Woman Pays $10,000 for Non-Visible Artwork

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The Museum on Non-Visible Art, or MONA, houses a variety of non-visible works of art that can only be admired by reading the artist’s description. Sounds weird, but believe it or not, someone actually paid $10,000 for one of these ‘masterpieces’.

I have to admit I’ve always wondered why some people spend thousands, sometimes millions of dollars on abstract art pieces that look like the work of someone who has nothing in common with art. But then again, I’m not very art-inclined. Anyway that doesn’t seem so strange to me anymore, not since I read this article about a woman who paid $10,000 for an artwork she can’t even see. “Fresh Air” was just one of the works exhibited at the Museum of Non-Visible Art, a strange project supported by actor James Franco that tries to take conceptual art to a whole new level. There is an official website and even an explanatory video, but basically this museum hosts works of art that don’t exit in the physical world, instead they are imagined by the artist.

So when someone buys one of these unusual creations all they get is a card with a description of the artwork made by the author and a letter of authenticity. You can place the card on a blank wall in your house or an art gallery and describe it to visitors, so they may enjoy it as well. Here’s the description for Fresh Air, the recently sold artwork:

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Designer Makes Jewelry from Real Human Bones

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Columbine Phoenix is a talented jeweler with a taste for the macabre. She makes unique jewelry from human bones collected from medical schools and museums.

We’ve covered some pretty bizarre jewelry collections in the past, some were made from insects, others from nail clippings, and even human hair, but Columbine’s “Churchyard” line is the weirdest one yet. She uses various human bones donated for educational purposes and transforms them into unique pieces of jewelry that actually celebrate life rather than death. “Death is a part of life” the designer says in an interview with Vice Style “You can’t die unless you’re alive, and if we weren’t going to die eventually, a whole lot of us would never get around to living.” Strangely enough, that makes sense.

As a child, Columbine Phoenix loved shiny things, and she remembers playing pirates with her brother by stealing her grandmother’s rhinestone button collection from each other. Later she tried making embroidery-floss friendship bracelets and seed beads woven on a loom, but quickly lost interest in things everyone else was doing. She started making jewels from seashells, feathers and other stuff provided by nature, and when a friend from medical school asked her if she wanted to buy some small human bones for her work, she decided to give it a shot. His department was consolidating the bone collection and when he showed them to her for the first time, she knew they were just perfect. Human ivory she called them.

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Pencil Shaving Portraits by Kyle Bean

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Artist Kyle Bean has created a series of unique portraits made with pencil shavings, for the new Handmade Issue of Wallpaper Magazine.

We’ve already featured Brighton-based Kyle bean a couple of times, for his intricate matchstick insects and eggshell chicken, and he continues to amaze us with more original works. Having been asked to contribute on the Handmade Issue of Wallpaper, he has created a series of beautiful portraits using only pencil shavings from colored pencils. A time-lapse video of the process of making one of these incredible works of art is also in the works, and will appear in the online edition of Wallpaper Magazine.

With such incredible projects under his belt already, I wonder what Kyle Bean has in store for us, in the future.

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The Cut-Away Leaf Art of Lorenzo Duran

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Some artist sculpt stone, others carve wood, but Spanish artist Lorenzo Duran decided to express his artistic talent by cutting tree leaves.

Even if Lorenzo Duran’s artworks were created digitally, like they appear to be, they’d still leave you impressed, but the skilled artist cuts his intricate models into real leaves, using a very sharp scalpel. He believes every natural object and living thing has a bit of art in it and is a good medium to experiment his creativity. Inspired by the old paper-cutting techniques of Chinese and Japanese artists, he decided to try them out on leaves, and although he still has a long way to go, he has created some truly impressive pieces. Whenever he gets an idea for a motif he first puts it on paper, then places it over a leaf and uses the scalpel to cut.

Duran has experimented a lot with cutting various types of leaves, and admits that most of his early works ended up in the trash, but he learned from his mistakes and developed a whole process of preparing leaves and cutting them so they don’t break as often. He has to pick just the right leaves (thicker ones are better), then come the washing, drying, pressing  and cutting. The last part is obviously the most delicate, because fragile leaves can break right at the end, and the artist loses days of work in an instant. Pretty frustrating, but nothing beats the feeling of fulfillment when he actually completes one of his cut-away artworks.

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Photographic Artist Creates Beautiful Images That Will Probably Disgust You

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Chris Jordan is a photographic artist who uses his artworks to bring awareness to a serious problem of our time – consumerism. Seen from afar his images look like modern recreations of famous masterpieces, but as soon as he approaches the viewer is confronted with thousands of photographs of waste assembled into a beautiful picture.

He’s been called “the ‘it’ artist of the green movement” for his ability to send clear messages about mass consumption through beautiful images that end up disgusting the viewer. But while he’s always been interested in photography, he studied law school and became a corporate lawyer who only dedicated his free time to his favorite hobby. His father, a businessman, had also been passionate about photography and Chris remembers he “was filled with regret” that he couldn’t practice it full time. So, determined not to repeat his mistake, the young lawyer moved to Seattle, and quit the bar after ten years of practicing law, to dedicate his life to photography.

It was definitely a risky move, but definitely an inspired one as the success of his early shows in New York and Los Angeles propelled his career. Chris Jordan came to tackle consumerism by chance. He had taken photos of a pile of garbage and found it beautiful because of its complexity and great color, but when friends of his, who were active in consumerism, started commenting on it, he got the idea for his future projects.

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Giant York Corn Maze Pays Homage to Harry Potter

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Farmer Tom Pearcy, a big fan of Harry Potter, decided to celebrate the release of the final movie of the series, by carving a giant Harry Potter-themed maze in his corn field.

Clearly a victim of the Harry Potter mania that’s sweeping the planet these days, Pearcy has cut two 50-meter portraits of the boy wizard in his Elvington corn field, thus creating the world’s largest spot-the-difference image and the biggest Daniel Radcliffe portrait ever. “I’m a big fan of Harry Potter and the release of the final film this summer marks the end of an era. I wanted to do something imaginative to say farewell to Harry, so creating the biggest image of him ever made and making it a spot the difference competition seemed like an interesting way to do that.” Mr. Pearcy told York Press.

Believe it or not, this gifted farmer manged to create 10 km of intricate pathways for visitors to explore when visiting his maze, and did it all my carving over one million corn plants. You could say he’s had some experience at it, since his corn maizes have become sort of a local tradition and tourist attraction. In previous years he His previous corn maze designs include a Spitfire airplane, an astronaut, the Statue of Liberty and the Flying Scotsman.

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Jeweler Immortalizes Pet Snouts and Paws into Fashion Accessories

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Jewel artist Jackie Kaufman has sniffed out a way to help pet owners keep they’re beloved companions close even after they’ve left this world. She creates beautiful sterling silver jewelry based on molds of animal snouts and paws.

Jackie creates all kinds of beautiful accessories, all of which you can see at her Etsy shop, but she’s best known for her unique series of animal mold pieces. She got the idea after she was approached by a client who owned a terminally ill dog, and has been creating them ever since. First, Jackie sends her clients special molds with which they can take highly detailed impressions of their animal’s noses and paws, and when she receives them she hand-casts them in sterling silver rings, pendants, bracelets and other accessories. The pet’s name or a special message can also be engraved on the back.

Owning such unusual jewelry is definitely a sign of love for your pet, but how does one get a dog or cat to wear a mold on its nose, even for a short while? My dog barely lets me touch his nose, let alone grab it and cover it with something. And how does the animal breathe when his nose is covered?

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Bashir Sultani’s Art with Salt

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They say it’s back luck to spill salt, but Toronto-based Bashir Sultani clearly has little regard for superstition, as he has no problem spilling the seasoning and shaping its fine crystals into detailed portraits of modern icons.

After spilling salt onto a black background, Afghan-born Sultani uses basic tools, like a razor blade and Q-tips to manipulate the grains into portraits of actors, singers, popular movie characters and other icons. He makes it all look easy in his videos, but it’s obvious you need a great deal of patience and skill to create such original masterpieces.

Be sure to check his YouTube channel for more making-of videos of his amazing salt portraits.

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Incredibly Talented Artist Paints with Her Lips

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Natalie Irish is one of those artists who doesn’t need to use her hands to create mind-blowing masterpieces. Like someone said, she has more talent in her lips than most do in their entire body.

You probably haven’t seen Natalie’s art before, neither had I, and that’s a real shame because she creates some pretty original stuff. Using only her lips and a lipstick, she creates detailed portraits, like the one of Marilyn Monroe, pictured below.  The Houston-based artist simply puckers her lips and kisses the paper canvas thousands of times, until she gets the desired result.

Get ready for the coolest thing you’ll see all day:

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Sweet Architecture: The Sugar Cube Sculptures of Brendan Jamison

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Brendan Jamison is a young contemporary artist who creates arguably the sweetest sculptures in the world, literally. His designs are top notch, but its the sugar cubes he uses as building material that make his works irresistible.

31-year-old Jamison, from Belfast Northern Ireland, first started using sugar cubes as building blocks for large scale buildings in 2004, when he created a series of 9-foot-tall minaret-style buildings. They caused quite a stir in the art world, and even caught the eyes of building developers, many of which commissioned him to create sweet models of their architectural projects.

Although he has worked with a variety of materials throughout his artistic career, including  bronze, wood and wool, it’s safe to say it was his sugar-cube creations that brought him international recognition. “Sugar is a beautiful material to work with, it can be cut and carved into organic shapes, and the sugar crystals can provide a sparkling surface in natural light”, Jamison says about his favorite medium.

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The Food Illustrator – Man Draws His Every Meal for an Entire Year

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English graphic designer, David Meldrum, also known as The Food Illustrator, has kept a record of everything he has eaten and drunk for an entire year, by creating 365 illustrations.

Wanting to create a historical record not only of what he ate, but of today’s food related trends, packaging, design and typography, David Meldrum began his Food Illustrator project on June 15, 2010, and kept track of every little thing he consumed by drawing his every meal in a sketchbook he kept on him at all times. It was a pretty tough challenge, but he never missed a day, as that would have meant cheating himself and his work. David used acrylic, collage, watercolour, pen and ink to create his illustrations.

The Food Illustrator ended on June 14, 2011 and the result was a shockingly realistic food diary of an average person’s diet, with 1,360 consumed cups of coffee, 305 pints of Peroni lager, 122 Freddo chocolate bars, spaghetti, salads and McDonald’s fast food. All of his 365 colorful illustrations were on display through June 26, at the Arch 402 Gallery, in London, and art lovers could buy them.

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Balloon Artist Creates Life-Size Inflatable Dinosaurs

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Mark Verge combines his balloon-twisting talent with a passion for collecting fossils to create life-size balloon models of dinosaurs.

43-year-old Mark Verge, from Ontario, Canada, first started working with balloons in 1995, after getting his hands on a book on making balloon models. It was a lot more difficult than he thought, as balloons would constantly pop when twisted, but after 16 years of practice he has reached a point where he can create intricate sculptures using thousands of balloons. He has developed his own technique and uses a variety of different-sized balloons to create his inflatable masterpieces.

The idea of making life-size models of dinosaurs was inspired by his passion for collecting fossils, so one day he just started twisting balloons to make a dinosaur skeleton. It was a success and now he has a collection of balloon dinosaurs, as well, including a spinosaurus made from 800 balloons, a stegosaurus and triceratops made from 700 balloons, and a utahraptor made from 200 balloons. But his most impressive work yet is a 39-foot model of a T-Rex, made from 1,400 balloons. It took Verge 55 hours to finish, as he had to create each vertebra individually and put them together at the end, to make sure his T-Rex looked just right. You might think there’s a metal frame in there somewhere, but it’s all in the balloons (and the stands that sustain it). It took a lot of effort, but this inflatable masterpiece won Mark Verge the first place in the world balloon-sculpting competition.

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LEGO Masters Recreate Middle-Earth, All of It!

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A group of LEGO and The Lord of the Rings fans have managed to create an awe-inspiring LEGO version of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth, spanning over 200 square feet.

The idea for this amazing project was born at BrickWorld 2010, where Chris Phipson and Mark Kelso started talking about a collaboration. After going through some ideas, and concepts, Chris said “Hey, I got it… let’s do Lord of the Rings.” Obviously, Mark’s reply was along the lines of “You mean like… a few of us build Minas Tirith or Barad Dur?” But his LEGO loving friend had something much bigger in mind – he wanted to recreate ALL of Middle-Earth using LEGO.

When they first heard Chris’ monumental idea, most of the people involved in the project thought he was crazy, but after a bit of probing, the plan was put into action. As you can expect in a project of this magnitude, things didn’t exactly go smoothly from start to finish, but what’s important is many members of the LEGO building community helped out as much as they could. And, after a whole year of planning and building, the LEGO model of Middle-Earth was finally completed and showcased at BrickWorld 2011.

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A Giant iPhone 5 Made from Various Fruits and Vegetables

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Tired of waiting for the official release of Apple’s iPhone 5, the guys at TopFruit.com decided to create their own version, from fruits and vegetables.

It’s rumored Apple will release its next generation iPhone this September, but that was just too long a wait for the guys at TopFruit, who decided to create their own smartphone out of what they know best – fresh fruits and vegetables. If this organic version of the iPhone 5 is anything to go by, the real phone will be one sweet piece of hardware, literally.

And in case you were wondering, apples were used in the making of this delicious model.

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Lullaby – A Theater Show Designed to Put Spectators to Sleep

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Usually, when members of the audience fall asleep during a play, it means the show was pretty boring, but at the Barbican Theater, in London, it’s considered a success.

Most plays are designed to excite and entertain spectators, but the Barbican’s “Lullaby” was conceived for a totally different purpose – it aims to put you to sleep long before the final act. Guests are asked to arrive at 10:00 pm sharp, and bring their pajamas and toothbrushes, as they’ll be spending the night in one of the beds crammed inside the theater’s hall. Single, double and triple beds are available, so you can enjoy the show by yourself or share the bed with someone you know.

Once spectators have put on their pajamas and taken their place in the pre-booked beds, lights are dimmed and the show is off to a slow, gentle start. It combines singing and storytelling designed to send you off to dreamland before proceedings come to an end, around 1 am. Instead of applause, actors are rewarded with occasional snores, as they take a bow before their sleeping audience, but that just means they did a good job. When lights are turned on, at 7:30 in the morning, spectators are treated to a classic English breakfast, to send them on their way.

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