Ukrainian Painter Turns Communist Apartment Building Into an Inhabitable Art Gallery

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Communist-era apartment buildings from the former Soviet Union are some of the ugliest edifices in the world, but Ukrainian painter Valery Haroun managed to turn one of them into a marvelous art gallery.

The apartment building in Odessa, Ukraine looks pretty ordinary from afar, but as you draw near the entrance, you realize there’s something special about it. The building’s door has been painted to look like that of a palace, the bland concrete pillars look like old temple columns and there’s a mural of naked Aphrodite looking right at you. Pretty unusual, but we’ve all seen graffiti artworks on apartment buildings, right? But it’s actually the interior of this place that’s truly stunning. Each of its nine floors is covered with colorful artworks, from reproductions of Claude Monet and Victor Vasnetsov, to postcard illustrations and cartoons like Winnie the Pooh and Madagascar.

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Hundreds of Paintings Come Together to Form Stunning Mural Mosaics

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Invented by Lewis Lavoie, Mural Mosaic is an artistic concept which brings together hundreds of artworks painted by various artists into one exceptional image.

Lewis Lavoie created his first mural mosaic in 1997, for a retaining wall next to an art gallery in St. Albert, Alberta, Canada. For this, the artist painted hundreds of individual paintings that were ultimately assembled to make up the face of Michelangelo’s David. It was a monumental achievement that helped Lavoie gain international attention for his unique style. But that was only the beginning of the mural mosaic movement, as seven years later Lewis takes his ingenious concept to the next level, by inviting 70 different artists to create the first community mural mosaic. During a live 24-hour painting marathon, each artist makes his contribution to the “Heritage Fiddler” mosaic.

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Artist Paints Herself Dressed in Bizarre Dead Animal Dresses

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In her 2007 self-portrait series, Booty, Julie Heffernan painted herself dressed in creepy dresses made from dead animal carcasses.

David Cohen, art critic of The New York Sun, describes Julie Heffernan’s paintings as “a hybrid of genres and styles, mixing allegory, portraiture, history painting, and still life, while in title they are all presented as self portraits.” The American painter uses self-portraits and a mix of history, art and high fashion to offer the viewer a wealth of visual entertainment. But her 2007 series, called Booty, is by far the most intriguing. In this colorful collection of portraits, the artist presents herself draped in pompous dresses made of dead animal carcasses, flowers and fruits. Like Heffernan’s other art series, these bizarre-yet-beautiful paintings are a constant dilemma between the gorgeous and the grotesque, attraction and repulsion.

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Dr. Rev’s Creepy Artworks Are Painted in Blood

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Dr Rev Mayers is an Australian tattoo artist with a passion for creating crimson artworks using nothing but blood. Using a variety of art techniques, he paints incredibly detailed yet somewhat creepy works of art.

Some artist would probably call Dr. Rev crazy for using his own blood on all of his paintings, but so far his disregard for the norm has proven very successful, as his works have been exhibited all around the world. The Sydney-based tattoo artist uses airbrushing, standard paint brushing, scraping, smudging and layering to create his realistic masterpieces that aim to depict growth, human constraint while capturing the viewer’s heart and soul. In time, he has managed to progress naturally from tattooing and doing body art, to his new found passion, blood painting.

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6 Talented Artists Who Paint with Coffee

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We’ve done several stories of artists painting with mediums like wine and coffee. Coffee paintings in particular, convey the rich brown tones associated with the beverage, which leads to the creation of  unique, very beautiful images. So brew yourself a cup of your favorite coffee and join us as we take you through the works of some world-famous coffee painters.

Coffee Art

Angel Sarkela-Saur and Andrew Saur, together call themselves the Coffee Artists. For over a decade, they have been painting with coffee and have managed to develop a unique technique of layering coffee on the canvas . Their works include paintings of ordinary, everyday objects, portrayed in the rich hues of the coffee bean. Interestingly, a lot of their paintings have coffee cups, pots and beans in them. The two definitely seem to have a thing for the dark beverage.

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The Mind-Blowingly Realistic Wine Paintings of Thomas Arvid

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If you’ve been hanging around Oddity Central for a while, you probably know I have a thing for hyperrealism. I find it amazing how some artists can simply guide a paintbrush to create photograph-like artworks that almost always fool the naked eye.

Case in point, Thomas Arvid, a self-taught painter who creates wine-related paintings that look like professional high-resolution photos. In the past, we’ve featured amazing works by talented artists the likes of Alyssa Monks or Denis Peterson, but Arvid’s creations really are unlike any I’ve ever seen. His incredibly realistic compositions of wine completely redefine still life and put the Marietta-based artist at the forefront of the hyperrealist art movement. Thomas’ mastery of light, depth and reflection, as well as his ability to capture a traditional subject like wine in a completely new style have brought him international acclaim.

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Mind-Blowing Charcoal Mural Is a Finger-Painting Masterpiece

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Fingers are definitely not the weirdest thing we’ve seen artists paint with (just check out this tongue painter and the girl who paints with gravity) but I had no idea someone could use their fingertips to create such detailed work.

We first featured Judith Braun’s finger paintings a few months ago, but while her artworks were beautiful then, she hadn’t created anything as impressive as this latest charcoal mural. I mean, looking at the photos below, can you believe she painted exclusively with her fingertips? The 12-foot by 48-foot masterpiece was created using Braun’s signature technique, which basically involves her covering her fingertips with ground charcoal and guiding them across the canvas. Entitled Diamond Dust, this magnificent piece is Judith Braun’s largest site-specific project to date.

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5 Talented Artists Who Paint with Wine

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned writing for OC, it’s that the truly talented are able to create breathtaking art out of literally anything, even ordinary stuff like packing tape or sprinkles. So when I read about wine art, I decided to look up the artists who work with the drinkable medium. After doing a little snooping around, we discovered these five amazing artists, who create the most beautiful wine paintings.

Christina LoCascio

What would a person with a Fine Arts degree and a career in the wine industry do? Why, paint with wine, of course! And that’s exactly what Christina LoCascio has been doing since 2002. She is credited with the development of a new technique using wine as her palette, making use of different grape varieties. Several paintings in Christina’s portfolio reflect a wine narrative – there are vineyards, grapes and wine bottle portraits. She also uses subjects to portray the emotional experience of enjoying a glass of wine. Her art has a very classy, elegant feel to it.

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Artist Uses Lovers as Living Paintbrushes

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Alexander Esguerra,  a New York-based artist, has invented the perfect recipe for love and art to go hand in hand. The couples who participate in his sessions not only get to make love, they also get to take a great souvenir home – a piece of art born from their sensual ‘act’.

Esguerra invites couples to cover themselves in non-toxic, water based paint and then ‘do as they please’ on a canvas on the floor. At the end of the love-making session, what results is a wonderful painting for the world to admire. It’s just like making babies I guess, equally messy, but without any diapers to be changed later. The concept has caught on pretty well, and is turning out to be quite popular. So much, that he’s actually converted it to a business called ‘Love and Paint’. The art packages are provided at luxury hotels, starting at $2,500. There have been fifty couple participants so far.

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Mind-Boggling Hand-Painted Portraits Made of Hundreds of Smaller Portraits

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Korean artist Kim Dong Yoo creates amazing portraits of various icons like Audrey Hepburn or Michael Jackson, made up of hundreds of smaller painted portraits that either support or contradict the main subject of the artwork.

Over the years, we’ve featured some truly interesting celebrity portraits on Oddity Central, like Jason Mecier’s pill portraits, or Jason Kronenwald’s chewing gum creations, but we’ve never seen anything like Kim Dong Yoo’s works. This incredibly talented artist painstakingly paints hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of miniature portraits by hand, using them as smaller piece of a much bigger, unbelievably detailed portrait. His portraits look a lot like the stamp paintings of Peter R. Mason, only instead of using recycled stamps to recreate the faces of many historical and Hollywood icons, the Korean painter actually paints every one of the little images that make up the big portraits.

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Innovative Artist Creates Beautiful Dust Paintings

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Los Angeles-based artist Allison Cortson collects dust from her art-subjects’s homes and uses it to paint the background of their portraits. She started her series of “dusty” artworks, called Dust Paintings, several years ago, but she’s only just now getting the online exposure she so rightfully deserves.

Dust paintings…Now here’s something you don’t see every day, right? Well, actually, just a month ago we posted a story about Alessandro Ricci, an Italian artist who paints with dust collected from historical buildings in Florence. But while his dust creations are more like environmental statements against the pollution in his home city, Allison Cortson’s paintings are much more elaborate, and have a completely different purpose. Through her dust paintings, the artist tries to emphasize the fact that “matter is mostly empty space” and  it’s only through interactivity with living beings that they provide any value. That’s why, in all of her Dust Paintings artworks the human subjects are painted in color, while the background is recreated with dust.

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Indian Artist Paints with His Tongue

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Now here’s a hobby that’s bound to leave a bad aftertaste. Ani K, from Kerala, India, makes paintings using his tongue. No, he doesn’t hold a paintbrush with his tongue, as I mistakenly believed at first. He actually slathers paint on it, which he then transfers on to canvas to create beautiful images.

Sounds rather gross to me, but the talent is certainly something to behold. Ani K, who works as a drawing teacher, says he was inspired by an artist who painted with his foot and wanted to do something like that. He started off using his nose, but he realized that was done before and he wanted something unique. That’s when he zeroed in on his tongue. “I thought of giving my tongue a try and succeeded,” he says. “Many newspapers reported it. I got a good response. Then, I made it a regular practice.”

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Sarah Harvey’s Eerily Realistic Underwater Images

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Most people love taking photos of themselves underwater, but English artist Sarah Harvey isn’t like people. She likes to take things to a whole new level by using photos of herself underwater as reference for her incredibly realistic paintings.

Most often than not, Sarah likes to be both the artist and the subject of her artworks. She puts on a bathing suit, jumps in one of London’s oldest pools and goes underwater so her photographer friend can take a series of photos. She takes into consideration the position of the sun every time she prepares for a photo shoot, and tries to include its reflection on the water whenever she can, along with the surrounding darkness to create a contrast that makes the distorted human figure look even more interesting. Once work at the pool is completed, the artist heads for her studio in East London, where she selects the best photos and starts placing them one over the other to create a collage.

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Mind-Blowing Portrait Created from Thousands of Coffee Stains

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Just weeks after she took the Internet by storm with her incredible portrait of Yao Ming, created only with a basketball and red paint, Malaysian artist Hong Yi strikes again, this time with a realistic rendition of Taiwanese singer Jay Chou made with coffee stains.

The young artist begins her unusual creative process by taking a sip of coffee. Like most of us, she spills some of it in the small saucer and that apparently inspires her to use the dirty bottom of the cup to start a sepia tone masterpiece. At first the coffee cup stains look just like the ones you can spot on table cloths in cheap restaurants, but as she progresses, her work starts to take shape. First you can make out the outline of the head, then the nose and mouth, the eyes, and before you know it you’re staring at a realistic portrait of Jay Chou made with coffee stains, and struggling to lift your jaw off the floor.

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Artist Paints Incredible Artworks with His Mouth

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Nothing can stop a person with innate artistic abilities, not even the absence of functioning limbs. 50-year-old Steve Chambers is a perfect example of this. The artist from Norfolk, UK, paints breathtaking sceneries using only his mouth. It’s simply amazing how such accurate strokes can be achieved while holding a paintbrush with one’s teeth.

Chambers, who suffers from arthrogryposis syndrome, has been disabled since birth. His arms lack muscles and the joints in his legs are stiff. While many people in his condition struggle to perform daily tasks, Chambers began painting at a very early age. He says it didn’t take him very long to get the hang it. “To me using a paint brush with my mouth is like you using your hand to pick up a spoon.” He started off by using his mouth to hold a pencil, which according to him wasn’t actually difficult because he didn’t know anything different. However, he did get frustrated as a kid when he couldn’t get the effects he wanted while drawing.

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