – The 9-Year Old Monet

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When 9-Year Old Kieron Williamson’s paintings were put up for sale in Norfolk, England, they were sold out in just 10 minutes. While artists more than twice his age struggle to find buyers for even a single piece of art, Kieron’s story is one that could spark envy in the most established of painters.

It’s always interesting to learn about the early years of artists, especially ones as young as Kieron. According to his parents, he never showed much interest in art or drawing until he was five. A typical energetic child, he was more interested in mud and water, riding his bike and playing with bugs. His inclination towards art was sparked off on a family visit to Cornwall, in 2008. It was here that he had asked for some sheets of paper and began to draw, inspired by the boats in a nearby port. After a few art classes and some lessons from artist Carol Ann Pennington, a family friend, Kieron began to produce masterpieces that people would soon be queuing up to purchase. His first sale was in the summer of 2009, when he sold 19 pictures for £14,000 ($22,000). The latest sale of his paintings have earned him £ 100,000 ($157,000).

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Incredible Portraits Made with Dripped Plasticine

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Argentinian art collective Mondongo creates incredibly detailed portraits by using dripped and molded Plasticine. I can’t imagine how much time they spend getting the skin tones just right.

We’ve posted our share of impressive portraits here on OC, made from the most unusual materials (from pancakes and chewing gum to written words), but few more detailed than the masterpieces created by Mondongo. The art collective, which consists of  Juliana Laffitte, Manuel Mendanha and Agustina Picasso, was founded in 1999 and has worked with  a huge variety of materials, from food to plasticine, depending on what best reinforces the concept of the work. Mondongo, which is the name of a traditional Argentinian tripe stew, was chosen precisely becomes the art collective creates its work from a cauldron of ingredients.

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Saimir Strati Creates Impressive Mosaic from One Million Coffee Beans

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Saimir Stari, one of the world’s most famous mosaic artists, is working on yet another mind-blowing masterpiece, this time using approximately one million coffee beans.

The Albanian artist known for creating large-scale art pieces made with the most unusual art mediums (from cork screws and toothpicks to paintbrushes) has recently started work on another massive mosaic, this time mad of coffee beans. Entitled “One World, One Family, One Coffee”, the original mosaic features five characters, each representing a different continent. As you might have guessed, the objective of Strati’s work is to inspire of sense of unit across the world. The patient artist is painstakingly working on his one million coffee beans mosaic in Tirana, Albania, and plans on completing the project on December 12. When finished, his unique artwork will measure 25 square meters and weigh 140 kilograms. As with his other impressive mosaic, Saimir Strati will most likely set a new Guinness record with his coffee bean project.

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Lee Hadwin – The Sleepwalking Artist

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We’ve all heard of and probably even known people who snore, smile, talk and even walk in their sleep. But creating art while sleeping? Now, that’s something!

This is exactly the curious case of Lee Hadwin, a 37 year old artist from London, who has been drawing in his sleep since the age of four. When he first started out, he would walk around in his sleep, scribbling on the walls of his house. He once carved on an old bureau, a family heirloom. His mother wasn’t too pleased with this. But soon, Hadwin’s scribblings turned into serious forms of art. As his artwork began to get more beautiful and intricate, he started to gain attention. His “sleep-art” has become so popular now that each piece fetches him a handsome six-figure price. He has produced around 200 pieces of art so far. He now goes to bed every night prepared, with his sketch books and art materials scattered around his flat.

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Japanese Jeweler Creates Solid Gold Christmas Tree Worth $2 Million

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For those of you who love Christmas but can’t stand falling needles and cheap plastic, Japanese jeweler Ginza Tanaka has created the ultimate Christmas tree –  made of pure gold and worth a whopping $2 million.

After making a 24-karat gold horse for Japan’s newborn prince, and creating another tree worth $850,000, Ginza Tanaka decided to step it up even more and came up with a solid gold Christmas tree for this holiday season. Measuring 2.4 meters high and weighing around 12 kilograms, the luxurious tree is decorated with golden plates and around 60 heart-shaped ornaments, and covered with ribbon. It’s the most expensive thing Ginza Tanaka has ever made, but while I do appreciate the craftsmanship and the effort that went into it, I’m not sure gold is right for such an important symbol. After all, what kind of presents are you supposed to put under such a tree, anyway?

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Pixelated Beagle Is Made of 221,000 Sprinkles

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Pointillism is  the technique used to create an image by repeatedly applying small dots of pure color to a blank canvas. When post-impressionist painter George Seurat first invented this technique, little did he know that a fine arts student would one day use it to create the image of a Beagle, with the help of Sprinkles.

After creating a chair with 22 different shades of paint for his fine arts university project, Joel Brochu was fascinated by the use of everyday objects in art. He first experimented with M&Ms to create images, but their size was a major hurdle. Brochu found that he had to stand several feet away from the completed image to actually view it as a whole. He then happened to notice sprinkles.

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