Chinese Artist Creates Edible Model of Shanghai

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Song Dong, one of China’s leading contemporary artist has almost completed a miniature replica of Shanghai City, made out of various sweets. Song apparently has a thing for recreating major cities out of food, as this is the seventh project in his “Eating the City” series, which includes sweet replicas of Barcelona or London. Working with a team of talented food artists, he uses wafers, biscuits, cookies and candy to create edible replicas of Shanghai’s major landmarks.

On Christmas Eve, Song Dong will show his masterpiece to the world, and invite the people to take a bite out of Shanghai, literally. Take a look at the photos below to see how the project is coming along.

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Mind-Blowing Embroidered Portraits by Daniel Kornrumpf

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We’ve featured some truly magnificent pieces of embroidery on Oddity Central, but Daniel Kornrumpf’s intricate portrait are simply breathtaking.

A true master with the needle, Philadelphia-based artist Daniel Kornrumpf creates extraordinary embroidered portraits that look a lot like real paintings. Even more surprising is the size of these amazing artworks. While they may look like giant paintings, in the close-up photos, in reality they are smallish creations, set against a large white background.

Just like the brown tape paintings of Mark Khaisman or the collage paintings of Megan Coyle, Daniel Kornrumpf’s embroidered artworks are incredibly realistic.

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Hello Kitty Painting Auctioned Off for $1.25 Million

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If there was one field that I thought was safe from Hello Kitty mania, it was painting. But all my hopes were shattered when I stumbled across this $1.25 million artwork of the famous Japanese icon.

That’s right boys and girls, a painting of your favorite kitty is being auctioned off on eBay for the “bargain price” of just $1.25 million. And if you, by chance, think that’s too much, you should know the price has gone down from $1.5 million. I mean come on people, it’s not just any other Hello Kitty painting we’re talking about, this is in fact the world’s largest Hello Kitty painting, measuring 4 feet by 5 feet. The auction page reads “this would make a great gift for that little girl you love so much”, but unless they were referring to Paris Hilton’s dad, I doubt anyone will by this as a Christmas gift.

I don’t know if this matter to you or not, but the painting was done by American artist James Dillon Wright, also known as Dillon Boy.

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World’s Most Expensive Book Sold For $11.5 Million

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Birds of America“, John James Audubon’s unique sample of nature, art and craftsmanship wrapped in a beautiful album was sold at Sotheby’s last auction for the staggering price of  $11.5 million, making it the most expensive book ever sold. This is one of just 11 copies owned by private collectors.

Audubon, a 19th century French-American naturalist and painter, gathered 500 breeds of birds, all illustrated in 1000 hand-painted life-size images, in his extraordinary book, which took 12 years to complete. A rare book dealer from London, Bernard Shapero , explains:  “His big thing was the one-to-one ratio. Everyone else cropped the birds. If an eagle is 6 foot, he was going to paint it 6 foot.  He scaled back the wings, but it was life size. That was his cachet.” The so-called “father of ornithology” would hunt down the birds, shooting them before propping them on wires to paint. Each drawing took around 60 hours to complete. Sadly, many of the birds in his book are now extinct and exist only in his drawings and as stuffed museum exhibits.

American society wasn’t very interested in his work but that didn’t stop him, and his ambition got him all the way to Britain where his work gained success amongst the aristocracy.

The book is not only beautiful but also very impressive with its 3ft by 2ft pages, and although it wouldn’t fit on most bookshelves, it must be any collectors dream. The previous record was also held by a copy of this unique album, sold in the year 2000 for $8,8 million.

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Cool Toys Made from Hard Disk Parts

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A Ukrainian IT company posted some photos of toys its staff created from various hard disk components, to show off their creativity. Vist officials also added they are very proud of their employees’ ingenuity, but this doesn’t mean they have too much free time on their hands. The toys were created during breaks and in-between creation and testing of company applications.

While they just look like cool metal models, the hard disk toys created by Vist are actually functional. The bird’s neck and legs are mobile, and the cool-looking quad has front and rear suspension and a small engine allows it to roll around.

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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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