The Miniature Origami Wonders of Anja Markiewicz

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Regular size origami is just impossible to me, so I guess that’s why I find these nano-paper-wonders created by Anja Markiewicz simply fascinating.

We’ve featured some pretty impressive examples of origami, including the paper miniatures of Mui-Ling Teh, and the miniatures Anja Markiewicz creates are a welcome addition to our collection. She painstakingly folds almost invisible pieces of paper into beautiful origami artworks only a few millimeters in size. The fragile animals born from her hands – horses, dogs, swans and others – can rest on her fingertips and require a magnifying glass in order to be fully appreciated.

Her vast portfolio of origami artworks includes animals, fairytale creatures, cars, snowflakes, flowers and lots more. I’ve posted a selection of her most beautiful works but you can check out her entire collection on Flickr.

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Natsumi Hayashi – Tokyo’s Levitating Girl

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Natumi Hayashi‘s blog featured all kinds of normal photos of herself, her pet cat, friends and Tokyo sights, but on September 16, 2010 she posted a photo entitled “Today’s Levitation”. The rest, as they say, is history…

Hayashi has become an Internet sensation after she began posting photos of herself levitating in all kinds of places around Tokyo. She told the Daily Mail it was an English idiom that inspired her to take the first photo of herself levitating – ‘to have one’s feet firmly planted on the ground’. Apparently they have the exact same phrase in Japan, but since she doesn’t consider herself a practical person she chose not to have her feet firmly on the ground in her self-portrait photos, to show how she really is. “In being free of gravity in the pictures, I am also not bound to societal conventions. I feel as though I am not tied to many things and able to be my true self.” the artist said in an interview. After taking her first levitation photo the frequency of “Today’s Levitation” gradually increased until she started posting a new photo every day.

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Rie Hosokai – Japan’s Balloon Dress Designer

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Japanese balloon artist Rie Hosokai uses latex balloons to create unique dresses that can only be worn 24 hours before they deflate and change color in hot weather.

The latex balloons are inflated and hand-woven in different directions both vertically and horizontally, creating a texture similar to fabric. The amount of air that goes into each balloon is pretty hard to estimate when adjusting the size and volume of the dress, but the 35-year-old artist has been working with balloons for 10 years so she has everything pretty much figured out. She started  her career as a florist, before switching to balloon art and opening her very own studio, Daisy Balloon, where she creates all kinds of inflatable artworks.

Although her “fabric” is very inexpensive (just ¢0.09 cents a balloon), the dresses Rie Hosokai makes sell for thousands of dollars. They last only 24 hours before starting to seriously deflate, must be kept away from sharp objects and change color at high temperatures, yet these designer balloon dresses cost between ¥150,000 and ¥300,000 ($1,930 – $3,860). She has even sold a full set of balloon-made wedding dress, headpiece and bouquet for ¥1 million ($13,000).

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Woman Becomes Human-Horse Hybrid for the Sake of Art

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Art Orienté objet, a French artistic known for its exploration of trans-species relationships and questioning scientific methods and tools has staged one of the most shocking experiments ever – injecting a human being with horse plasma.

For this latest project, entitled Que le cheval vive en moi (May the horse live in me), Marion Laval Jeantet, one of the members of Art Orienté objet, was injected with horse blood, which made her feel “extra-human”. This shocking event took place in February, but Marion spent several months preparing her body, by injecting herself with small doses of horse immunoglobulins, the glycoproteins that flow through the blood and function as antibodies in immune response. The French artist called this process mithridatization, after Mithridates IV of Pontus, who is said to have developed an immunity to poisons by gradually ingesting small doses of them.

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Self-Taught Artist Turns Beach Trash into Unique Works of Art

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Mark Olivier, a self-taught artist from Berkeley, California, scours the beaches of East Bay looking for washed-up junk, which he then turns into beautiful sculptures.

For seven years, Olivier has gathered all kinds of trash from various East Bay beaches, but instead of throwing it all away, he decided to create one-of-a-kind artworks to display on his lawn. It all began one morning, when he was walking his dog Zsa Zsa at an old coastal landfill known as Albany Bulb. He was looking at all the huge amounts of trash on the beach and asking himself “why doesn’t someone clean this stuff up?’, when it suddenly hit him – why doesn’t he clean it up? he started out small, with just a few cigarette lighters and some pieces of plastic, but before long he had amassed an impressive collection of useless junk.

Although he has no training in art, and has spent most of his life working as a waiter, herbalist and now as a carpenter, Mark Olivier has found ingenious ways of turning detritus into something beautiful that’s stopping passers-by in their tracks. Some of his neighbors agreed to host his creations on their lawns when there was no more space for them on his, and say this work enhances the street. So far, Olivier has used umbrella handles, hats, worn-out shoes, lighters to create samurai, Buddha statues, Greek gods, and a whole lot of other interesting sculptures that have brought him local fame. His latest creation, a 5-foot-high blue poodle made from crabbing rope is the newest attraction on the self-taught artist’s lawn, but anyone can have it for $5,500. He has sold some of his older artworks, including one for $1,500.

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Artist Draws Portrait with His Own Hair

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Human hair used as a medium has become rather common in the art world, and we’ve featured a few worthy examples on Oddity Central, but this man’s ability to manipulate his curls into a cool portrait is something I’ve never seen before.

Some artists use hair to make unique jewelry, others use it for clothes, but the artist you’re about to see cuts his own curls and uses them to draw a pretty good portrait of a woman. He starts out by giving himself a sloppy haircut with some scissors, than takes the hair and carefully shapes it into a portrait using only his hands and what appears to be a pencil, for the fine details. His work is somewhat similar to that of sand manipulating artists like Ksenyia Simonova so I’ve posted a video of one of her amazing performances, as well.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find out who the hair drawing artist yet, let me know if you know anything about hm or his hairy art.

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Banana Oxidation Art Is Just Bananas

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Australian artist Jun Gil Park has found a way of turning regular bananas into awe-inspiring works of art by drawing on them with a toothpick.

I’ve seen some pretty amazing banana artworks since I started Oddity Central, like the banana wall, or Jacob Dahlstrub’s banana boats, but Jun Gil Park’s oxidation art just makes me go bananas. Using a simple toothpick he scratches the designs into the banana, and the harder he presses/scratches, the darker the bruised part gets. It usually takes about five minutes for the oxidation to start showing, and after a day or two it gets really dark.

You’re probably wondering how Jun Gil Park came up with this simple-yet-impressive technique of turning bananas into organic works of art. It was pretty simple actually- he was just sitting at the table one day, talking to his family, holding a toothpick in his mouth, when he noticed a banana in front of him. He began scribbling on it as they talked and noticed what was happening to the banana. That’s when he decided he should try something more detailed next time.

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Artist Makes Detailed Architectural Models from Paper

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US-based artist Christina Lihan uses her experience as an architect to create detailed models of famous buildings and urban spaces, from paper.

Ms. Lihan received a Bachelor’s degree in architecture from the University of Virginia and went on to get her Master’s in architecture, from Columbia University, in New York. She done internships in England, France and Italy, but it was the repetitive, monotonous rhythm of hundreds of soviet-built housing cities she saw in Czechoslovakia that most influenced the way she looked at building facades. After completing her studies, she decided to use all of the acquired knowledge in the name of art, by creating impressive architectural models from paper.

Christina Lihan first decided to dedicate her life to art during the time she spent living in Florida, designing hospitals for another architect. She was really bored, and realized she needed a creative outlet so she just started cutting paper, playing with it and trying to turn it into building models. It sort of grew from there and ultimately became her passion. Her impressive creations are made from unpainted, 300lb, watercolor paper. She carves, cuts and folds every little piece by hand until she assembles them into a completed composition. Ms. Lihan starts by photographing the site she wants to replicate, then moves on to sketching with charcoal, and finally enlarges the drawing to the desired size of the finished piece. She generally places the detailed pieces of paper directly over the drawing.

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Talented Japanese Chef Makes Edible Star Wars Art

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Okistugu Kado, a sushi bar owner from Osaka, Japan, creates detailed vegetable sculptures, inspired by movies like Star Wars.

Okitsugu, Oki to his friends, decided to combine his passion for cooking with a talent for carving and the result is nothing less than impressive. The talented chef spends countless hours carving all kinds of fruits and vegetables and putting them together with bamboo skewers and toothpicks to create popular Star-Wars characters. Why Star Wars? Well, he admits he’s always been a big fan of the franchise and he’s even part of a Japanese group that calls itself the Jedi Order.

39-year-old Oki has been carving vegetables for the last 15 years, and he has a background in ice-sculpting, as well. So far he’s created dozens of vegetable sculptures, and even though some take him over 10 hours to complete, he claims that doesn’t bother him because when he’s carving he forgets about time. Darth Vader, Yoda, R2D2 are just some of the famous Star Wars heroes he’s carved and served to his guests, over the years. If you fancy a taste of Star Wars veggies, head over to Okitsugu Kado’s Minayoshy restaurant, in Osaka. In the meantime check out more of his work here.

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Beautiful Halftone Photos Drilled in Plywood

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A 21-year-old Finish modder, who goes by the name Metalfusion, has developed an ingenious method of creating CNC routed halftone images on pieces of plywood.

Similar to printing newspaper images using dots of ink, the process thought up by Metalfusion consists of using a v-bit router bit to drill different size holes by plunging it at different depths. He has also created a special software that allows him to convert normal images into files that are ready to be cut on a CNC machine. Although the end result id definitely impressive, the drilling process takes over an hour, since each image requires thousands of individual dots.

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Intricate Paper Carpet Drawn Only with Bic Pencils

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Paris-based artist Jonathan Brechignac has created an awe-inspiring Muslim prayer carpet made of paper and drawn only with black Bic pens.

”I never really knew what I wanted from the beginning. Finding inspiration and learning through trials was key to the project,” Jonathan says about his amazing project. Made to fit the size of an actual Muslim prayer carpet, his intricate masterpiece draws inspiration from different types of art, including French roman, traditional Japanese, native American and Mexican, as well as camouflage elements and animal patterns. It’s a truly wonderful artistic achievement, but creator Jonathan Brechignac describes is as a fight with himself, inch by inch. Before even starting on it he spent long periods of time thinking and planning, followed by trials to find the perfect patterns.

Work on this detailed paper rug was done only in Jonathan’s spare time and took a total of 15 months, which really isn’t very much, considering the Muslim carpet masters of old spent a decade, even a lifetime working on a single piece. What is most remarkable about Brechignac’s carpet is the fact that all the intricate details have been done only with black Bic pencils. Looking at the patterns you probably think he went through dozens of pencils, but so far he really only needed two of them.

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Artist Builds Castles Entirely from Human Hair

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Miami-based artist Agustina Woodgate has used clumps of human hair to create 3,000 bricks, which were then used to build two fantasy castles for her I Want to Be a Princess series.

Human hair seems to be a very popular art medium these days, considering a number of artists are using it to make all kinds of things, from hair necklaces, to high-heel shoes and even hair dresses. The last artist to use human air in her art is Agustina Woodgate, who recently used it to built two castles. The first one, called Tower, stands around four feet tall and is made from small tightly-bound hair bricks. Blonde hair was used for the castle’s window frame, and she made use of white hair from senior citizens, for the narrow ledge above the window. Most of the castle bricks were created using a mix of different-color hair that actually looks like clay. Her second hair structure, called Sandcastle, actually looks like it’s been molded from sand, using a children’s bucket.

Agustina Woodgate is known for her choice of unusual materials, like discarded materials and stuffed animals.

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Quilled Starry Night Is Just Too Cool for Words

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This piece of quilled eye candy was created by Susan Myers, of Suzy’s Artsy-Craftsy Sitcom, and it’s not only one of the coolest reproductions of Van Gogh’s Starry Night, but one of the most awesome artworks I have ever seen.

I wrote a post about the art of quilling some time ago, and it became one of the most popular posts on Oddity Central, so I expect many of you are going to find this particular artwork fascinating. Quilling basically means cutting colorful strips of paper and rolling them with a special tool, but it’s a lot harder than it sounds. Creating advanced shapes out of paper strips and placing them in the right position requires genuine skill.

Susan Myers is an artist with a mission – to complete one of her UFOs (Unfinished Objects) every month. In the month of June she worked on a quilled replica of Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night, one of the most famous paintings in the world, and finally managed to finish it in late July. But noticing the attention to detail in her work it’s easy to understand why it took her a little longer than planned. She started her masterpiece by drawing the basic outline with a white-color pencil on a large sheet of thick blue cardstock. Then she grabbed her quilling tool, a paper cutter and colored cardstock and the rest is history.

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Artist Sets Record for World’s Most Complex Connect-the-Dots Drawing

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Melbourne-based artist Thomas Pavitt has set an unofficial record for the world’s most complex dot-to-dot drawing, after completing a 6,239 dots replica of Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

One of the most popular themes in Thomas Pavitt’s art is the use of basic techniques to create very complex masterpieces. And since connect-the-dots is one of the most basic artistic techniques, requiring only the ability to count and draw lines, he decided to give it a shot. After searching the web for the standing record for the most complex dot-to-dot drawing without finding anything, the Australian artist and designer decided to set one himself.

Pavitt used 6,239 different-color dots to recreate the famous Mona Lisa, and spent over nine hours connecting them. After each 400 dots he changed the color to keep track of what number he was looking for next, and even used dots for his signature. The artwork took 9 hours and 15 minutes to complete, and while it doesn’t come close to the years it took Da Vinci to paint the original, it’s still an impressive achievement.

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Designer Creates World’s First Bulletproof Kimono

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Designer Miya Ando chose to celebrate her Japanese origins by creating a long-sleeve kimono entirely from stainless steel plates and sterling silver rings.

While it hasn’t been tested yet, considering the materials used to create it, Miya Ando’s furisode style kimono might just be the world’s first bulletproof kimono. Well known for her mastery of steel, the young half-Japanese artist has hand-soldered 4,000 sterling silver rings and stainless steel plates, and used them to create this unusual version of the traditional Japanese garment.

While it could prove a valuable piece of armor, I doubt Miya’s steel furisode kimono is as comfortable as the real thing. Women probably couldn’t even move in that thing, let alone wield a samurai sword, as well. Luckily, it’s just for the sake of art.

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