Oksana Mas’ Breathtaking Wooden Egg Mosaics for the Venice Biennale

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Oksana Mas is a brilliant Ukrainian artist who uses thousands of hand-painted wooden eggs to create incredible mosaics that simply take your breath away.

The first time I read about Oksana Mas was in January of 2010, when she created this unique portrait of the Virgin Mary using 15,000 wooden eggs. It took her nine months to complete her masterpiece and you can admire it first hand inside the Saint Sophia Cathedral, in Kyiv. Apparently, the talented Ukrainian artist has been keeping herself busy since then, creating several other wooden Easter egg mosaics for the Venice Biennale, where she’s representing her country.

Her monumental installation is called ‘Post-vs-Proto-Renaissance’, features 12 separate pieces, measures a total of 92 by 134 meters and numbers an astonishing 3,640,000 wooden eggs hand-painted by people in 42 different countries. From inmates to intellectuals, thousands of people from all walks of life painted the eggs which were later assembled by Oksana, in her studio. The gigantic egg mosaics are currently on display inside the Church of San Fantin, in Venice, where they interact perfectly with the sacredness of the surroundings. When seen from up-close, every painted egg has its own unique design, but as the viewer backs away, they all come together to form a large scale representation of the Ghent Altarpiece, painted by the Van Eyck brothers.

Oksana Mas’ art was inspired by the old Ukrainian folk custom krashenki: wooden eggs covered in traditional Ukrainian designs used to celebrate Easter.

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Painting Horse Gets His Own Art Gallery Exhibition

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Napoleon, a four-year-old Dutch Friesian stallion, has developed a talent for painting after working with artist Sergio Caballero and his worked are now on display at the Mutt art gallery, in Barcelona.

The Dutch Friesian horse breed is famous for being very responsive to dressage, but I doubt too many people thought a horse could be taught how to paint. One of those who did was Catalan artist Sergio Caballero, who one day got the idea of working with animal painters. he asked his friend, a horse owner, if he could teach a horse to paint, and that’s when he met the beautiful black stallion, Napoleon.

The two started working together; Sergio prepared the canvases and put the brush into Napoleon’s mouth and the horse would shake his head and make bold strokes of acrylic color. It doesn’t sound very complicated, but Caballero calls it abstract expressionism, and three private collectors have already bought Napoleon’s works for between €3,300 and €6,000.

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French Artists Create World’s Largest Comic Strip

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On Saturday, May 28th, a team of 11 writers and 111 designers have created the world’s largest comic strip, stretching 1 kilometer along the banks of the Rhone River, in Lyon, France.

Work on the world’s largest comic strip began Friday night, when students from the Emile Cohl Drawing School, in Lyon, were tasked with drawing up the simple but interesting script of the comic on 1-meter-long sheets of paper. They were coordinated by their teachers, while another 50 students handled the logistics of the project. It all had to be done in 24 hours to count as a valid Guinness Record and everyone involved gave it their all. “Initially everybody thought the idea a little crazy, but we did it!” said Mathieu Diez, director of the Lyon Comic Festival.

The black and white comic didn’t contain any words, but the script and graphics were simple and eloquent enough that everyone who saw it understood the story. It tells the tale of a shaggy Tarzan-like character, with a passion for drawing, who discovers the ways humanity has invented to represent itself (painting, sketching, etc.). 1,000 meter-long sheets of paper, weighing 800 kilograms, and 250 markers were used to create the 1-km-long comic strip. It was installed on the banks of the Rhone River, and passers-by reactions were very positive: “It’s nice to walk while reading. We could go on like this ten kilometers!” a young woman said while her six-year-old daughter was busy checking out the artwork.

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Thai Temple Interior Inspired by Modern Sci-Fi Movies

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You’d probably expect temple murals to depict religious themes and Buddha, but the Wat Rong Khun temple in Chiang Rai isn’t your ordinary holy place, as you can easily tell by the murals.

According to Wikipedia, in 1997, Thai artist Chalermchai Kositpipat volunteered to carry out the work for Wat Rong Khun’s ubosol (the temple’s assembly hall) at his own expense, but he changed the original plan so drastically that it  began drawing in both local and foreign tourists, eager to see the white wonder. Just like Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia cathedral, the unconventional Buddhist and Hindu temple is still under construction and some say it won’t be finished in the next 100 years.

Wat Rong Khun is entirely white, to symbolize Lord Buddha’s purity, and the mirrors used signify his wisdom, which “shines brightly all over the Earth and the Universe.” There is also an impressive bridge across a sea of human hands reaching out towards the sky, but perhaps the most interesting thing about this unique temple is its interior artwork. The imagery is painted in golden tones, depicting sacred animals and spaceships alike. That’s right, futuristic spaceships piloted by robots, ans superheroes like Superman in flight, that’s what’s painted inside Wat Rong Khun. Other scenes you might recognize show popular characters like the Predator, Neo from Matrix, Spiderman, Batman, and even creatures from the Avatar movie.

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Commemorative Portrait Made from 13,138 Dice

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To commemorate the death of his friend, Canadian artist and designer, Tobias Wong, Frederick McSwain has created a giant portrait of him, from 13,138 dice.

The artist says:

The idea of a die itself was appropriate—the randomness of life. It felt like [a medium] he would use. Because [Tobias] was a very street-level force, I thought it was appropriate [to install] the portrait on the floor. Its not something I wanted to suspend on the wall; I wanted it to be right there on the floor where you almost interact with it.

The idea of every decision you make and everything you’ve done in your life, defines who you are. All of those days symbolically makes up the image of Tobi.

Tobias Wong was 35-years-old when he passed away, more accurately 13,138 days old, so McSwain used a die for every day he lived…

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Artist Makes Intricate Cutouts from Hardcore Adult Magazines

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Can pornography be art? That’s the question artist Tom Gallant is trying to answer through his series of beautiful paper cutouts made from archived adult magazines.

Brussels-based Tom Gallant describes his unique art as a visual language “dealing with a private matter in a very public way”. Using a very sharp scalpel, he cuts into the hardcore imagery, layering extremely delicate cutouts to create a whole new image that almost completely blurs your vision. If you look closely, you can see some flesh, hair, eyes, lips, sometimes even genitalia, but it’s the newly created shapes that first stand out.

“I use pornography as a representation of our visual culture, the underlying ideas are used to connect the motifs and concepts, whether it is the idolotry of youth, flesh, sex or the exploitation of the female and feminine.  Pornography is the medium but not the message,” Gallant says about his art.

I’ve posted some of the more “innocent” of Tom Gallant’s cutouts, but you can check out some of his more revealing creations on his official website.

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Pimple Popper Ring Is One Disgusting Piece of Jewelry

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I’ve seen some pretty bizarre jewelry since I started writing for OC, from rings made from human teeth and hair, to insect accessories, but this Pimple Popper ring is the most disgusting one yet.

For reasons I cannot understand, some people just love to pop pimples, and Etsy user Winona Johnson is one of these crazy types. Disgusting as it may sound, she admits to popping zits, pimples, black heads, white heads, for pure pleasure and this gave her the idea for this unique Pimple Popper Ring. Made of sterling silver, copper, enamel and a white pearl, this bizarre piece of jewelry is one of the grossest pimple recreations I’ve ever laid eyes upon, and it’s just the first piece of a skin related jewelry set. Who knows what “wonders” Winona will create next, but i wouldn’t be surprised to see stuff like a wort necklace or bunion brooch.

If you’re big on pimple popping, you can buy the Pimple Popper ring for $163.

 

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Hand-Stitched Vogue Covers By Inge Jacobsen

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UK-based artist Inge Jacobsen has found an ingenious way of turning commercial images like the covers of Vogue Magazine into unique works of art.

In an interview with Global Grind, the 24-year-old artist explains why she chose Vogue for her latest embroidery project:

I’ve always had a thing for Vogue ever since I was a teenager. Every new issue I bought I would try and immerse myself into that world of beautiful images, of beautiful people and material objects. I’d love to live in a Vogue magazine. I tried to think of ways to experience the magazine other than just reading it or looking at it, I wanted to get under its skin. The stitching has allowed me to do that, it’s been my way of intervening in the exclusive world of high fashion magazines, partly by giving it a very touchable surface. More importantly, the cross stitching has allowed me to make my issues of mass produced magazines completely unique. You can’t buy mine at your local newsagent.

She apparently spent around 50 hours hand-stitching right over the original Vogue covers, which allows some of the image to show through as background coloring.

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Scott Blake’s Impressive Bar Code Portraits

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Scott Blake is one of those rare artists who use original mediums to create unique works of art, in his case bar codes. He uses them to create unique portraits of celebrities like Elvis, Madonna or Ronald Reagan.

Blake, a native of Omaha, Nebraska, began making bar code art over 12 years ago, right before Y2K, inspired by the whole year 2000 computer bug, and threatening digital apocalypse. While experimenting with halftone dot patterns, “looking for a black and white shape that could be repeated and modified to create grey tones in a digital mosaic”, he stumbled upon bar code imagery. He first tried circles and squares, then rectangles and notice the clusters of lines looked a lot like bar codes, so he started putting numbers on the bottom to describe the pixels’ grayscale value and grid coordinate.

But placing thousands of bar codes on a canvas to create a portrait is only half of Scott Blake’s work. Each of the bar codes he uses are somehow related to the person they describe. For example, when scanned each of Bruce Lee bar code plays one of the actor’s kung-fu scenes, while in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s case they play one of his movie trailers. Eventually, all of the bar codes end up in Photoshop where Scott uses Action scripts to place each code in the right mosaic tile, but even so, it takes him between two and six months to complete a portrait.

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Japan’s Mouth-Watering Plastic Food Displays

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Fancy menus may be enough for most restaurant diners around the world, but not in Japan. Here, image is everything and before going in for a bite, people want to see exactly what the food they want to order looks like. That’s where Japan’s realistic plastic food displays come into play…

Japanese fake food models can be traced back to 1917, but it wasn’t until 1926 that a restaurant owner decided to use them in a glass casing, to attract more customers. His idea was a big hit and people flocked to his venue hoping to get a serving of the delicious meals displayed outside. Soon, other restaurants followed his example and fake food display making became a lucrative business. In 1932, Iwasaki Ryuzo set up up a company that made and sold fake foods to restaurants and today it’s Japan’s top plastic food manufacturer. Business is very lucrative, as estimates show it produces revenues of billions of yen every year. For an entire menu, executed to perfection, luxury restaurants will pay up to one million yen.

In the old days, fake food models were made from wax. It was melted and pored into molds made from kanten (a seaweed jelly), but today manufacturers use silicon molds in which they pour liquid plastic and heat it up until it hardens. Modern materials and techniques apparently make the food considerably more realistic.  Restaurants send fake food makers the exact item they want replicated, along with photos. Silicon is poured around and over the disk and solidifies into a mold, which is then filled with liquid plastic and cooked in an oven. Then comes the really hard part – getting the details right. Oil based paints, regular brushes, air brushes, knives and carving tools are all part of fake food artist’s arsenal, but they all keep their techniques a secret.

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Artist Spends 10 Months Working on a Drawing

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Detailed artworks take a lot of time to complete, but American artist Joe Fenton took it to a whole new level when he decided to dedicate 10 months of his life to a single drawing.

Solitude is indeed one of the most intricate drawings I have ever seen, and knowing it’s all been done with an 0.5 mechanical pen makes it that much more impressive. Maybe you’re under the impression the artist just worked on it a few times a week, throughout the 10 months it took to complete, but in reality Joe Fenton drew on the 5 meter high and 8 foot across piece of paper for 10 hours a day, 7 days a week. Most people would have probably given up after only a few days, but Joe showed enough confidence and patience to see it through. “It took courage to start it as I had never done anything that size before,” he told My Modern Met. “As you can imagine, you have to invest a lot of your time to complete something like this. I just had to believe in my process and have faith that it would work out!”

For Solitude, Joe Fenton created all the elements on a smaller scale than pieced it all together like a giant puzzle by tracing all the drawings on a large piece of paper. Although he isn’t a religious person, for this project he wanted to include various religious references like a “Ganesh-like character, a grinning Buddha, or a faint crucifix adorning a rooftop in the far distance.” After 10 months of work, he finished it all off with acrylic and paint.

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Man Turns His House into Renaissance-Style Masterpiece

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Robert Burns, a 63-year-old retired decorator from England, has turned the interior of his house into a modern-day Renaissance masterpiece.

After years of painting other people’s houses in boring, pastel colors, Burns got bored. He remembers thinking he had spent 15 years of his life applying the exact shade of magnolia with a paint roller, and was in desperate need of a creative outlet. One day, he bought two books about the Vatican at a car boot sale, and suddenly discovered the Italian Renaissance. Even though he had never been to Florence or Rome, he said to himself “How difficult can this be, I’m a decorator”, and that’s how it all started.

When he started working on his Renaissance interior, the self-taught artist redid his first painting three or four times because he thought it didn’t look good enough, but he soon got the hang of it and began to understand how great classics like Caravaggio or Michaelangelo did their works. While acrylics didn’t seem like the right kind of paint at the beginning, he soon learned they worked quite well if he got the technique right, and now his entire house is painted with acrylics.

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Artist Creates Writers’ Portraits in Their Own Words

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Ohio-based artist, John Sokol, has created a collection of portraits depicting some of the world’s most famous writers, using their own immortal words. Face reading takes a literal meaning when it comes to Sokol’s “Word Portraits” as he uses lines from some of their most popular works to outline their faces, and recreate lines and wrinkles. Easier said than done, I’m sure, but Mr. Sokol’s works really do their subjects’ justice.

While actually trying to read every word John Sokol uses in his works seems practically impossible, the idea of using the authors’ own words is brilliant. If you’d like a unique portrait of your favorite author, head over to John Sokol’s website and take a look at his beautiful Word Portraits. They’re well worth a few hundred bucks, if you ask me.

 

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Taiwanese Hairdresser Makes High-Heels from Human Hair

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Owner of a small hair salon in the small Taiwanese city of Taichung, Tsai Shiou-ying has recently attracted media attention with a series of original artworks made with human hair.

After winning various awards and prizes for her hair-cutting skills, the 54-year-old hairdresser decided to explore her artistic side by using discarded hair to make various works of art. She recently showed off some of her creations, including beautiful brooches, a life-size pineapple made from hair, a rat sculpture, and her pride and joy – a pair of high-heel shoes. “I personally love high heels very much, but I am flat-footed. I can only look at them and try them on, but if I buy them they will only be stored away until mold grows. I can’t wear them, so I want to make a pair of heels that I really like. This way, even if I can’t wear them, at least I created a work of art,” Tsai told Reuters.

A single pair of “hairy” high-heels takes a whole month to make, and Tsai Shiou-ying needs hair from at least three people, usually friends and neighbors. She says only real hair can be used to create her unusual artworks, as artifcial hair simply can’t handle all the heat and super glue she uses. Tsai is now planning to start work on hair dresses and corsets.

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The Wooden World of Levi van Veluw

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Dutch artist Levi van Veluw has recently 3 rooms covered with over 30,000 wooden blocks, balls and slats, as part of his last installation. Absolutely everything in the rooms, including every inch of the floor, walls, ceiling, even himself are covered in the same material – 4 square centimeters dark brown wooden blocks.

Every one of the 30,000 wooden blocks was made and glued in place by van Veluw, who also covered himself in them for his signature formal approach to self-portraiture. This unique installation, called Origins of the Beginning, is inspired by various aspects from the artist’s childhood bedroom, where he apparently spent many hours alone, between the ages of 8 and 14.

In case you’re wondering why van Veluw is burning the desk, in the video below, it’s because he had an obsession with fire, as a child.

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