Incredible Miniatures Carved from Matchsticks

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Artists have been using matchsticks as a medium for their art for a while now. Some use thousands of matches to create amazing wooden models, others use them to create colorful sculptures, or decorate their homes in a unique way, but I’ve never seen detailed matchstick miniature sculptures before.

I saw some interesting photos of carved matchsticks last week, while surfing the interwebs for unique art to share with you guys, but I couldn’t find any info on the artist who made them. Unfortunately, the research I conducted following my find didn’t prove very successful. All I learned is they are created using fine tools like scalpels and other specialized instruments, and that they’re mostly made by artists from South American countries like Chile, Argentina and Brazil. A miniature matchstick sculpture takes around three hours to complete and it’s then placed inside a small glass cover, for protection.

Among the most famous matchstick sculptors, I’ve found Christian Hernandez, who focuses of Greek mythology themes, and Argentinian Javier Gobai, whose detailed works you can admire in the photos below:

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Gary LeMaster – The Incredible Eggshell Sculptor

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Gary LeMaster has to be one of the world’s most gifted sculptors. After all, how many people can take an egg and turn it into an intricate and detailed work of art?

Born in New Zealand, where his father, a US soldier, was stationed at the time, Gary showed a passion for the arts, at a very young age. After the family moved to the States, he grew up learning how to use tools, and do woodworking alongside his father, while, at the same time, learning to appreciate fine arts, from his mother, a talented ballet dancer. It was his mother’s guidance that got him a scholarship in music at the University of Iowa, which he turned down to pursue a teaching degree in history and English. Although he practiced drawing with pencil, charcoal, pen and ink, the fact that he was color-blind made Gary LeMaster think his visual art was limited, and that he wasn’t good enough for art school.

After enrolling in several school programs and obtaining numerous degrees, he decided it was time he took some art courses at the University of Iowa, where he enjoyed every class he took. Although Gary regretted not turning to the arts to begin with, his graduate art courses helped take his drawing skills to a whole other level, which proved to be very important in his career as a professional eggshell sculptor.

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The Mind Blowing Paper Collages of Nathalie Boutté

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Nathalie Boutté is a talented French artist who uses thousands of simple strips of paper to create impressive collages.

Born in 1967, Nathalie lives and works in Montreuill, near Paris, where she experiments with all kinds of types of paper, to obtain the results she desires. She has always been passionate about paper, and has worked with everything from tissues to old novel pages and lately, translucent tracing paper. After the sheets of paper have been cut into long strips, they are layered in a way similar to tiles on a roof, revealing only their tips, which act like pixels in a giant collage. Although most of her artworks are pretty big, the dedicated artist says she isn’t scared of working with large formats, on the contrary, the bigger the collage, the more impressive it is. And I have to say, Nathalie Boutté’s pieces are pretty impressive.

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Cube Works Makes Twisted Artworks from Dozens of Rubik’s Cubes

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Solving a Rubik’s Cube is pretty tricky, but using dozens of them to create portraits of famous figures and recreate artistic masterpieces sounds even harder.

Toronto-based Cube Works Studio is a collaboration of graphic architects and “cubers” who use the popular Rubik’s Cube to create an art form that is retro yet avant-garde. Throughout the years, the studio has produced dozens of Rubik’s Cube artworks so impressive and detailed that people often wonder if they’re not taking the cubes apart and use the colored squares individually to create mosaics. But that’s not the case, as many photos and videos taking during the creative process prove.

Apart from their intricate celebrity portraits and artistic recreations, the guys at Cube Works have also set a few world records, including a monumental recreation of the Sistine Chapel’s centerpiece made of over 12,000 Rubik’s Cubes and a 4,050 Rubik’s Cube replica of The Last Supper. This may not be the original purpose Erno Rubik had in mind for his toy, but I’m sure he’d be happy to see it used as an art medium.

 

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Licorice Mosaic Portraits by Jason Mecier

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Jason Mecier is a famous mosaic artist who uses all kinds of materials, from sweets to pills and recyclable junk, to create incredibly detailed portraits of celebrities and pop icons.

Looking at the masterpieces Jason Mecier creates, you’d find it hard to believe he has no formal art training, but he is indeed a self-taught artist with incredible talent. His greatest inspiration is his grandmother who nurtured his artistic inclination ever since he was just a child. The artworks she created mesmerized him as a boy, and Jason remembers she was the one who encouraged him to create art using materials readily available to him. You can say he followed her advice to the letter, as he is now known as one of the world’s most gifted junk artists.

The first time I heard about Jason Mecier and his unique artworks, was when he created a series of pill portraits of celebrities who had drug problems throughout their careers. This was back in January of 2010, and since then Jason has completed his portfolio with all kinds of other beautiful creations made of various materials. Some of them are part of his RedVines portrait series, made of delicious licorice.

 

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Meet Dalton Stevens – The Button King

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Dalton Stevens, from Bishopville, South Carolina, has earned the title of Button King after he spent 15 years stitching and gluing thousands of buttons on all sorts of objects.

The Button King’s story began one night in 1983, when his insomnia prevented him from falling asleep. Back then, television went off at two in the morning, so he had to find something to pass the time. Searching through his old things, he found an old denim jumpsuit and started sewing buttons on it. Two years and ten months later, Dalton was still a chronic insomniac, but his jumpsuit was covered with 16,333 buttons and weighed 16 pounds. Remarkably as that sounds, it was only the beginning of his incredible experience with buttons.

Even after completing his button tracksuit, Stevens kept attaching thousands of buttons on various stuff. He glued 3,005 buttons on his guitar and 517 buttons on his shoes. His banjo, piano and his 1983 Chevette soon followed, and before long, his unique occupation grabbed the attention of the media. He was featured on a local television show, from there on CNN, and pretty soon the entire world knew the story of the incredible Button King. He was invited on popular television shows like Johnny Carson, David Letterman, Geraldo, Regis & Kathy Lee, where he would wear a button-covered outfit and play his banjo.

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Artist Makes Celebrity Portraits from Thousands of Circles

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Using an original technique he calls Digital Circlism, artist Ben Heine creates detailed portraits of celebrities like Eminem, Bob Marley or Elvis Presley.

A Belgian artist born in the Ivory Coast, Heine is most famous for his Pencil vs Camera series, which was covered by many of the major online media outlets, but his Digital Circlism portraits are equally, if not more impressive. Using a sharp round brush in Photoshop CS4, he applies thousands of circles on a black background, until he creates a colorful, realistic portrait. You might think he uses some kind of automated process to apply every circle, but that’s actually the most remarkable thing about Ben Heine – he adds every one of the circles individually. Each circle has a different color, a different tone and a different size, which makes creating a single one of these artworks very time consuming. His latest work, a portrait of hip-hop icon Eminem, is made exclusively with flat circles on a black background, and took nine days of intensive labour to complete.

A new technique, developed by Ben Heine himself, Digital Circlism could certainly develop into an important artistic movement.

 

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Chinese Transformers Fan Builds His Own Army of Robots

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All geeks love Transformers, but Yang Junlin of Huizhou, China, took his passion for the franchise to a whole other level when he opened the “Legend of Iron” factory and began producing his own robots.

Remebre that uber-cool Megatron Tank we featured a few weeks back? That was one of Yang Junlin’s iron masterpieces, but I had no idea he had created hundreds of other incredible metal sculptures. In 2006, after retiring from the army, Yang went to a concert where various steel sculptures were placed on display. Some of them were simple human figures created from twisted metal wire, but they made such an impression on him, that he decided to try and make his own steel works.

A year later, Yang Junlin opened his own factory, Legend of Iron, and hired over 10 workers to help him realize his dream of building cool robot sculptures. They use all kinds of scrap metal, from old car parts to simple sheets of steel andcreate some of the most amazing looking Transformers replicas I’ve ever seen. Although he admits his work is quite time-consuming, Yang has built over 1,000 iron sculptures since he opened Legend of Iron, five years ago, and isn’t planning on stopping anytime soon.

Check out more photos of the geek eye-candy Legend of Iron creates, after the break:

 

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Inspiring Iranian Artist Paints with Her Feet

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Zohreh Etezad Saltaneh is a 49-year-old Iranian artist born with a birth defect that affected the growth of her arms, who manages to paint, weave and do house chores with her feet.

Born in 1962, Zohreh struggled with her condition at first, but says she owes everything she has achieved to her parents, who “brought me up in such a way that I have become self-reliant.“ Chores that once seemed impossible to do with only her feet gradually became easier and, although things like shopping are still a bit challenging, she can now do some things even better than normal people. It has taken her over four decades but “now I have come to terms with this issue. Sometimes when I’m working, I don’t necessarily think ‘these’ are my feet, or that I don’t actually have any hands.”

Zohreh remembers her mother put the paint brush between her toes at a very young age and encouraged to express herself in an artistic way. But not even her mother could have foreseen Zoreh’s success in the artworld – she has received numerous awards and her paintings have been showcased in over 60 national and international exhibitions. She is a member of the International Association of Painters and is currently studying for a masters in psychology. “My slogan has always been: ‘being disabled does not mean being restricted’,” she says, and her life achievement stand as proof.

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Creepy Post-It Art by John Kenn Mortensen

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John Kenn Mortensen is a Danish artist who uses the common post-it as canvas for his mysterious and scary artworks.

While other modern artists search for ever larger canvases to express their artistic talents, Mortensen lets his imagination runs wild on the tiny sheets of paper we know as post-its. Most of us use them as reminders around the office, but the Dane sees post-its as tiny canvases that allow him to quickly render the creepy products of him imagination, and get them off his mind, so he doesn’t stress himself to them over them.

A professional character animator by trade, John Kenn Mortensen says he has always enjoyed drawing, but his recent ghoulish post-it artworks are inspired by the works of Stephen King and H.P. Lovercraft. Although he didn’t expect any type of response, John Kenn admits he’s pleased so many people enjoy his work.

Check the artist’s blog for his latest post-it creations

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Unbelievable Pen and Ink Art by Sagaki Keita

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Japanese artist Sagaki Keita recreates famous artworks out of thousands of whimsical characters he created using his own imagination.

Looking at the creations of this talented 27-year-old artist, I can’t help but remember my childhood days when I would doodle all kinds of drawings on the back of every notebook I had. But while my drawings were just plain silly, Sagaki’s are true masterpieces. Looking at his artworks from afar, they just  seem like well executed recreations of popular paintings and sculptures, but as soon as you approach, you notice there’s something more to them. Thousands of small characters come together so perfectly to create a complex yet very detailed composition that simply blows your mind.

Sagaki Keita doesn’t reveal much about his technique on his official site, but he doesn’t really need to, his incredible works really are worth a thousand words.

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The Postage Stamp Paintings of Peter R. Mason

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British artist Peter R. Mason uses thousands of recycled postage stamps to create extraordinary pixelated images that look like genuine paintings, from afar.

Peter R. Mason was born in  Brownhills, England an d studied at the Stafford College of Art, where he was awarded the National Diploma in Design in Painting and Lithography, in 1962. After spending his entire life teaching art and design at secondary schools in Staffordshire, Liverpool and Walsall, Mason enjoys his retirement and the opportunity to focus on creating unique works of art with common postage stamps.

Also known as “Post Pop Art Man” Peter has made name for himself creating tributes and portraits of some of the most imp0rtant artists and political figures of the twentieth century, using simple postage stamps. He begins by drawing the image he wants to produce on a canvas or a large sheet of paper, after which he divides it into stamp-sized squares. The stamps are then sorted by design, color and postmark pattern. Each stamp has to be soaked to remove the envelope backing, then dried, cut and shaped perfectly before being glued in place. By paying a great deal attention to every detail, Peter R. Mason manages to create detailed artworks that look like colorful photos of their subjects.

For a typical 4′ x 3′ postage stamp painting, the artist uses around 3,500 stamps, and his largest works include up to 22,000 of them, so how does the artist get all the necessary material. His friends and family help out as much as they can, but the bulk of the stamps comes from English stamp dealers interested in the creative use of postage stamps.

Peter R. Mason’s latest stamp masterpiece is a portrait of Prince William and Kate Middleton, in celebration of their upcoming wedding.

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Galleta Meadows – A Metal Menagerie of Incredible Creatures

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Galleta Meadows is a unique sculpture park of the Anza Borrego Desert, filled with dozens of metal creatures that supposedly inhabited the area millions of years ago.

The Anza Borrego Desert isn’t the most hospitable place on the North American continent, and it’s definitely not where you’d expect to find an outdoor art exhibit like Galleta Meadows. Owned by multimillionaire Dennis Avery (as in Avery office supplies), this unusual tourist attraction is a desert creature park open to anyone brave enough to face the desert and the unbearable heat that comes with it.

The story of Galleta Meadows began in the 90′s, when Avery decided to invest some of his fortune in a vast territory in Borrego Springs. Ho got it for an “uncontestable price” but had no idea of how he was going to use it, so he put no barbwire around it and no “Private Property” signs. Later, he built a winter residence, followed by a tourist resort, a country club and a golf course, but he needed something unique to attract tourist to his newly opened facilities.

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Ripley’s Terminator Sculpture Is a Tribute to Hollywood

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Ripley’s Believe It or Not has recently acquired a realistic-looking sculpture of Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator, and it that wasn’t cool enough, it’s covered with some of the most popular film characters created by Tinseltown.

Ripley’s has a variety of amazing stuff waiting to be discovered in its Odditoriums, but their newest attraction – a sculpture executed by John Ramos – may just be their geekiest yet. The life-size Terminator was designed as an homage to the American film industry and features depictions of some of the most popular characters in the history of cinema. Looking closely, you’ll discover three dimensional scenes from blockbuster hits like Rocky, Harry Potter, The Wizard of Oz, Jaws, Alien, Predator, The Simpsons, Spiderman, Pirates of the Caribbean and many more.

This unique Terminator sculpture is made of clay, resin, paper, plastic and even a real vampire bat, and took Ramos five months to complete. He is now working on a motorcycle to go with the statue and plans on covering with even more Hollywood inspired artworks.

The Terminator is currently on display in the Orlando Odditorium lobby, but will be transferred to the one in Hollywood, as soon as it’s renovation is complete.

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Jewelry Collector Creates World’s Most Expensive Mona Lisa Painting

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A Chinese jewelry collector, who probably had more money that he could spend, has created a replica of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” with 100,000 carats of jewelry.

Many artists have tried to replicate da Vinci’s masterpiece out all kinds of unusual materials, from coffee cups, to pieces of toast and even motherboard components, but no one has ever create an extravagant a replica like this jewel Mona Lisa. The name of the artist is unknown, all that’s been revealed is that he’s a jewelry collector who has spent the last five years working on this one-of-a-kind jewelry painting and the last 30 years collecting all the necessary raw gem stones. The thousands of jewels used ad up to an impressive 100,000 carats.

This bedazzled replica of the Mona Lisa is currently on display in a shopping mall in Shenyang City, China.

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