X

Chicago Artist Spends Two Years Collecting Almost 9,000 Drug Bags to Highlight City’s Drug Problem

32-year-old Ben Kurstin, of Humboldt Park, Chicago, has 8,816 dime bags in his apartment, but he’s no drug dealer. The aspiring artist and filmmaker has been collecting drug bags in virtually every color and design imaginable off the streets of Chicago and using them as an art medium.

It all started one day, a couple of years ago, when Ben Kurstin noticed a discarded dime bag on a sidewalk in Humboldt Park, and decided to pick it up out of curiosity. From that point on, whenever he saw drug bags on the street, he would pick them up and take them home. Soon, his unusual habit became an obsession, to the point where he would search for the bags and come home with dozens , sometimes even hundreds of them, every day. He then spent hours cleaning and organizing them by color and design. At one point, he even started thinking of a rational explanation, should police one day stop him, thinking he was a drug dealer.

Read More »

This Buddha Sculpture Is Made from 20,000 Dead Beetles

Japanese artist Yoneji Inamura spent six years of his life collecting 20,000 beetles of different varieties and using them to create a five-foot sculpture of a popular Buddhist deity.

It’s unclear how and when exactly Inamura started catching and collecting beetles. Some sources claim that it was during his days working for the local railroad, in Itakura, Japan’s Gunma Prefecture, after noticing that the rhinoceros beetle’s horn resembled the fingers of the Buddhist deity, while others say that he was helping local children collect beetles and just became fascinated with them. Living in a rural area of Japan, Inamura was always surrounded by various types of beetles, including rhinoceros beetles, winged jewel beetles, drone beetles, longhorn beetles, just to name a few, and he dedicated most of his free time to catching and adding them to his collection.

Read More »

Taxidermist Turns Dead Cat into a Handbag, Sparks Controversy

A one-one-of-a-kind handbag fashioned out of the pelt of a dead cat and featuring the feline’s intact head as part of the decor has sparked quite the debate online after its listing on an online auction site wen viral.

Created by Clare Hobbs, a professional taxidermist from Christchurch, New Zealand, the bizarre accessory is currently for sale at a starting price of $1,400. Described as an expression of Hobbs’ “artistic passions and desire to engineer the surreal, particularly using feral and domestic felines,” the cat bag is certainly not for the faint of heart.

Although the product description mentions that no animals were hurt or killed for the creation of the unique piece, and Hobbs herself added that it was made from a feral cat that had been “hit by a car on backwash country road,” it still managed to attract some negative comments. Read More »

Landscaping Company Carves Live Trees into Beautiful Artworks, Sparks Controversy

A landscaping company in China recently angered nature lovers by carving dragons and other art forms on live camphor trees. Workers apparently cut off all the branches and stripped the top layer of bark before carving intricate figures into the soft wood underneath. The sculptures were then painted in gold.

About a dozen such trees are currently located on a roadside plot of land in Xiangshan county, in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province. The owner of the company, who prefered to remain anonymous, said it took 100 days to carve each tree. He also admitted that most of the trees couldn’t withstand the carving process and died soon after. As pretty as the carvings are, not many people are impressed with the cruelty involved.

carved-live-trees Read More »

Controversial Pigs Tattooed with Disney Characters Selling for Up to $70,000 in China

Given the fact that pigs are mostly raised for slaughter, it seems rather pointless and cruel to spend hours inking them with intricate tattoos. But believe it or not, tattooed pig skins are actually fetching a handsome price in China – up to $70,000 per hide!

These special pigs are inked under anaesthesia, with a variety of designs including Disney characters, Louis Vuitton logos, and even patterns that are popular with Russian prison inmates. Three artists work simultaneously on each pig, and their skin is later massaged and moisturised by carers. Once the pigs reach the end of their lives, their skins are sold to collectors for tens of thousands of dollars. One canvas featuring Disney characters, for example, was sold to Chanel and made into two bags.

tattooed-pigs

Read More »

Controversial Artist Unveils Work Created with Hundreds of Dead Insects

Damien Hirst is known as one of the most controversial artists of our time, and his latest work only adds to his reputation. Capaneus, part of the ‘entomology‘ series that hirst has been working on since 2009, features hundreds of insect species placed in intricate geometric shapes and fixed in place with household gloss paint.

Considering many people find insects, spiders and scorpions disgusting or even frightening, it’s fair to say Capaneus is not an artwork for the faint of heart. However, considering Hirts’s past “masterpieces” include a diamond-encrusted baby skull, and an installation where maggots hatched, developed into flies and feasted on a severed cow’s head in a glass box, I’d have to say his latest creation is one of the least controversial. According to the English artist’s website, “this work’s title derives from Dante’s ‘Inferno’ which recounts how the warrior king Capaneus is struck down with lightening and thunder bolts by the angered deities whom he has held in contempt. Dante’s account originates from the Latin epic poem ‘Thebaid’ in which it is described how, body and helmet aflame, Capaneus falls from the walls to the ground below where he lies outstretched, ‘his lifeless body as immense as that of a giant.” Like the rest of the artworks in the “entomology” series, Capaneus alludes to Hirst’s long time interest in the nineteenth century fascination with natural history and the irony involved in having to kill something in order to look at it.

Read More »

High on Art – Brazilian Artist Paints with Marijuana Smoke

For his latest series, aptly entitled “Blow Job – Work of Blowing”, Brazilian artist Fernando de la Rocque has created images of political and religious icons using marijuana smoke. Needless to say that has sparked a great deal of controversy in the art world.

We’ve seen some pretty unique works of art created with smoke, like the ghost paintings of Rob Tarbell or the smoke-painted bottles of Jim Dingilian, but none as controversial as Fernando de la Rocque’s. The daring artist using a unique technique to paint images onto a white canvas – he blows marijuana smoke on pre-cut stencils laid down on the canvas to dye paint and shade the desired areas. The results are pretty impressive, but it’s the bizarre technique that attracted the most attention, with many wondering how he must feel after completing one of his smoky artworks.

Read More »