Unreal 3D Murals by Eric Grohe

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Eric Grohe is a well known artist who makes use of a technique known as trompe l’oeil to create jaw-dropping murals.

American artist Eric Grohe transforms common-looking structures into unbelievable works, and since uses keim mineral paint, his masterpieces can last for over a hundred years. He takes bland looking buildings, derelict walls and manages to give them a whole new life as unbelievable artworks. Each of the murals take Grohe and his two assistants up to a year to complete, as they spend a huge amount of time analyzing Google Earth and Global Imaging Satellites data, in order to get the shadows just right. He often also ads various real items to his 3D murals to make the illusion more believable.

 

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British Artist Turns Lost Hub Caps into Amazing Animal Sculptures

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Ptolemy Elrington spends his time collecting hub caps lost on the streets of Britain, and transforming them into impressive-looking animal sculptures.

To prove that “one person’s junk is another man’s treasure”, 43-year-old Ptolemy Elrington has chosen to use reclaimed materials, like hub caps, as the main medium of his art. After finishing college, the Bradford-based sculptor lived close to a sharp curve where cars would often lose their hub caps. He began collecting them from the roadside ditch, and planned to turn them all into an original suit of armor, but noticing they had a marine look about them, he decided to mold them into fish.

After he gave his first sculptures to his family, as gifts, friends started coming to him asking for some hub-cap sculptures of their own. Elrington realized the business potential of his art, and now spends most of his time creating animal sculptures in his workshop. Because his work materials are practically free, he only charges customers for his time, about 75 British pounds per day. His most expensive work so far, a 10 meter tall dragon made out of 200 lost hub caps cost 3,000 pounds, but most of his works are sold for a few hundreds.

A strong supporter of recycling, Ptolemy Elrington only uses discarded materials. He never buys hubcaps, he always uses lost ones, and even the wire used to tie the hubcap pieces together comes from the junkyard.

After seven years of hub cap sculpting, Elrington says he is a fan of luxury car hub caps, from BMW or Mercedes, because they can be flexed more,and hardly ever snap.

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The Scrap Metal Sculptures of Edouard Martinet

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French artist Edouard Martinet transforms metal pieces found at flea markets and car-boot sales into beautiful works of art.

Using a series of common metallic objects, from rusted kitchen pans, to old typewriter keys and car lights, Martinet manages to create intricate sculptures of fish, reptiles and insects. Without any soldering or welding whatsoever, the artist first draws up a few detailed sketches of what he wants to create, then begins a painstaking process of piecing the metal parts together, like a puzzle. As you can imagine, his scrap metal masterpieces take quite a long time to complete, but they are definitely worth the effort.

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Designer Turns Old Refrigerators into Beautiful Couches

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The Fridgecouch is the original concept of Canadian artist Adrian Johnson, who came up with the idea of combining used leather car seats with old refrigerators.

Adrian Johnson came up with the idea for his Fridgecouches in 2006, while searching for some stylish outdoor seating, for a wedding. It had to be relatively cheap and encourage people to relax and, as the artist puts it: “break free from the typical cliquey wedding scene.” A car enthusiast who’s always been trying to keep old cars running, Adrian went on one of his frequent trips to the junkyard, looking for spare parts. He stumbled upon a two-door BMW coupe, and noticed the cherry-red leather back seat was practically brand new. That’s when he knew back seats were exactly what he was looking for.

With part of his problem solved, Adrian spent that night thinking of something to put the car seat in that would have the same aesthetic look and could be found at a dump. His mind stopped at a refrigerator, and the next morning he rushed to the local dump, with a tape measure in hand. As he kept looking through the junk, his eyes got stuck on an old, almost perfectly preserved green olive refrigerator. The Fridgecouch was already born in his mind.

Fast forward to 2010, Adrian Johnson has only built three of his impressive-looking Fridgecouches, but hopes they will soon turn into a profitable business that will also teach people the value of reusing, instead of contributing to our world’s waste problem, by constantly buying brand new furniture from the store. Fridges and car seats are large scale wastes that are practically un-reusable and take a great deal of energy to crush and recycle. Through his concept, Adrian turns them both into a whole new product without wasting any energy at all.

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The Fat Monkey of Sao Paolo

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A giant sculpture looking like a fat, colorful monkey lying on its back, has become one of the most popular attractions of Brazilian city Sao Paolo.

The curious landmark has been featured on many spammy photo blogs around the Internet, in the last few days, but hardly any of them provided any real information about it. Luckily, I was able to find a link to the site of Fat Monkey’s creator, designer Florentijn Hofman.

Fat Monkey is a very interesting art installation simply because it’s made out of 10,000 colorful flip-flops, a true symbol of Brazilian beaches. It was created during the 2010 Pixelshow Design Congress, with the help of local art students. A part of the Obestias art series, Fat Monkey can now be admired on a lawn, close to the Pixelshow venue.

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Spice Skulls by Helen Altman

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Using common spices most of us put in our food, American artist Helen Altman creates all kinds of “spicy” lifesize skulls. She glues the various seeds together and molds them into human skulls that can be hanged as ornaments. I don’t now who would want to have this sort of thing around the house, but I’m sure they’d come in handy if you need to add some flavor to your food.

According to Designboom, her series of spice skulls explores “notions of reality versus artificiality in everyday life and the boundary between authenticity and absurdity”.

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5Pointz Aerosol Art Center – The World’s Premiere Graffiti Mecca

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5Pointz Aerosol Art Center is an outdoor art exhibit space where graffiti artists can exercise their artistic talent, legally. Dubbed a “an institution of higher burnin’ “, 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center is viewed as the Mecca of the graffiti art world.

If you’re interested in discovering one of New York’s off-the-beaten-track attractions, 5Pointz should definitely be at the top of your priorities. An old factory converted into an outdoor graffiti museum, the 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center features 200,000 square-feet of art covered space that will probably blow your mind. Practically every square inch of this once bustling industrial complex has been covered with colorful layers of graffiti paint, depicting everything from peace messages written in WildStyle to portraits of The Notorious B.I.G.

Provided they receive the approval of Jonathan Cohen, the curator of 5Pointz Aerosol Art Center, any artist from around the world can leave their mark on the largest graffiti art exhibit in the world. Artists from Japan, Brazil and the Netherlands have contributed to the space, and if you visit here on weekends, between noon and 7 pm, you’re likely to catch graffiti artists at work.

So if you happen to be in New York, head to Long Island City and visit 5Pointz. It’s always free, it’s always open, and it’s always has some new art exhibits for you to discover.

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Sofa Made of Coins by Designer Johnny Swing

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Johnny Swing is a very original furniture designer who decided to give literal meaning to the phrase “sitting on cash” by building a series of sofas and chairs out of thousands of coins.

His latest creation, entitled “All the King’s Men” was made out of thousands of 50-cent coins, which makes it not only ridiculously uncomfortable, but also insanely expensive. Each coin was welded to a steel frame, which obviously takes a lot of patience, but considering Johnny has done it a few times before, it probably wasn’t that much of a problem.

While it’s not the kind of comfortable furniture you’d want to slouch on when you get home from work, Johnny Swing’s coin sofa is definitely something to look at, especially knowing that owning it is actually illegal in many countries.

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German Artist Sails on the Thames in a Paper Boat

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After carefully folding it on the banks of the Thames, artist Frank Bölter jumped into his origami boat and sailed it under the surprised gazes of passers-by.

Named “To The World’s End”, Frank Bölter’s paper boat was part of the Drift 10 art exhibition, in London. It was created out of giant sheets of paper that he and the public at the Canary Wharf Docks folded, using origami techniques. Reinforced with metal poles, the unusual sailing craft didn’t seem to sink, and its creator was so relaxed that he laid back and read a newspaper, while the public stared at him in awe.

This is not Frank Bölter first strange boat. In 2007, he put together a boat out of Tetrapack (the aluminum plated cardboard that milk cartons are made of) and sailed in it around Lauenburg harbour, in Germany. Just like “To The World’s End”, it was folded using origami techniques.

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LEGO Masters Create Impressive LEGO Map of Europe

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A team of five LEGO enthusiasts have spent half a year working on an awesome map of Europe made of LEGO bricks.

The idea of building a large-scale LEGO map of Europe was first brought up in 2009, at a LEGO Fan Weekend event, and after months of careful planning, Vanessa Graf, Tanja Kusserow-Kurth, Torsten Scheer, Bruno Kurth and Tobias Reichling decided to actually start working on it. They began laying the first bricks in April 2010, and with the help of LEGO fans from around the world, the quintet managed to complete their masterpiece in September.

The giant LEGO map of Europe numbers an impressive 53,500 bricks, covers an area of 3.84 x 3.84 and features iconic monuments from all around the Old Continent.

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Artist Creates Weird Igloo from 322 Refrigerators

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German artist Ralf Schmerberg has created a bizarre-looking igloo, in the middle of Hamburg, to send a message about the country’s uncontrolled waste of energy.

Entitled “Wastefulness is the biggest source of Energy”, Schemerberg’s igloo aims to raise awareness to the amount of energy people are wasting nowadays. A huge electrical meter set up outside the igloo shows passers-by how much electrical energy the 322 old fridges would consume, and is meant to inspire them to think carefully about how much energy they are wasting every day. According to recent studies, Germany could save up to 40% of its energy, if everyday people would use electricity more efficiently.

The refrigerator igloo was sponsored by a German energy provider and will be exhibited in Hamburg’s Gänsemarkt until November 9th. The bizarre installation is 5.6 meters high and 11 meters in diameter, and was built using 322 old refrigerators and 1,718 meters of wire. On the inside, visitors can admire a funny electrical installations made up of colorful blinking lights.

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Matchstick Master Builds Impressive Matchstick Fleet

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David Reynolds, from Southampton, England, has spent over 10,000 hours gluing 250,000 matchsticks into a veritable matchstick armada of 20 legendary ships.

The 51-year-old retired oil rig worker first made headlines last year, when the Guinness Book of Records acknowledged his oil rig replica as the largest matchstick model in the world, numbering 4,075,000 matchsticks. But the matchstick master didn’t sleep on his laurel after this notable success. He kept on gluing matchsticks and this year he finally completed his amazing collection of 20 famous ships, including Nelson’s HMS Victory, the Cutty Sark, Queen Mary and even the Titanic.

The creator says he was inspired by the city of Southampton and England’s seafaring history, but the fact that his father worked on board the Queen Mary, and his life at sea as an oil rig worker also had something to do with it. He considers his intricate matchstick models a tribute to the men and women who  risked their lives at sea, throughout history.

Asked if he uses official plans from museums, to get every detail right, David Reynolds said that would cost him up to 1,000 pounds for each ship, so he prefers to use whatever photos and models he can find and do his own drawings. Each ship in his matchstick armada has taken between four and seven months to complete, and cost between 300 and 400 British pounds. The entire fleet took him around 10 years to build, and he says the hardest part was recreating the anchors, lifeboats and safety robes, as they take  tremendous patience and time.

Mister Reynolds discovered the art of matchstick model making when his son bought him a kit, when he was housebound after serious surgery. It started off as a hobby, but quickly turned into a passion that continues to bring him worldwide recognition.

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The Bizarre Human Ashes Sculptures of Wieki Somers

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Dutch artist Wieki Somers pushes the boundaries of recycling in her project “Consume or Conserve”, which plays with the idea of turning our loved ones’ ashes into everyday household items.

Instead of burying or cremating a beloved family member, wouldn’t you rather give this person a second life as a vacuum cleaner, or a toaster? This way you could cherish them forever, and they in term could feel useful by helping you with your daily chores. And would having our household items made from someone dear make us more attached to them, instead of quickly throwing them away as waste? That’s basically the idea behind Wieki Somers’ sculptures made from human ashes. Depicting weird scenes featuring toasters and dead birds, vacuum cleaners and dung beetles, and weighing scales and bees, these unusual artworks also come with a plaque stating the name and lifetime of the person they were created from.

For her human ashes sculpture series, Wieki Somers used donated remains and a 3D printer.

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Artist Spends 17 Years Carving Model of the HMS Victory

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Sculptor Ian Brennan has spent 5,000 hours, in the last 17 years, carving a piece of timber into a miniature replica of admiral Nelson’s famous HMS Victory.

60-year-old Brennan, from Warsash, England, only became a full-time sculptor when he was 34, but in just five years time he became a sculptor of the Royal House. That’s how he ended up doing restorative work on the real HMS Victory, for about a year. As recognition for a job well done, Ian Brennan received a piece of timber from the legendary ship, which he later decided to use as material for a small scale replica of the Victory.

While you may think centuries old wood would be easier to carve, this particular piece of timber was as hard as concrete, and Ian had to much more work into it than expected. 5,000 hours, throughout 17 years, to be exact, during which he went through several pairs of overalls and cut himself countless times. Just like the original HMS Victory, Ian’s replica features 104 guns, 37 sails, flags bearing Nelson’s inspirational signal ‘England expects every man to do his duty’, as well as 200 feet of intricate rope.

Ian Brennan knew he only had one chance at doing something like this, as he would never again get another piece of timber from the original HMS Victory, so he made sure his 47-inch replica was just perfect. His family has been very supportive throughout the 17 years of work, although I’m sure his wife Suzanne wished her husband spent more of his free time with her.

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American Sculptor Carves World’s Biggest Halloween Pumpkin

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You might think you had your hands full with this year’s Halloween Pumpkin, but American sculptor Scott Cully had to carve his way through a 1,800-pound giant pumpkin.

Scott Cully has made a name for himself by carving overgrown pumpkins, and he even held the previous record for the world’s largest jack o’lantern, but this year he managed to beat his own record and get another mention in the Guinness Book. It took him two days, working at a pace of 100 pounds per hour, to work his way through the giant pumpkin, grown by Chris Stevens, from Wisconsin, but he managed to do it just in time for the big Halloween party. The event took place at the New York Botanical Garden, and it’s probably still on display, so you can check it out, if you’re in the Big Apple.

Scott Cully started carving pumpkins in 1988, when he and his wife got his hands on a 400-pound pumpkin, and, inspired by a few bottles of quality English hard cider, they began carving it into a jack o’lantern. Then he just kept on creating new designs, into bigger and bigger pumpkins. Using just a handful of kitchen utensils, Scott stays true to the tradition of creating jack o’lanterns, by creating scary Halloween pumpkins, with big mouths that kids can slide their heads through, and big threatening teeth.

Believe it or not, Scott Cully absolutely hates pumpkin pie. Ironic, isn’t it?

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