Russian Artist’s Paintings Are Made with Dead Butterfly Wings

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Vadim Zaritsky, a former police officer turned artist and entomologist uses a very strange medium for his artworks – butterfly wings. The subjects of his unique paintings range from landscapes and still life to portraits of political figures and famous artists.

I know it sounds cruel, but before you label Vadim Zaritsky’s art as a crime against nature, you should know he only uses the wings of dead butterflies that died en masse he finds on the paths and roads around his home city of Lipetsk, 438 kilometers southeast of Moscow, and dead specimens donated by fellow butterfly collectors. “Butterfly collectors know that some wings are considered – collectors call it trash,” Zaritsky says. “If the wings are damaged, if they have partially faded, specialists would usually put them aside. It’s a shame to throw them away but you cannot use them either. In time, the bits may become infested with pests and you have to throw everything away anyway.” One day it occurred to him that these pieces could be recycled into art instead of simply throwing them away. So he began using these discarded wings as a medium for his art, and in the last five years he has created over 100 works of art of varying size and theme. The Russian entomologist takes between a week and several months to complete a single butterfly wing painting.

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Living Art – Museum Masterpieces Painted on Human Bodies

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Chadwick Gray and Laura Spector have found an ingenious way to combine their passion for 19th century art with modern body-painting. The artistic duo recreate classic paintings from museums around the world on to Chadwick’s body, in a special art collection aptly named “Museum Anatomy“.

We’ve featured some pretty impressive example of body-painting in the past, but nothing like what Chadwick Gray and Laura Spector create. The two artists from Austin, Texas, contact museums across the world, asking for permission to access and photograph their 19th century paintings. According to Peta Pixel, they’re always looking specifically for works that haven’t been exhibited in the last 50 years (if ever). After they’ve found a painting they would like to recreate, they either take a photo of it, or ask the museum to send them a professional documentation. Then the real work begins – repainting the artwork on Chadwick’s body. They start by projecting an image of it on to his body, while he tries different positions until they find the perfect pose. Once that’s done with, Laura spends between 8-15 hours in one sitting trying to reproduce every detail, using special-effects makeup. But the painstaking process yields some mind-blowing results.

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English Artist Creates Masterpieces by Painting with Tea

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Liverpool-based artist Carne Griffiths creates magical artworks by combining traditional mediums like ink with drinks like tea, vodka, brandy, whiskey and other alcohols.

39-year-old Carne Griffiths relies on drinks to make his art stand out. He isn’t the only artist to find his inspiration in drink, famous masters like Vincent Van Gogh and Salvador Dali enjoyed a glass of alcohol to release their creative talents, but Mr. Griffiths has a very different approach – he uses them as paint. “I have drawn with fountain pen for many years, often with plain water washes. When I decided to leave my post of creative director at an embroidery firm to pursue a love of drawing I experimented with liquids such as brandy,” Carne said in an interview about his medium choices. “I liked the effect this had on the inks I was using but decided that an alternative that wasn’t such a wasteful crime would be a better option so I started experimenting with different types of tea.” Using a combination of ink and tea allows the English artist to create repeating layers which he then partly washes out with various types of tea, and making new drawings out of what appears beneath.

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German Artist Creates Art from Chaotic Splotches of Tea, Coffee and Juice

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Stains of coffee and fruit juice are dreaded by most people, but German artist Angela Mercedes Donna Otto actually uses them as the basis for her creative artworks. She randomly pours colored drinks on paper canvases and spends hours contemplating the splotches, looking for familiar shapes.

At the base of Angela Mercedes Donna Otto’s art is “apophenia”, a term used by psychologists to describe the pursuit of the human mind to construct meaning, order and forms even from chaotic structures (e.g. seeing faces and shapes in clouds). She starts the creative process by making random splotches of coffee, tea and various fruit juices on a paper canvas, to create all kinds of chaotic patterns. Then, she spends hours on end in her studio, contemplating the stains and using her imagination to identify meaningful patterns and shapes. Finally, the motifs she finds in the visually stimulant material are extracted from the patterns by drawing with colored ink. Though they are carefully worked out in detail her pictures provide a wide range of interpretation, different approaches and scope to “see more”.

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Amateur Artist Turns Apartment Building into Urban Art Gallery

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Dmitry Bochkarev, an amateur artist, from Moscow, Russia, has turned an ugly communist-era apartment building into a colorful art gallery, by covering the walls, staircases and doors with various painted artworks.

While most graffiti artists sneak around to find places where they can exercise their artistic talents, amateur artist Dmitry Bochkarev asked people’s permission before he began painting on their walls and doors. It all began 17 years ago, after Dmitry experienced clinical death. He had a vivid dream that helped him discover his talent for painting, and from then on he started painting the inside of his apartment building, in Moscow’s  Biryulyovo district. Until then, the place was just a grey reminder of the Soviet era, and a victim of littering and ugly graffiti. But once colorful cartoon scenes and nature-inspired landscapes started appearing on the walls, it all stopped. Not even vandals have had the heart to ruin Bochkarev’s artworks, and neighbors say it’s the best thing that ever happened to their community. Residents started smiling to each other again, and they became so proud of their art-covered building that they even organize viewing tours for friends and family.

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Robin Eley’s Incredible Hyper-Realistic Paintings

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There’s no way to tell, but you’re actually not looking at a photograph, but a hyper-realistic painting by London-born artist Robin Eley. Armed with a simple paintbrush he’s able to create photo-quality works of art that draw attention instantly.

Born in London, raised in Australia and educated in the United States, Robin Eley is a man of three continents. But more impressive than his life’s story and journey are his amazing hyper-realistic works. Most of the subjects depicted in his large-scale oil paintings are naked and wrapped in plastic foil, with each tiny detail of their bodies and countless reflection of their translucent covers expertly depicted by the artist. “Inspired by history, I extract from the present. Artifacts and textures that reflect the beauty and nobility of decline and question the modern obsession with perfection. While my subjects and technique are intentionally very real, the context in which they are painted is less defined, Eley says about his art.

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The Mind-Blowing Date Stamp Paintings of Federico Pietrella

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Italian-born Federico Pietrella uses an item usually associated with corporate offices to created incredible works of art. It’s simply mind-blowing how he can use a restrictive tool like the date stamp to achieve this level of detail.

Looking at Federico Pietrella’s artworks from a distance, you’d never guess they were actually executed using a date stamp. But that’s in fact all he uses to create these amazingly detailed masterpieces that look more like pixelated black-and-white photos. He has been practicing his date-stamp painting technique for the last 15 years and his skill level has reached a level where it’s very hard to tell one of his works from an old photograph. As you can imagine, his is a painstaking work. Each one of his masterpieces takes between 1 – 2 months to complete, which is easily verified considering the artist uses the current date whenever he uses the stamp. “Time is a mysterious thing.  For me it’s the most important thing from which everything is derived- work, existence, life,” the artist says about his bizarre choice of tools.

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Talented Artist Paints on Discarded Pennies

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American artist Jacqueline Lou Skaggs uses tiny discarded pennies as canvases for her miniature paintings. The level of detail she’s able to achieve is truly awe-inspiring.

Initially these coins were going to be spent- nestled with other coins in an exchange of goods. Or tossed back to the sidewalks from whence they came. Nice thoughts. However, these works remain hoarded as art rather than currency or discarded, valueless copper.

Her series, Tondi Observations, consists of 12 pieces painted over the faces of presidents and monumental buildings.

This small body of twelve works consist of images painted on found, discarded pennies and reflect a decision to move away from making “pictorial” images. A grand finale of sorts paying homage to the binding ideologies that define our family, religious, social and political worlds. Paid tribute no less on the face of discarded coins these iconic images transcend the coins value while defacing it. 

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Vinyl Portraits of Famous Musicians Created with Thousands of White Dots

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Daniel Edlen, from Phoenix, Arizona, is probably one of the world’s most patient artists. Using just white acrylic paint, he dabs thousands of tiny white spots on black vinyls to create amazingly-detailed portraits of famous musicians.

But why would an artist go through a painstaking process of dabbing white spots on records, instead of painting them the old-fashioned way, with a brush? Well, Daniel told My Modern Metropolis that  ”it’s challenging painting on raw records because the paint streaks if I stroke it. Dabbing is the only way it works, but consistency is hard because I don’t use any black and I can’t remove paint easily once it’s dried.” That means the talented artist doesn’t afford to make any mistakes during the creative process, and that’s probably why he can take up to a whole month to complete a single piece.

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Guy Paints and Draws Incredible Portraits with One Continuous Line

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Think about the most impressive maze you’ve ever had to solve, and I guarantee it’s not as cool as what this Reddit user can create with a single continuous line.

I could never draw or paint anything worth looking at, but I’ve always been fascinated by what some people can accomplish if they’re given a simple pen or paintbrush. Reddit user “renbo” is definitely one of these incredibly gifted artists. He creates amazing portraits/mazes of celebrities and movie characters by drawing a single intricate line that never crosses itself or end. It’s just one continuous loop that somehow manages to emphasize the subjects’ most important features. In order to make sure his artworks are perfect, renbo says he tries not to lift the pen off the canvas unless his hand gets really fatigued.

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Chuck Close’s Incredible Fingerprint Portrait Will Blow Your Mind

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It’s not every day that you get to have your mind blown by a phenomenal piece of art, but today is one of those rare days. Feast your opticals on this unique portrait made by Chuck Close using only his fingerprints.

Entitled Fanny/Fingerpainting, this giant portrait was created in 1985, and depicts the artists’s wife’s late grandmother, Fanny. The oil on canvas artwork was executed using a technique developed by Close himself which involves the direct application of pigment to a surface, with his fingerprints. By adjusting the amount of pigment used and the pressure applied on the canvas with his fingers, Chuck Close managed to capture every crack and crevice of the subject’s face, just like a high-definition silver-toned photograph.

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Artist Uses Ink to Turn People’s Faces into Ephemeral Artworks

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Pinpin Co, a Chinese artist raised in Japan, uses a simple gel ink pen to turn her subjects’ faces into temporary works of art that are then washed away in a few seconds.

You’ve probably seen impressive body painting before, but what Pinpin Co does is truly unique. Using an 0.38mm gel ink pen, the young artist spends around five hours drawing on people’s faces, creating fascinating artworks that often capture physical or mental scars that each of them possesses. She is inspired by every person she uses as her canvas, their lives and experiences help Pin Pin create new and exciting works of art every time. “It often becomes a therapeutic process,” she told Japanese website Antenna7, in an interview, referring to the doctor-patient relationship that often develops between her and her subjects.

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Digital Artist Creates Realistic Version of Van Gogh’s Starry Night

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Ever wondered what the sky must have looked like when Vincent Van Gogh painted his famous Starry Night? Well, Alex Cruz has and he even created his own realistic-looking version of the post-impressionist’s masterpiece, using Photoshop.

“I’ve often wondered about how the night ski looked to Van Gogh when he painted Starry Night,” Ruiz said. “I wanted this piece to be somewhat magical and fantastic, not just a normal night painting. Hence the large moon, large stars, transparent clouds, etc., yet keeping a mostly realistic feel to it.” I don’t know how long it took the Dutch artist to finish his famous artwork, but Ruiz did his in just 7 hours, using matte painting techniques in Photoshop. Art sure has come a long way since the 1800s.

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A “Bald” Art Movement – Artist Uses His Head in the Name of Art

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A few years ago, when he started to go bald, English artist Philip Levine decided he didn’t want to shave his head like everyone else. Instead he opted to turn it into a canvas for his art. That’s how the “headism” art movement was born.

While other complain about losing their hair, young Philip Levine looks at the full half of the glass: being bald gives him full freedom in a very specific and original way. Ever since he started shaving his head, in 2006, he began using it as a canvas for his various design ideas, and soon trend websites started posting photos of his bald artworks. In 2009 he realized his head was becoming and inspiration in the art world and decided to put on a show. Ever since then, his name and the headism art he pioneered have become iconic withing London’s art and fashion scenes.

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Jason de Graaf’s Works Look Like High-Resolution Photographs, But They’re Not

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Canadian artist Jason de Graaf creates hyperrealistic paintings that look more like carefully composed still-life photographs. We’ve featured many artist who can easily fool you into thinking their paintings are photos, but Jason de Graaf really is in a class of his own.

Just so you can understand how incredibly real de Graaf’s paintings look, you should know they’ve inspired the term “Magic Realism” as a description. The talented artist born in Montreal says: “My paintings are about staging an alternate reality, the illusion of verisimilitude on the painted surface, filtered so that it expresses my unique vision. Though my paintings may appear photoreal my goal is not to reproduce or document faithfully what I see one hundred percent, but also to create the illusion of depth and sense of presence not found in photographs.”

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