Chinese Artist Showcases Venus de Milo Statue Made of Excrements

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Zhu Cheng, one of China’s most famous and talented sculptors, has helped nine of his art students to create a replica of Venus de Milo out of excrements.

Now, I know we’ve had quite a few strange art mediums here at Oddity Central, from garbage to chewing gum, but excrement has to be the weirdest one yet, by a long shot. Zhu Cheng helped and direct a team of nine art students to recreate the Venus de Milo statue out of feces. Now, the source doesn’t actually specify if we’re talking about animal or human excrements, but I’m pretty sure it’s the last one…A symbol of beauty created from something so disgusting, the idea is pretty cool, but I can’t help but be grossed out by the thought of having to mold feces into a statue with your hands.

Ad you can see in the photos, the excrement-made Venus de Milo is encased in a transparent box, to protect it, and make sure the smell of crap doesn’t drive everyone away from the exhibition at Henan Art Museum in Zhengzhou city, China.

But the most unbelievable thing about this “shity” statue of Venus de Milo is that it was actually bought by a Swiss art collector, for a staggering 300,000 yuan ($45,113). Talk about spending money on crap, right?

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An Art Eggcident in Leeuwarden

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like if giant eggs started falling from the sky, right in the middle of your city? Of course you haven’t, but Hank Hofstra has and he decided to show the whole world.

Dutch artist Hank Hofstra was tired of looking at boring old Zaailand, the main square of Leeuwarden and one of the largest in the Netherlands, and decided to do something about it. There had been lots of topics on making the landmark more appealing, but nothing had really been done about it. Remembering an old Dutch saying, “To lay down the first egg, you have to start with the first egg”, Hofstra decided to lay the first eight giant eggs, himself.

After meeting with local authorities and companies involved in the Art Eggcident, the artist and his team spent two days spray-painting the eggs, each one around 100 meters in diameter. As you can expect, the giant sunny-side-up eggs immediately drew the attention of passers-by, but reactions were very different. Hours after the Eggcident’s completion, 80% of people who saw it said it was hideous, but now, weeks later, 80% of people say it’s brilliant. Shops around Zaailand Square definitely appreciate Hank’s work, since it bought in tons of tourists and boosted their sales.

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The Ledger Paper Buildings of Jill Sylvia

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Artist Jill Sylvia uses ledger paper sheets to create amazing replicas of famous buildings, like the US capitol or the White House. One thing is for sure, you don’t have to like accounting to fall in love with her art.

Usually used to compile accounting information, ledger sheets become a very original art medium, in the hands of Jill Sylvia. Using a drafting knife, she removes the spaces where numbers are supposed to be, by hand, leaving only the grid separating the boxes. She then uses the resulting lattice to create intricate artworks, including models of American structures. I’d say it’s a great way of reusing a now obsolete material to create timeless artworks.

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The Chewing Gum Portraits of Jason Kronenwald

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Jason Kronenwald is an extraordinary artist who creates incredible celebrity portraits out of chewed pieces of bubblegum.

Gum Blondes” is a series of portraits of famous blondes, from Britney Spears to Madonna and even Hillary Clinton. Although I’m pretty sure he isn’t the first artist to do portraits of these stars, he is the first one to do it using only chewing gum. Jason Kronenwald executed his first chewing gum artwork in 1996, and over the years improved his technique to the point where you couldn’t guess the only medium is colored bubblegum. He recently opened a new exhibition of portraits, entitled “A Fresh Pack of Gum Blondes.”

While I’ll admit it’s hard to believe, Jason adds no dye to his chewing gum portraits. Colors and tones are obtained by simply chewing a variety of colored gum, regardless of their brand. He even has a team of chewers, so he doesn’t put any gum in his mouth, unless he absolutely has to. Each portrait is created on a plywood surface, which is then sealed with an epoxy resin that protects and preserves it for long periods of time.

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The Intricate Paper-Cut Maps of Karen O’leary

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They may not be as helpful as conventional maps, when you need to find your way through a metropolis, but Karen O’leary’s hand-cut paper maps are simply stunning to look at.

Karen O’leary is definitely one of the most patient people on the planet. She spends most of her days cutting away at thick white watercolor sheets of paper, until she creates jaw-dropping replicas of conventional city maps. While you could easily mistake Karen’s hand-cut maps with laser-cut ones, the amount of time and patience she puts into every one of her works makes them unique masterpieces. For each one of her maps, the artist spends a great deal of time drawing it in detail, and only after begins the painstaking process of cutting.

If you’d like to own one of Karen O’leary’s intricate hand-cut paper maps, you can find a wide range of cities, from Madrid to Sydney, at her online Etsy shop. While the $1,100 price tag may seem a bit discouraging, judging by the amount of effort Karen puts into her art, you’ll find it’s a bargain.

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Bridget Polk – The Rock Lady of New York

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Bridget Polk is a New York resident who came to be known as the “Rock Lady”, by fellow New Yorkers who saw her amazing balancing rocks, on the banks of the Hudson River.

Polk, a 50-year-old personal assistant from the upper West Side, began experimenting with rock balancing about a year ago. The idea had been planted in her head a while ago, when a friend showed her the works of a rock balancing artist in Sausalito, and added that she probably couldn’t do it herself. Competitive by nature, Bridget took the comment as a challenge and began practicing rock balancing, on her daily walks along the Hudson River.

She soon found that she had a natural talent for the art of rock balancing, and that it inspired her and people who laid eyes on her works. And that’s understandable, because Bridget Polk’s rock balancing skills are truly remarkable, enabling her to stack rocks in seemingly impossible positions, with their wide ends in the air, balancing on a tiny tip.

When she sees photographers and passers-by admiring her rock balancing masterpieces, Bridget admits she’s tempted to walk up to them and say something like “I did that!”, but she prefers to just stand back and observe people’s reaction. Some of them knock down the rocks, to convince themselves they aren’t glued together, but most of them just try to add to her work or build rock stacks of their own. Regardless of their reactions, Bridget Polk says she feels happy about making any kind of contribution to their daily lives.

The Rock Lady of New York will soon be leaving the Big Apple, to live with her partner, in Portland, Oregon, but she has made sure her rock balancing legacy will live on even after she’s gone. She has been teaching some of her admirers the secrets of the art, and she’s certain that with a bit of practice, they’ll soon follow in her footsteps.

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The Wonderful Can Sculptures of Canstruction 2010

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Every year, dozens of teams of architects and engineers compete in creating the most impressive can sculptures for the Canstruction exhibition.

This year, 25 teams did their vest to arrange around 100,000 cans of food into detailed sculptures that would ultimately win them the title of Canstruction champions. The intricate works of art are on display at the World Financial Center Garden, in New York City, until November 22, and visitors are encouraged to donate canned foods like tuna, beans or vegetables. Once the exhibition closes, all the cans are donated to the poor people of New York, by City Harvest.

Last year’s Canstruction winner was a piggy-bank sculpture made from 3.024 cans of salmon and 24 cans of tuna, but this year, judges have a tough decision to make. They have to pick between mosaics of Marylin Monroe and Super Mario, a can-made van and several other mind-blowing creations.

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Ben Wilson’s Tiny Chewing Gum Masterpieces

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English urban artist Ben Wilson has made it his mission to make the streets of London more colorful, by painting every piece of old chewing gum he can find on the pavement.

Over the last six years, Wilson has been roaming the streets of London, looking for pieces of chewing gum to turn into miniature works of art. Spitting a piece of gum, rather than throwing it away in a bin, or at least using a tissue is definitely the wrong thing to do, but fortunately, an artist like Ben Wilson can turn the whole situation around, using his talent.

Wearing a paint-covered coat and carrying his trusty paint kit, Ben spends most of his days looking for suitable pieces of gum to turn into artworks. He needs them to be a bit old, so that they lack any moisture, then heats them up and applies lacquers. This makes a much better surface for his acrylic paints and hardens the piece of gum. He paints his own designs, but also gladly accepts commissions from passers-by or institutions like the Royal Society of Chemistry, who asked him to paint 118 themed chewing gum artworks, one for each of the known elements.

Each of his beautiful pavement masterpieces takes between a few hours and days to complete, depending on the level of detail. So far, Ben estimates he has painted around 8,000 pieces of gum throughout London, and he doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon, although his passion got him into trouble, a couple of times. He’s been arrested twice, but the charges were eventually dropped, since he wasn’t the one who threw the pieces of gum on the pavement, in the first place.

Ben Wilson’s chewing gum art have made him quite popular around London, and even in distant South Korea, where he was featured on a television show.

 

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The Hyperrealistic Paintings of Tom Martin

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Tom Martin is a young English artist who  makes use of acrylic paint to create the most amazing paintings. Looking at them you could swear they are simple photographs, but in reality they are painstakingly painted by hand.

Hyperrealism evolved from the “photorealism” movement of the 1970s, and it’s dedicated to making artworks that are “more real than real”. Hyperrealists try not just copy a photograph with paint, but emphasize elements that were not evoked by the original. 23-year-old Tom Martin is already one of the most respected hyperrealist artist in the world, with works featured in art exhibitions all around the world.

Just have a look at his amazing super-sized paintings and tell me if you’d have known they aren’t simple photos or computer generated images.

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Patriot Dedicates 10 Years to Sculpting Wooden Declaration of Independence

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Charlie Kestead, a talented woodworker from Johnstown, USA has spent ten years of his life carving the Declaration of Independence in dark walnut wood.

The giant wooden replica of famous document was completed a few months ago, after 10 years of constant labor. Kested would have probably finished it earlier, but a stroke forced him to abandon his project for a while. Although it impaired his speech and mobility, the dedicated woodworker continued work on his wooden masterpiece, as soon as he was physically able. Almost as tall as its creator, the wooden Declaration of Independence is an exact replica of the original document, down to the bottom signatures. Every letter and character was hand carved out of dark walnut and placed on a background of light Baltic birch, for contrast.

The 81-year-old retired teacher of industrial arts says it was a labor of love, despite the fact that it took most of his free time, during the last decade. He added that all of his efforts paid off when he was awarded first place and best in show at the 2010 Florida State Fair. Fellow woodmakers who saw Charlie Kested’s wooden Declaration of Independence were blown away by his unbelievable patience and attention to details. Every little bit of it is so precise, it’s almost impossible to believe it was done by hand.

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The Excel Drawings of Danielle Aubert

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Usually, Microsoft Excel worksheets look like endless rows and columns of important data, but artist Danielle Aubert makes them look like pixelated works of art.

By repurposing data software in a whole new way, Danielle Aubert manages to transform a tool into an original art medium. For each of her Excel paintings, Aubert crated a brand new worksheets, which were automatically set up as grids, and began tying with cell background color, fill pattern, border styles, as well as insert comment boxes, letters and characters.

So far, Danielle Aubert has created three series of her unique Excel drawings. She published a 16-day series as a book, she published a 58-day series on the Internet and created a time-lapse video of her 4.5-month series. You can view all of them on her official website.

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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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