Brian Olsen’s Art in Action

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By combining artistic talent with music and lots of energy, Brian Olsen puts on a memorable show called “Art in Action” where he transforms a blank canvas into a regular masterpiece, in a matter of minutes.

Brian Olsen is more than just a talented painter, he’s an entertainer. Unlike most painters who enjoy working in the comfort of their own art studios, in piece and quiet, Brian does it in front of an audience, using loud music as the source of his inspiration. Dressed in one of his paint-splattered outfits, he goes to work on a blank canvas, and in just ten minutes time turns it into the colorful portrait of a popular rockstar, and he does it all by using up to three brushes in each hand, as well as his fingers and palms. He brushes away to the beat coming from the speakers, jumps and kicks into the air, and splatters paint at his artwork from time to time, as if to release some of the energy that builds up inside of him. In the end, the audience gets a beautiful painting, as well as a unique display of creativity.

Having studied under Denny Dent, the painting sensation of the 1980s, Brian Olsen inherited his master’s secrets and is now on a mission to keep his legacy alive and take Art in Action to new heights.

Be sure to check the videos at the bottom, to see Brian also perform his adrenaline-filled Art in Action show.

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Chinese Artist Paints on Water

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Zhu Shenghi, a talented artist from Xi’an, China’s Shaanxi Province, has developed a unique way of painting on water.

While we can all take a brush and start stroking away on water, results won’t be nearly as spectacular as what Zhu Shenghi can do. Using a fine tool and naphta, he paints all kinds of detailed shapes on the surface of the water, but water isn’t actually the real canvas. After he’s finished the design, Zhu places a piece of paper that absorbs the paint from the surface of the water, thus becoming a regular painting without having been touched by any painting utensils.

UPDATE: Seeing the photos for the first time, I thought Zhu Shenghi’s art was unique, but it’s apparently been around since the 15th century, and used in East Asia and the Islamic World. It might not be as modern as other painting techniques, but it’s still pretty fascinating.

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The Incredible Map Collages of Matthew Cusick

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Matthew Cusick, a talented collage artist from Dallas, Texas, creates incredible works of art with map cutouts. Using the most rudimentary tools, Cusick reconfigures entire networks of roads, rivers and municipal transit systems to create intricate artworks that look like paintings and drawings, if looked at from afar.

Originally from New York, Matthew Cusick graduated from Cooper Union in 1993, and had his first exhibition just two years later. Since then, his masterpieces have been showcased around the world. Inspired by topography, the artist states that he likes to “catalog, archive, and arrange information and then dismantle, manipulate, and reconfigure it.”

Have a look at these amazing map collages, and be sure to check out Matt’s official site for more of his beautiful artworks.

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The Giant Mermaid of Cumbernauld

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Scotland’s town of Cumbernauld has recently become the proud “host” of a beautiful mermaid statue that seems to be guarding the town’s entrance.

Standing at over 33ft tall, this statue is entirely made out of metal and depicts a beautiful four-armed mermaid, with two of her arms stretched outwards, as if to protect the town, and the other two holding up her mermaid tail.Her name is Arria and she was thought of and designed by English sculptor Andy Scott.

The real spectacle begins at nightfall as the statue features a rig of multicolored lights inside it’s structure that all lit up, putting Arria in a whole new “light”.

The costs for making the statue reached up to around $400,000, but local authorities hope the mermaid will be the town’s lucky charm.

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The Intricate Book Carvings of Julia Feld

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Using various carving tools, mixed media artist Julia Feld breathes new life into old, useless books by transforming them into beautiful artworks.

A scientist by trade, Julia Feld has always enjoyed the visual elements of science and started carving old books to draw attention to their beauty rather than their outdated content. While most people aren’t interested in the information these books contain, anymore, Julia tries to give them a second chance to be valuable. Making great use of exacto knives, rotary cutters, tweezers, rulers, pliers, files, custom cut panes of glass, and lots of glue, the artist creates incredible carvings that leave you wondering “how did she do it”?

While some people accuse her of ruining vintage books, Julia Feld insists she is actually a book lover, and would never dream of carving up a book that she believes still has valuable content. That’s why she prefers to work with reference books that are several editions out-of-date, and have been salvaged from garage sales or second-hand shops.

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Artist Makes Realistic Vehicles Out of Used Computer Parts

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Enrique Conde has found a great way of recycling old computer components and peripherals, by using them to create cool-looking choppers, cars and dragsters.

Electronic waste is one of the most important environmental issues of our time, and finding new ingenious ways of recycling electronics is crucial. Enrique Conde has found a brilliant way of transforming used computer components into inspiring artworks he refers to as Kike Art. He takes old hard-drives, motherboards, used mice, and even mobile phones and puts them together to make really cool-looking motorcycles, cars and even dragsters or airplanes.

Looking at his computer part vehicles, you really couldn’t tell they were made from nothing but electronic junk, but a closer look reveals hard disks used as wheels, old mice as fuel tanks, or mobile phones converted into original seats.

On his website, Enrique Conde says he loves the process of searching for the right computer components and putting together as toy vehicles, just as much as he hopes people love looking at them. All of his ingenious artworks are for sale, and he also does custom works, if you have any particular specifications.

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“For God’s Sake Don’t Blow The Damn Thing Again!”

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I don’t know about you, but for me it is enough seeing the vuvuzela and I can actually hear that horrific sound it makes.

Well, at least I’m not the only one who doesn’t get why this “instrument of torture”, with which even the loudest group of supporters can’t compete, was such a hit during the South African World Cup. And the sound is not only annoying but also bad for your health, as Dr. Katijah Khoza-Shangase, professor of speech pathology and audiology at the Univeristy of Witswatersrand in Johannesburg, says, quoted by CBS News: “We are not saying, ‘ban the vuvuzelas.’ The vuvuzela is part of the festivities of the game, it is part of what makes the soccer in this country, but people need to be aware that they need to just wear ear protection.”

In an attempt to transform the vuvuzela into something decorative or useful,after the end of The World Cup, Matt Blitz and some of his co-workers at Leftfield, an advertising firm, put up a blog called Wozela on which people could post their ideas on transforming the leftover vuvuzelas.

Although they started of with a few of their own ideas and were hopping to get just 20 maybe 50 more, they had to make this into a competition as they received 150 submissions in just a few months. There was also a prize of 10,000 Rand, around $1500, for the best idea.

The ideas were ranged from practical to absurd, from vuvuzela light fixtures to vuvuzela educational table or Christmas trees, but the top prize was won by a simple one: vuvuzela earrings, idea belonging to Megan Bernstein from Cape Town. She considers this as a form of redemption “Out of one vuvuzela you can make 10 earrings so there’s quite a return of investment there.”

Matt Blitz affirmed: “We’re trying to change perceptions a little bit. In the way people might have reacted and the amount of positive comments we’ve got I think we have done quite a good thing in busting the negative image of it.”

And the end of the online contest doesn’t mean the end of the vuvuzela make-over ideas. New ones can still be submitted and the initiators of the “Wozela movement” plan to organize exhibitions featuring the submissions first in Cape Town and then Johannesburg.

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“Hunger Pains” – Ted Sabarese’s Food Fashion

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What is the connection between people, what they eat and their cravings? This is the question Ted Sabarese had in mind when imagining his food fashion photography collection called “Hunger Pains’“.

The clothes on each model are completely made out of food and not only that, but they are also an image of that person’s cravings. This collection represents the result of the imagination and hard work of designers Ami Goodheart of SOTU Productions, Daniel Feld and Wesley Nault of Project Runway alongside Ted Sabarese’s creative vision.

Each outfit was thoroughly put together, leading up to long hour of work, as the artichoke dress alone took around 6 hours to finish.

Taking all that into consideration I think it was well worth it, given the end results.

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Wikileaks Founder Makes Appearence in Nativity Scene

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A wooden miniature figure of Julian Assange, the controversial founder of Wikileaks has been placed right in the middle of the Nativity scene, by an Italian sculptor.

Christmas creches depicting various religious themes are very popular in the area around Naples, Italy and in later years, Neapolitan sculptors have made it a habit to include something contemporary in their wooden masterpieces. While most artists chose to use the city’s longtime garbage crisis as a theme, Genaro di Virgilio stayed true to his habit of featuring at least one of the year’s most important figures right in the middle of Jesus’ Nativity scene.

Placed between the three wisemen, next to Mary and Joseph, is non other than Wikileaks mastermind Julian Assange, portrayed in a black suit, holding a laptop and sporting a wide smile on his face. To Genaro di Virgilio, he is the man of the year and fully deserves the spot in his beautiful Christmas creche. The Julian Assange figurine is one-of-a-kind and priced at 130 euros.

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“Read Between The Signs” – Unique Recycled Road Signs Mural

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Situated along side Route 322, near Meadville, PA, this project was thought off by artist Amara Geffen and Arts & Design Initiative Director, in 2002 and has been an ongoing work ever since. It is realized through the collaboration between he Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) and Allegheny College’s Center for Economic and Environmental Development (CEED).

This is a form of community based art project, an original way of celebrating Earth Day. 1200ft long by 9ft tall, this fence is supported by an already existing chain fence around PennDOT’s storage lot and it is entirely made out of recycled road signs, combined as to depict places and people – for example the French Creek watershed, Allegheny Mountains, forests, roads or even PennDOT workers – but also features solar and wind powered kinetic components, thus paying a tribute to the environment.

It’s not only beautiful and original, but it has also managed to bring together the people of the community, having become the pride and symbol of Meadville.

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Waste Monster Is Made of Thousands of Plastic Bags

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A group of Slovenian environmentalists have created a scary waste monster, made of tens of thousands of plastic bags, to raise awareness to the world’s ever growing consumerism and waste problems.

To create their unique Plastic Bag Monster, the group of enthusiasts roamed throgh the streets of Ljubljana, collecting used plastic bags and plastic cups. In the end, they managed to come up with 40,000 plastic bags and 7,500 cups, collected from 12 kindergardens, 21 primary schools, 4 high schools, 3 colleges and 500 passers-by, from around Slovenia’s capital city.

As the waste monster keeps spreading its tentacles across Ljubljana, the message it sends becomes clearer – consumerism has gotten way out of control and that’s what spawned this abomination that has managed to adapt to our environment and is about to replace us at the top of the food chain. It is capable of reproducing at unimaginable speeds and feeds on people’s sloth and irresponsibility towards the environment. It knows no mercy, and unless we find it in ourselves to change, it will destroy us all…

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The Incredible Crochet Art of Agata Oleksiak

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True, there are many out there, especially women, who are very into knitting or crocheting but it seems to me that this time passion got a little bit out of control for Olek, real name Agata Oleksiak,a young woman born in Poland, currently living in NYC. It all started as a method of relaxation that soon became a form of art or, as she herself admits, a way of conveying the inseparability of life and art.

“Life and art are inseparable. The movies I watch while crocheting influence my work, and my work dictates the films I select. I crochet everything that enters my space. Sometimes it’s a text message, a medical report, found objects. There is the unraveling, the ephemeral part of my work that never lets me forget about the limited life of the art object and art concept. What do I intend to reveal? You have to pull the end of the yarn and unravel the story behind the crochet.”

Olek’s art may be shocking at first but is a real wake-up call for those willing to admire here work. Bursting with color, most of the times intentionally used “in conflict”, the works of art in which she has put an immense amount of effort and passion convey an image of the world that can only be seen through the eyes of an artist. Her crocheting varies from costumes for film or theater to large pieces meant to give a new image to an abandoned house, a Polish WWII bunker or the windows of the public boat in Istanbul, just to give a few examples.

In 2004 Olek received the Ruth Mellon Award for Sculpture and also won the commercial competition of the Apex Art Gallery but ever since she started,about a decade ago, her work has been admired in galleries all over the world.

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Matthew Albanese Creates Stunning Landscapes from Household Objects

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Looking at the beautiful landscapes of Matthew Albanese, you couldn’t even imagine they are made with objects you yourself have around the house.

Matthew’s career as a landscape creator began about three years ago, just when he had become bored with his job as a visual merchandiser and was looking for an outlet. One day, he knocked over an entire tub of paprika, and as he was struggling to clean up the mess, the shade of the spice got him dreaming. It reminded him of Mars and what an exotic yet unreachable place it was. That’s when he decided that if couldn’t go to the Red Planet, he would bring it to him. He rushed out and bought five kilograms of paprika and created his very first household landscape – Paprika Mars.

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Photography Profesor Has Camera Implanted in the Back of His Head

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Photography professor Wafaa Bilal, at the New York University, has a let’s say original vision on what we generally refer to as art.

He intents to put together an exhibit of art called “The 3rd I” which will be featured at the  Arab Museum of Modern Art in Mathaf. And for that particular reason he implanted a camera in the back of his head. Well,not literally,but he had a titanium plate implanted at a piercing shop. This allows him to attach a camera using magnets, camera which will take a photo every minute. The only time Bilal won’t be able to use it will be on campus at NYU, thus protecting the privacy of his students.

The opening of The Arab Museum of Modern Art will take place on Dec. 30, occasion with which they are hosting the “Told/Untold/Retold” exhibition, gathering the works of 23 key modern artist, including Wafaa Bilal.

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New York Gallery Hosts Erwin Wurm’s Exentric “Gulp” Exhibiton

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Lehmann Maupin gallery in New York recently hosted Erwin Wurm’s Gulp exhibition, an eccentric yet interesting approach on modern society.

Using furniture, clothing or even statues representing humans, Erwin Wurm makes an attempt to express the way everything surrounding us can form or  even deform an individual. Almost unwillingly  the viewer finds himself involved in this intricate dialogue engendered by Wurm through his art.

Explaining the addressability of  his art but also his purpose, the artist says “I want to address serious matters, but in a light way. I want to reach more than just an elite circle of insiders. My work speaks about the whole entity of a human being: the physical, the spiritual, the psychological and the political.”

Erwin Wurm is an Austrian-born artist. His work has always been about a giving the viewers a new perspective on life and on how they relate to everyday objects or situations, managing to provoke it’s viewers imagination and, in a certain way, reinterpreting the whole concept of sculpture.

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