“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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French Retiree Creates Incredible Scale Replica of the Sistine Chapel

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Jean Massa, an 80-year-old French retired dental technician, has spent 5,000 hours creating an incredibly detailed scale replica of the Sistine Chapel interior.

The 1/34 scale model is just 1.45 meters long and 0.7 meters tall, and impresses through the level of detail. Its creator, a passionate artist who has created other beautiful scale models, like those of the opera houses in Monaco and Nice, says his miniature Sistine Chapel is just large enough to feature all the details and paintings of the Vatican original.

Jean Massa believes he inherited his amazing artistic talent from his grandfather, Florent Pagliano, a skillful marble sculptor who did detailed busts fro many French nobles, during the “Belle Epoque”. He’s probably why Jean also takes an interest in other art forms like sculpture and painting (his Dali replicas are to die for).

Asked why he chose to do a replica of the Sistine Chapel interior, mister Massa said he was inspired by an illustrated book about Michelangelo’s artworks, which he got as a gift from his son. Armed with an arsenal of paintbrushes, oil and acrylic paints, he got to reproducing each painting in the original Sistine Chapel – angels, popes, prophets and pretty much every detail of Michelangelo’s masterpiece. He spent 5,000 hours painting his amazing replica, throughout four years.

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Oman Builds World’s Largest Marble Mosaic

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To celebrate the 40th anniversary of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said’s accession to the throne of Oman, his subjects commissioned the world’s largest marble mosaic.

The people of Oman consider Sultan Qaboos bin Said is considered responsible for the kingdom’s prosperity, so they decided to honor the anniversary of his rule by making a unique mosaic portrait. Measuring a staggering 8.30 meters in length and 5.30 meters in width, the spectacular masterpiece depicts the sultan in a position that best captures His Majesty’s humbleness. As the sultan rarely makes public appearances, the 15 artists who worked on the project had only a photograph, taken by his private photographer, to work with.

Apart from its size, the world’s largest marble mosaic impresses through the fact that it’s made up of 128,274 individual marble pieces, using 90 natural shades of marble mined from the mountains and sea beds of Oman. Blocks of marble were meticulously chosen and mined exclusively for the project.

The team of 15 artists from the UK and Bahrain spent around 120 days carefully placing each tile in the intricate mosaic, working an exhausting 12 hours a day. The face of the sultan is incredibly detailed, and his mustache and beard are made from the sultan’s favorite stone, brought all the way from Italy. The face alone took the artists 40 days to complete.

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The Tech Junk Cities of Franco Recchia

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Italian artist Franco Recchia uses old computer parts to create his unique tech junk cities – mixed media sculptures that replicate famous metropolises.

Driven by a simple curiosity to see what is inside the computer case, Recchia takes apart old computers and uses their parts to create ingenious urban skylines. A “testament to what is beautiful, elegant and functional in the modern object” his tech-junk sculptures are made from various parts like radiators, old motherboards, various slots, and even case parts. These works of art are the artists way of showing that every thing made by the human hand has great beauty, if used in an original-enough way.

You can check out Franco Rocchia’s amazing tech-junk cities on ARTmine, where you can also purchase some of them. They are priced between $2,400 and $8,100, no the cheapest artworks you can find, but definitely among the most original.

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The Plastic City of Bang-Yao Liu

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Plastic City” is a colorful replica of Shanghai City out of cheap plastic objects bought by artist Bang-Yao Liu, on the streets of China’s bustling city.

While some may see just a bunch of colorful plastic objects, young Bang-Yao Liu went out of his way to create replicas of Shanghai buildings and landmarks. Scouting the streets of Shanghai for cheap plastic objects to use in his unique project, the artist used his experiences around the city as inspiration. Bins, plastic boxes, buckets, crates and other plastic things were used to create the Plastic City.

The 24-year-old Taiwanese artist created Plastic City as a commission piece for Converse, who wanted something that would show people it doesn’t take much to make the ordinary extraordinary.

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Gwen Murphy’s Incredible Shoe Faces

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Gwen Murphy is a brilliant artist who breathes new life into old shoes, by transforming them from fashion accessories into intriguing works of art.

Ever since she was a little girl, Gwen liked to look at shoes and found that they were staring back at her, each pair with its own character and personality. Depending on model and how worn out they were, some shoes sometimes looked sleepy, other times grouchy or fierce, some even looked like they were singing. Young Gwen perceived them as a species of beings made entirely from pairs of identical twins, and the fascination with shoes stayed with her all the way through adulthood.

Now, she collects pairs of worn out shoes and tries to bring out their personality, by literally giving them a face. She makes use of ash clay and acrylic paint to create bugged-out eyes, long faces and pouting lips, and gives each pair a unique face that expresses its unique character. Indian slippers have an exotic look, wooden shoes look blissful and primitive, while high heel shoes have somewhat of an arrogant look.

Gwen Murphy named her collection of shoe artworks “Foot Fetish” because she actually perceives shoes as fetishes (objects believed to have magical powers to protect or aid its owner). To her, they have the power to protect our feet and transport us from place to place.

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French Artist Sails Around the World in a Sinking Boat

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Designer Julien Berthier has been sailing around the globe in Love Love, a weird ship that looks like it’s about to sink.

Created back in 2007, Love Love is one of Berthier’s weirdest artworks. He actually cut a sailboat in half, sealed it with fiberglass and fitted it with two motors, which make it fully functional, despite its capsizing look. The 35-year-old designer says his ever-sinking sailing craft is perfectly safe and easy to maneuver, especially in calm waters.

As you can imagine, passers-by and fellow sailors don’t even know what to think when they first lay eyes on Love Love, especially when they see its captain so relaxed, while his boat appears to be heading to a watery grave. Berthier himself admits he has put the coast guard and harbor masters on full alert a few times, after people alerted them about a sinking ship.

Julien Berthier, who says he “wanted to freeze the moment just a few seconds before the boat disappears, creating an endless vision of the dramatic moment”, has sailed his sinking boat on many trips through famous harbors like London’s Canary Wharf, and France’s Normandy.

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Formula One Car Replica Made of Red Bull Bottles

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2010 was an exceptional year for Red Bull Racing, with Sebastian Vettel scoring the first Formula One World Championship title, in Abu Dhabi. To celebrate the event, Red Bull has created a life-size Formula One car replica, out of Red Bull bottles. The unique artwork is on display at a shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand, and is made up of 2,615 bottles of Red Bull energy drink.

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Leo Sewell and His Incredible Junk Sculptures

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Using various junk items he picks up from around his home town, Leo Sewell creates junk masterpieces collected by museums and art enthusiasts around the world.

As a child, Leo Sewell grew up playing with objects he found at the dump near his home. He would take them apart, and his parents would encourage him to put them back together. He followed their advice long after he became a grown-up and he now has 50 years experience in creating beautiful sculptures out of junk.

He spends most of his time scouring the streets of Philadelphia for discarded materials, and brings them all back to his workshop. Right now, there are over 100,000 items in his shop, organized into 2,500 categories, from corn holders to gold-plated shark teeth. No matter how weird or useless an item seems, Leo will find a place for it in one of his beautiful artworks. Both the frame and surface of his sculptures are made of junk objects, assembled with nails, bolts and screws.

Throughout his career, Leo Sewell has created over 4,000 trash sculptures, from life-size models of animals, to a 24-foot-long dinosaur or his amazing 40 foot Torch. His art is displayed worldwide, including in over 40 museums and in both private and public collections.

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The Mind-Blowing Origami Sculptures of Eric Joisel

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Eric Joisel was one of the most gifted origami artists the world has ever seen, and even though he recently passed away, he lives on through his amazing folded paper masterpieces.

Eric Joisel dedicated most of his life to art, in many of its forms, including drawing and sculpting. He took up origami in 1983, and just four years later had his first exhibition, in Paris. It was proof of his immense talent, but the French artist knew that it took a lot more hard work to take his art to the highest possible level. Whenever someone asked him how long it took him to finish one of his paper artworks, he would say “35 years, because that is how long it has taken me to get to this level.”

Unlike the paper boats or birds people usually associate with the art of origami, Joisel’s works are more like paper sculptures created from a single sheet of paper. The blueprint for a single figure could take several years to complete, and the folding process lasted hundreds of hours, but the result was truly magnificent. By dampening the sheet of paper, the artist could curve it into intricate shapes, allowing him to create details like furrowed brows or veined hands. Some of his larger creations, like the paper rhino you’re about to see below, were created from giant sheets of paper, measuring 15 feet by 25 feet (about the size of a studio apartment).

Although his works sold for thousands of dollars, Eric Joisel lived in a modern farmhouse, and spent several hours a day working on his origami sculptures. He died on October 10, 2010, from lung cancer. He was just 53 years old, and had so much more to give to the art world…

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