Susan Stockwell Makes Victorian Gowns from Paper Maps and Real Money

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We’ve all seen paper dresses before, but Susan Stockwell’s Victorian gowns made from maps and various bills are in a class of their own. A sculptural study on colonialism and the British empire, her series of life-size paper dresses are composed of ordinance survey maps and English bills glued together. By sing military maps to create women’s dresses, Stockwell addresses issues like English colonization and occupation of Scotland over 300 years, and mail domination in Western history. Based on styles of dresses worn by English women explorers during the Victorian period, the artist honors their role in history.

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Food Artist Makes Pancake Celebrity Portraits

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Chicago-based artist Katherine Kalnes creates delicious pancake portraits of celebrities the likes of Justin Bieber or Ryan Gosling.

There are some fans out there that would kill for the chance to sink their teeth into Justin Bieber, so to spare the popular pop star any possible injuries, 25-year-old Katherine Kalnes has created a delicious portrait of the singer from pancakes. The young food artist uses a special pancake batter that comes in a spray can, called Batter Blaster, frosting, chocolate chips, blueberries and raisins to create edible portraits of celebrities like Drive leading man Ryan Gosling, Kelly Ripa, Ellen DeGeneres or Stephen Colbert.

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Artist Creates Mind-Blowing Mosaics from Thousands of Naked Bodies

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New York-based artist Angelo Musco is taking the photography world by storm with his incredible mosaics made up of thousands of naked bodies.

Touching themes like birth, procreation and gestation, Angelo Musco creates complex structures of the natural world from an ant colony and beehive to a school of fish, using thousands of human bodies. “A swarm of fish captures a profusion of life, the safety of a symbolic nest, and a connection of one being to another. ’It’s the strength derived from this collective force,” the artist says on his website. “The nests, as well, relate to the safe geography of birth and early life.” But Angelo Musco also draws inspiration for his unique mosaics from his traumatic early life experience.

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Giant Artwork Created from 5,000 Poppies

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Artist Ted Harrison scattered over 5,000 poppies on the floor of St. Paul’s cathedral, in London, creating a giant artwork that highlight the involvement of children in armed conflict around the world.

Seen from ground level, Ted Harrison’s art installation looks like a bunch of randomly scattered poppies, but looked at from the Whispering Gallery, under the dome of St. Paul’s cathedral, the flowers form an image of three child soldiers, one from World War 2 and two from more modern conflicts. The installation is part of the St Paul’s Cathedral Arts Project, an ongoing programme which seeks to explore the encounter between art and faith, and was created to raise awareness to the issue of children being used as soldiers.

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Girl without Fingers Creates Beautiful Embroidery Art

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Peng Jiangya lost all of her fingers when she was only a child, after she fell into a flaming fire stove while her parents were away, but that didn’t stop her from finishing school, establishing a family and even creating beautiful art.

Growing up in a small village at the foot of the Fanjing Mountains on China’s Yunnan-Guizhou Plateau, Peng didn’t have the easiest childhood, but things got even worse after she burnt her hands severely after falling in a flaming fire stove. Her parents were too poor to afford reconstructive surgery, so the young girl had to learn to do everything without any fingers. At first she was unable to use chopsticks, and her parents had to teach her for a long time, but thanks to her strong will and a desire to do everything on her own and not rely on others, she managed to overcome those difficult times and is now capable of taking care of her own family.

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New Mind-Twisting Doodle Madness by Sagaki Keita

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Sagaki Keita is an amazingly talented Japanese artist who specializes in recreating classic masterpieces from thousands upon thousands of childish doodles.

If you were to look at Sagaki Keita’s work from really up-close you’d only see familiar doodles like we all used to do back in school, during boring classes. But as you slowly back away, you realize that with every step the doodles seem to blend together until they form an incredibly detailed version of a classic work of art, like the Mona Lisa or an old Roman statue. His art really blows you away, and just thinking about the amount of time and effort that must go into each of his pieces, you can’t help but feel in awe.

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Photo Realistic Paintings by Alyssa Monks

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Using photos for loose reference, Brooklin-based artist Alyssa Monks creates incredibly realistic paintings that make viewers scratch their eyes in awe.

Although many set  photo realism as their ultimate goal, artists that can  make people ask themselves “Is this a photo I’m looking at?” when they look at their masterpieces, are really rare. Alyssa Monks is one of those few talented masters that can recreate a photo from scratch using a paintbrush, as well as add their own personal touch and making an artwork really their own. Looking at her amazing works, it’s hard to believe they’re actually painted, and viewers are often only convinced when thy get close enough to see the brush strokes. The paintings are so realistic you can make out every little detail, down to the tiny imperfections of a subject’s skin.

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Japanese Student Creates Leg Hair Font

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A student from Japan’s Tama Art University came with the idea for a leg hair font, after his teachers asked him and his colleagues to create new typefaces without the help of computers.

Creating original letters without the use of digital design seems almost impossible in this day and age, and 20-year-old Mayuko Kanazawa started scratching her head for ideas the minute she heard about the challenge. She remembered seeing all kinds of letters, words and designs shaved into people’s heads, so she knew she wanted to work with hair, but she came up with the ultimate crazy idea only after a friend complained about a pain in her leg. Somehow she found the inspiration she needed in her friend’s leg hair, and the rest is history…

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Mind-Blowing Painted Illusions by Oleg Shuplyak

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Oleg Shuplyak is a talented Ukrainian oil painter who uses hidden images to turn his artworks into mind-blowing optical illusions.

Born on September 23, 1967, in the Ternopol region of the Ukraine, Oleg Shuplyak studied architecture at the Lviv Polytechnic Institute, but his passion was always painting. Although he creates all kinds of beautiful paintings, it was his talent of transforming his works of art into optical illusions that really caught my eye. Objects and characters in his paintings are aligned perfectly in such a way they create outstanding illusions that are easily spotted. I find his art fascinating, and having seen some pretty awesome optical illusions in the past, I have to say his works are some of the best I’ve ever come across.

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Graffiti Masters Turn Side of Building into Awe-Inspiring Masterpiece

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Montreal-based graffiti crew A’shop has managed to transform the bland side of a building located  at the corner of Madison and Sherbrooke Street West into an amazing piece of art.

Graffiti artists Fluke, Guillaume Lapointe, Antonin Lambert, DoDo Ose and Bruno Rathbone spent two weeks researching the project and gathering tools they needed, and then worked 16 days from dawn till dusk in order to complete the incredible five-storey mural. Known as the “N.D.G. Project” (after its location), the giant graffiti artwork is a modern take on “Our Lady of Grace” and was inspired by the work of Czech art nouveau painter Alphinse Mucha. To finish their masterpiece, the boys from A’shop used over 500 cans of paint, in over 50 different colors. Good thing the art project was sponsored by the city of Montreal, or that could have caused a serious dent in their budget.

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Sweetest-Ever Music Video Was Made with 288,000 Jelly Beans

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Director Greg Jardin spent the last two years making a music video for singer/songwriter Kina Grannis using a whopping 288,000 jelly beans. I think it’s fair to say this is literally sweetest video ever created.

Inspired by the jelly bean art of artists like Roger Rocha, Malcolm West and Kristen Cumings, Greg Jardin thought it would be a good idea to make a music video almost entirely out of jelly beans, for Kina Grannis‘ song “In Your Arms”. The young singer thought it was an amazing idea, although she did have some problems even imagining how it was going to look like, so the ambitious director got to work. He had a friend, who is an illustrator, draw up  all the concept art and email it to him, and he turned into an animatic. There were over 2,300 frames he had to recreate out of differently colored jelly beans.

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Ukraine’s Amazing Underwater Painters

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You can’t rush art! That’s what they say anyway, but that rule doesn’t apply to the members of Ukraine’s national school of underwater painting, who have just 40 minutes of oxygen to complete their masterpieces.

Painting usually takes patience and comfort to produce memorable works of art, but the artists painting in the depths of the Black Sea can’t really afford to take their time, because that would mean risking their lives. The unusual group of painters, all certified divers, work at depths of between 2 and 20 meters, and claim what they do is just like regular painting, only their canvases are covered with a waterproof adhesive coating, before they plunge into the sea. Although they decide at what depth they want to work, underwater painters have to be very careful because the deeper they go the more color is lost, and on the surface colors look totally different. Red, for example, turns brown or even black.

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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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