The Contaminated Ceramics of Tamsin van Essen

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They may look like ceramic cups that haven’t been washed in years, but these are genuine artworks made by British designer Tamsin van Essen.

Using various “foreign” materials, the artist managed to mimic the infestation of various bacterias on ceramic bowls. As real as the contamination with Salmonella and Streptococcus may seem, the bowls are perfectly clean and ready to be used. Even knowing that, I doubt anyone would be crazy enough to actually use them.

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Mona Lisa Mosaic Made of Burnt Toast

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For the last 10 years, Maurice “Toastman” Bennet has been making incredible masterpieces from pieces of toast. His last work of art is a giant crunchy replica of Mona Lisa.

Last week, the Toastman spent most of his time at the K-11 shopping mall, in Hong Kong, working on his newest work for the upcoming Food Art Festival. His entire studio smelled of gas and burnt toast, but the final result was fully worth it. He managed to create a beautiful replica of Mona Lisa eating a pink ice cream, out of around 6,000 individual pieces of toast. And he did it all by using a blow torch to create patterns and different color tones.

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The Pencil Tip Masterpices of Dalton Ghetti

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Many artists use pencils to create their works of art, but in the case of  Dalton Ghetti, his pencils actually become artworks.

49-year-old Dalton Ghetti loved to carve things as long as he can remember. As a child, he used to carve his friends’ names into the sides of pencils and offer them as presents. Later, he took sculpting more seriously and began making large wooden sculptures, until he decided to challenge himself and make really tiny artworks. He experimented with many mediums, such as chalk, until the day he discovered pencil graphite.

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Kay Petal’s Needle Felted Celebrities

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Without using any patterns or sewing stitches, Kay Petal manipulates a difficult art medium like wool into amazing needle felted dolls.

Kay Petal discovered needle felting back in 2007, while she was recovering from a rare form of cancer. She had realized life was too short and that she needed to focus less on the mundane things in life, and more on finding the thing she is most passionate about. As soon as she found needle felting online, something happened and she just started researching on it. She had discovered a unique way of bringing wool to life, and she never looked back since.

Kay can create any kind of needle felted dolls, but lately, she has been focusing on making doll caricatures of real life celebrities. Her artistic efforts have been rewarded by various design and craft sites which published some of her works and introduced her amazing talent to the world.

Check out more of Kay’s work on her official site, Flickr and Youtube

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Robert Thierren Creates Furniture for Giants

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Robert Thierren is an acclaimed American artist who transforms ordinary household items into extraordinary works of art by increasing their scale several times.

Thierren was born in Chicago, grew up in San Francisco and later moved to Los Angeles. He first entered the attention of the media during the 1980s, when he began creating common items like doors, coffins or pitchers out of various mediums like copper, wood and bronze. But it wasn’t until he started creating his overgrown furniture series that he became truly famous.

His larger than life artworks are inspired by childhood games and fairy tales, and it does seem to suggest they were taken out of the story of Jack and the Bean Stock. Robert Thierren’s creations aim to provoke an interaction between the viewer, the object and the surrounding environment.

 

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Silvas Capitalis – The Forest Head of Kielder

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Silvas Capitalis, which translates as “forest head”, is an unusual art installation built by the American art group SIMPARCH.

Located on the grounds of Kielder Forest, near the Scottish border, Silvas Capitalis is not exactly the kind of shelter you’d expect to stumble upon while walking through the trees. It’s purpose is to provide visitors and cyclists of Kielder Forest with a refuge, and at the same time, add to the mystery of this place. Inspired by the “watchers” of Celtic folklore – spiritual beings who keep watch over the forest and its inhabitants – who were usually depicted as human heads, the forest head was considered too scary for young children. Visits to local schools were required to test the reaction of the kids, before the actual building began.

Silvas Capitalis is made from hundreds of individual timber blocks, individually cut, sanded and glued into the shape of a head. Visitors can climb up the stairs of Silvas Capitalis and actually look through the eyes of the watcher. The initial plan included carving out its ears so people could hear through them, but due to time limitations, this step was skipped.

 

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Lucy McRae and Her Safety Pin Art

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During the “Rojo Nova Work in Progress” exhibition at the Sao Paolo Museum of Image and Sound, Australian artist Lucy McRae showcased her unique safety pin art.

Trained as a classical ballerina and architect, Lucy McRae has evolved into a body architect who “invents and builds structures on the skin that re-shape the human silhouette.” In a statement, the museum says “her provocative and often grotesquely beautiful imagery suggests a new breed; a future human archetype existing in an alternate world.”

This time, she relied on hundreds of safety pins, glued on most of her body, to depict how evolved humans might look in the alternate world of her vision. The first reaction upon seeing her is something like “what has she done to her body?”, but then you notice the pins are just glued to her skin and you begin admiring Lucy McRae as a work of art.

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Thai Baker Makes Bread Shaped as Human Body Parts

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Kittiwat Unarrom, a talented artist from Thailand, uses his skills to create unique loafs of bread shaped like various human body parts.

Kittiwat has experimented with many art forms, from painting to sculpting, but it wasn’t until he had to return home and take over the family bakery that he discovered his true passion – making grotesque-looking bread. Since he first started out, in 2006, he has made a name for himself, and his Body Bakery has become a popular tourist attraction.

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Giant Meerkat Straw Sculpture Turns Up in England

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A 36-foot-tall meerkat statue made of straw has appeared on a field, in Chester, England, drawing the attention of drivers on the A51 motorway.

I don’t know if you remember, but last year I wrote a post about a straw replica of the Big Ben, built by the owner of an ice-cream company. His straw creations have become sort of a tradition in Chester, and this year he raised the bar even higher with an incredible meerkat straw statue.

Chris Sadler and his wife Cheryl have been coming up with ideas for straw statues since 1998, when their first creation, the straw Millennium Dome, was created, and have continued delivering wacky ideas that ended up being built by Mike Harper, who creates metal structures and fills them with hay.

The idea of a meerkat statue was inspired by a popular commercial in the UK, and since everyone loves these creatures, it seemed like a good idea. The public certainly loves the overgrown meerkat, and most people say they feel cheered up just looking at it.

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Chimera Fetus Is the Perfect Bizarre Gift

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Missmonster, a talented freelance artist with a taste for the bizarre, has created a series of fetal chimeras that you can buy as presents for your quirky friends.

Melita Curphy, better known as Missmonster, creates the most amazing things, from weird dolls, to cool pendants, masks and even awesome clothing accessories. Her latest creation will probably shock some of you, but bare in mind they are only sculptures, despite their very realistic veiny look.

You’r e probably wondering why anyone would want to buy a chimera fetus, but I’m sure there are plenty of oddballs like me out there who find this pretty damn cool. Missmonster’s fetuses are 4’5″ in size and come with beautiful wooden boxes, bearing the wax seal of Ada Rotsbeest, a fictional character created by the artist.

For more of Ada’s work check out her Flickr stream and online shop.

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The Creepy Art of Seiko Kato

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Perhaps a bit to eerie and strange for the average fellow, Seiko Kato‘s Victorian dolls are just what the doctor ordered for a bizarre-lover like me.

Seiko Kato, from Brighton, England, is an artist and illustrator who finds inspiration in old Victorian medical books, Victorian books and encyclopedias, and Victorian paraphernalia. At fist glance, her dolls look like the kind you’d expect to find in your grandmother’s room, but a closer look reveals some rather bizarre augmentations. Seiko Kato adds various steampunk elements to give her creations a unique look.

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Toastman and His Crunchy Toast Art

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New-Zealander Maurice Bennet, also known  as “Toastman”, creates incredible portraits and abstract works of art using toast.

Born in Paeroa, in the late 1950s, Maurice Bennett has always been fascinated by the art world, and as a young man, he traveled the world visiting museums and art galleries learning more and more about traditional and offbeat art. Upon his return to New-Zealand, the starving artist had to find a job, rather than focus on his art career, so he began weighing potatoes at a local market. Before he knew it, he and his wife were owning their own supermarket, and he was able to express himself through art.

Maurice’s first artistic experiences had him painting and sculpting, but it wasn’t until he discovered toast as an art medium, that he became a truly fulfilled artist. Throughout the years he created portraits of famous figures such as New Zealand prime minister John Key, rugby legend Jonah Lomu, the Mona Lisa, Elvis Presley , all of which earned him the praise of art critics.

Some of his more recent creations include a portrait of American president Barrack Obama, and some abstract works inspired by Maori carvings and Pacific patterns. he even made a portrait of rap star Eminem out thousands of M&Ms.

After selling his successful business, in late 2009, Toastman Maurice Bennett is now free to dedicate himself to his family, and his offbeat art.

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The Junk Portraits of Vik Muniz

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Using domestic and industrial junk, Brazilian artist Vik Muniz is able to recreate anything, from photographs to famous paintings.

Just because the artworks of Vik Muniz is made of junk, doesn’t mean it stinks. he’s actually been living in New York for the last 27 years, and is now recognized as one of the most original artists in the Big Apple. Over the years he has worked with various mediums, from chocolate syrup to caviar and even diamonds, but it seems garbage has become his favorite.

The “Junk Portraits” series of Vik Muniz features reproductions of classic paintings like Saturn devouring one of his children, by Goya, Mars, God of War, by Velasquez, or Sisyphus, by Titian. They have all been recreated from various junk items, on a giant warehouse floor and photographed from an elevated position, to make individual objects hard to distinguish.

Although the actual recreation of his junk portraits from garbage, might seem like the most important part of his job, his work isn’t completed until he takes photos of them.

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Chinese Artists Create World’s Longest Piece of Embroidery

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Chinese artist Qiao Lianchun, along with 25 other artists, is claiming the Guinness world record for the longest piece of embroidery.

The 25-meter-long, 0.96-meter-tall embroidered work of art may not look like much from a distance, but it took a team of artists two years to complete. Made up of 3, 150,000 stitches, the embroidery inspired by the classic Chinese painting ‘Along the River during Qing Ming Festival’, involved the use of 50,000 meters of thread, in 120 different colors.

Embroidery is a really fascinating art, and Qiao Lianchun took it to the extreme. He spent 27 months just traveling trough China’s Yunnan Province, looking for talented artists and craftsman to help him fulfill his dream. The “stitched painting” was created at Qiao Liachun’s factory, in Baoshan, and ever since its unveiling, people from all over China have been coming to see it.

After he receives his Guinness record, Qiao Lianchun hopes to sell his embroidered painting for $500,000.

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The Recycled Art of Guerra de la Paz

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Guerra de la Paz is the name of an artistic duet, made up of Alain Guerra and Neraldo de la Paz, two Cuban artists who live and work in Miami, Florida.

Since the favorite art medium of Guerra and de la Paz is clothing, the two find procure their material from waste bins and second hand shipping companies in Miami’s Little Haiti. Guerra de la Paz views its efforts of looking for discarded clothing as a form of archaeology. Each item is a relic that defines an individual’s personality, and together with other recycled clothes allows the artist to reinvent classic icons and historic themes, and send a message about the need for recycling, at the same time.

The works of Guerra de la Paz have been exhibited in galleries across America and Europe and have received positive reviews, ever since the project was born, in 1996.

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