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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The Twisted Porcelain Dolls of Jessica Harrison

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I’ve featured some bizarre dolls before, but Jessica Harrison’s creations are damn right twisted. I luv’em!

These ghastly ceramic figures look like something you’d expect to find on the dinning room table of a serial killer, but they’re actually the work of a talented artist with a taste for the bizarre. Sure, a young lady holding her own guts probably isn’t everyone’s idea of the perfect porcelain doll, but I definitely appreciate this kind of art. Be sure to check out Jessica’s website, for more of her work over the years.

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Artist Creates Wearable Dress Out of 1,000 Newspapers

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Complete with a nice neckline and long peacock train, the newspaper dress of designer Yuliya Kyrpo is definitely one of a kind.

Being a guy and all, I’m not very big on dresses, but I did feature quite a lot of them on OC. We’ve had the cake dress, the coffee-filter dress, the LED dress, and eve a dress made from human hair, but never one made of 1,000 old news papers.

Yuliya Kyrpo wrapped every one of the old Metro newspapers into cranes, by herself, and positioned them to create this amazing piece of art. What’s even more interesting is the way she managed to arrange the different texts and images to make her dress actually nice to look at.

The newspaper dress of Yulia Kyrpo is now on display at the London Museum of Art.

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The Paper World of Jeff Nishinaka

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Los Angeles based Jeff Nishinaka is one of the world’s best paper manipulating artists. He creates amazing 3D paper sculptures, by handling paper in the least invasive way.

Although you could swear Jeff Nishinaka has been creating paper sculptures since the day he was born, he didn’t discover his passion for this art form until he attended the Art Center College. He was determined to become a painter, when he was given assignments in both graphic design and fashion drawing to experiment with different art mediums. He had what he likes to cal an “ah-ha!” moment when he discovered paper, and has remained faithful ever since.

He began working with different types of paper, learning how to shape, bend and twist them onto various shapes that ultimately became amazing artworks. Because he treats paper like a living, breathing thing, Jeff Nishinaka manipulates paper in the least invasive way, trying to maintain its integrity. This makes his works special, and easy on the eyes.

Jackie Chan, a close friend of Jeff Nishinaka, owns the biggest collection of the artist’s paper masterpieces.

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Man Decorates His Entire Basement Using a Sharpie and a Marker

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53-year-old Says Kratzer managed to turn his boring cream-painted basement into an inhabitable masterpiece, by using his trusty sharpie and a magic marker.

Mister Kratzer has always been fascinated by Impressionist art, and by the time he reached 30, he knew he wanted his house to be decorated with it. Since he couldn’t afford to buy all the art pieces he began creating them himself. He began painting, and now his works hang all over the house. So when he decided to redecorate the basement, it’s not very hard to guess what style he used as inspiration.

A lawyer by day, Mr. Kratzer spent whatever free time he had, decorating the walls of his basement with the heroes that fascinated him throughout his entire life. And he did it all with just $12 worth of sharpie and a magic marker. You’ll find famous detectives Hercule Poirot and Sherlock Holmes lounging with George Bernard Shaw, the Marx Brothers peering around the corner, cartoon stars Rocky and Bullwinkle, and a top garbage can painted into R2D2.

Other wives might be furious at their husbands, after seeing their basements covered with all kinds of sharpie doodles, but here’s what Deb Kratzer had to say: “I have the coolest husband. He’s so bright, and artistic on top of it.”

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Japanese Artist Makes Complete Crocodile Costume

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Japanese artist Hisako Matsumoto created a crocodile costume, complete with helmet and boots, as her graduation piece.

Before going into PETA mode, you should know the costume is completely ceramic, with not a single piece of crocodile leather on it. But it does look like a genuine crocodile costume, and that’sactually the reason I decided to post photos of it on OC.

You’ll also find a photo of the artist, at the bottom. You have to admit, she’s pretty cute.

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Vermontasaurus – The Scrap Wood Dinosaur of Vermont

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The Vermontasaurus is the creation of Brian Boland, a man who decided to use scrap wood in the name of art. I’d say he nailed it.

A month ago, 61-year-old Brian Boland decided to turn a big pile of scrap wood, on the edge of his property in Vermont, into something beautiful that the local community could use as a free-admission gathering place. Using a dinosaur model as inspiration, he began building his Vermontasaurus, and within just nine days, the sculpture began taking shape. The basic rules he and a few volunteers set up ( no saws, no rulers and no using other materials other than what was available in the junk pile) let to the creation of an amazing piece of art, 22-foot-tall and 122-foot-long.

Some of Brian’s neighbors find the lack of rules in the Vermontasaurus sculpture quite interesting, while others just see a messy piece of art. But the opinions of his neighbors are the least of Brian’s problems. State officials don’t appreciate it when people start building stuff and don’t ask for permission first, so they’re now asking for all kinds of permits, priced at a few hundreds of dollars each, and even told the artist he may have to tear down the Vermontasaurus.

Right now people are forbidden to use the Vermontasaurus as a gathering spot, as it was intended, but hopefully, this amazing roadside attraction will have the chance to become one of Vermont’s most popular landmarks.

 

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Chinese Artist Carves Football Players on Eggs

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Wang Huaping, a Chinese artist and huge fan of football, has found a unique to celebrate the World Cup 2010. Using a fine chisel, he managed to carve the faces of famous football players on eggs.

Wang Huaping has so far carved hundreds of eggs, and is an established artist in his home city of Tianjin. Now he has extended his collection of artworks with the portraits of famous football players like Lionel Messi, David Beckham, or David Villa. He has also carved the logos and mascots of the 2010 Football World Cup.

No info about the actual carving, but this man must have a real gentle touch, if he can keep from cracking the eggs with that chisel.

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The Jell-O World of Liz Hickok

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Liz Hickok is a San Francisco based artist who best expresses her talent through unique Jell-o artworks.

Liz is well versed in photography, video and sculpture, but she discovered her favorite art medium is Jell-o. We all crave a few spoons of wobbly goodness, from time to time, but Liz Hickok would rather use Jell-O in her work, rather than eat it. Her “San Francisco in Jell-O” installation received media coverage from the likes of the New York Times, San Francisco Magazine and other reputed members of the media.

To create her lovely miniature landmarks, from Jell-O, Liz Hickok first makes scale models of the structure she wants to reproduce, which she uses to make molds. Each element is then cast in Jell-O, placed on the set, which is dramatically illuminated from the back or from underneath.

Sadly, Jell-O buildings decay pretty fast, and all that remains are the photos, which you can admire below.

San Francisco in Jell-O

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The Digital Orca of Douglas Coupeland

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Perhaps the most interesting artwork in Vancouver, Digital Orca is a pixelated sculpture created by artist Douglas Coupleland.

How awesome is this, right? I mean, if I didn’t know any better I’d swear these photos were computer generated. But since Digital Orca is one of Vancouver’s most popular landmarks, featured on Pan Pacific Vancouver blog, you can believe it’s real. Located near the Vancouver Convention Center, Digital Orca looks completely different when viewed from various angles.

Local chronicler Douglas Coupland, is also the author author of Generation X, Microserfs, City of Glass and other impressive works of art in Vancouver.

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The Zombie Portraits of Grayson Castro

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Grayson Castro is an original artist with an affinity for zombies. I’ve never even imagined what Jesus or Barrack Obama would look like as zombies, but thanks to Grayson’s art we don’t have to. You can also check out Audrey Hepburn or Dolly Parton as mindless zombies, and even John McCain. I always knew politicians were monsters, but munching on a baby’s limbs seems a little too much.

You can see more of Grayson Castro’s artworks on his website and Flickr stream.

 

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The Incredible Paper Craft Masterpieces of Taras Lesko

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Taras Lesko is an incredibly talented designer who likes to create beautiful things both on his computer and with his own two hands. Though his graphic designs are nothing short of impressive, it’s his paper craft creations that really caught my eye.

Taras spends months working on his paper craft models, drawing up the parts, cutting them out and putting them together. Now that doesn’t sound like anything special, but wait until you see what this guy make out of paper.

The Freedom Gundam is, in my opinion, the coolest paper craft model in his personal portfolio. Inspired by the famous Gundam anime movie, Taras spent two months working on the 4-foot paper-craft Fredom Gundam. He ended up using 175 paper sheets and 500 individual parts.

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