The Beautiful Cut Canvas Portraits of Kuin Heuff

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At first glance, Dutch artist Kuin Heuff‘s portraits seem to be made up of a dizzying number of converging lines, but in reality, the creative process couldn’t be more different.

The Rotterdam-based artist, whose work focuses on the intricacies of the human face, starts off by creating acrylic paintings of the faces she wants to render. But while other artists would leave it at that, she takes her art to a whole new level by taking a sharp knife and cutting away maze-like patterns to create negative space. The process becomes even more impressive when you realize how important deciding when and where to cut, considering every stroke of the knife is irreversible. Yet Kuin Heuff pulls it off with relative ease, showing incredible skill and an eye for what’s important in her art.

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Stunning Portraits Made with a Single Sewing Thread Wrapped through Nails

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Japanese artist Kumi Yamashita creates mind-boggling portraits by wrapping a single UNBROKEN black thread around galvanized nails, on a clear white board.

In the four years since I started Oddity Central, I’ve had the opportunity of discovering many great artists. Most of their works are nothing short of impressive, but there are a few whose artistic genius is simply breathtaking. Kumi Yamashita is definitely one of those few. The Japanese artist living in New York City uses all kinds of common objects to create arresting images, in her quest of exploring art beyond the confines of traditional media. Perhaps her most impressive technique is creating portraits by using a single thread weaved around a series of nails, on a white background. We’ve seen portraits created with thread and nails before, but nothing quite like what Yamashita can do.

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Artist Creates Creepy Self-Portraits Out of His Own Frozen Blood

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Back in 1991, Marc Quinn started one of the most bizarre art projects in history – making detailed self-portraits from his own frozen blood. He has been making a new one every five year or so, since then. Yes, they’re creepy, but think of it this way – it must be reassuring for Mark to know that if he ever needs a transfusion, he’s got a few gallons of blood he can use.

Marc Quinn created his “Self ” series as a means of recording the changes of his face throughout the years, such as countenance and ageing, and if you look closely at the four blood portraits he has made so far, you’ll notice his face has indeed matured over time. Of course, he could have used a more common material for his artworks, but the message wouldn’t have been as powerful as using his own blood. According to Scientific American magazine, “by crafting these heads out of his own blood, Quinn reconnects us to the the fact that in the fullness of time, no artist’s attempt at immortality through self-portraiture will prevail. And of course the series will presumably end in the course of the artist’s life, so the artwork’s time-dimension has a death of sorts as well.”

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Artist Creates Large Scale Portraits by Chipping Away the Plaster Off of Derelict Buildings

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Can beauty be created out of destruction and chaos? Portuguese artist Alexandre Farto believes that it can, and offers his incredible chiseled portraits on the side of buildings, as proof.

23-year-old Farto, aka Vhils, grew up in Seixal, on the outskirts of Lisbon, and became interested in graffiti art during the late 1990s. Apparently, at some point that just wasn’t enough for him and he started looking for other ways to express his creativity through urban art. He came up with subtractive art, which involves creating detailed portraits by breaking away pieces of walls, by using various techniques. His amazing works have been chiseled onto various derelict buildings around Europe and featured in exhibitions alongside pieces by world-renowned street artists the likes of Banksy. The young artist hopes his “faces in the city” portraits will inspire people to see beyond what meets the eye.

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Ming Liang Lu – A Self-Described Master Paper Portrait Cutter

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He’s not the best English speaker in New York, but his skills with the scissors makes Ming Liang Lu one of the most popular subway artists in the big city. The Chinese master claims the art he practices, cutting people’s portraits out of black paper, is unique in the world.

If you’ve ever used the metro, you’re probably familiar with subway performers like dancers or violin and guitar players, but Ming Liang Lu is a different kind of entertainer. Using a small piece of black paper and scissors, he’s able to create intricate, slightly caricatured portraits of subway riders and passers-by, even without looking at them for reference. That might not sound like a lot, but seeing him manipulate that small sheet of folded paper while holding the scissors almost completely still will blow your mind.

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Fascinating Portraits Made Out of Thousands of Tiny Photographs

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Inspired by the fact that every person has multiple facets that combined form his or her personality, Swiss artist Anna Halm Schudel creates original portraits by piecing together thousands of small photographs.

The mosaic portraits of Anna Halm Schudel assemble in a similar way to puzzles. After choosing the subject of her artwork, the artist goes online and looks for photos of the past or present celebrity and starts reworking the digital images in a very complex process. She usually works with just a section of each image, making sure the formats and tones match the general line of the portrait she envisioned. Each of the small photos used as mosaic pieces measures just one square centimeter and only become visible when the viewer approaches to take a closer look at the work of art. At first glance, people see another portrait of Barack Obama, Scarlet Johannsson or Marilyn Monroe, but soon, the big surprise behind the giant pixilation is revealed.

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The Incredible Wire Mesh Portraits of Seung Mo Park

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Korean artist Seung Mo Park creates cuts up layers of wire mesh by hand, to create some of the most beautiful large-scale portraits you’ve ever seen. These true sculptural masterpieces are part of Park’s latest series, called Maya.

In the past, we’ve featured several extraordinary artists who work with layers to create their art, and Seung Mo Park is right up there with the best of them. Although he uses a projection of the image he’s trying to replicate, as reference, the precision with which he cuts each little piece of wire mesh is nothing short of impressive. Just so you understand the kind of skill required to pull off something like this, it’s important that you know each of his portraits is made up of several layers of wire mesh set a few centimeters apart, each sculpted by hand. The understanding of depth perception and the patience necessary to complete just one of these amazing works of art is simply awe-inspiring.

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Impressive Portrait Made with 750 Pairs of Socks

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Hong Yi, aka “Red”, has already achieved Internet fame for her amazing works, a portrait of Yao Ming created with a basketball, and one of singer Jay Chou made by spilling coffee, but she keeps producing mind-blowing masterpieces. Her latest project is a detailed portrait made with 750 pairs of socks.

The beautiful Shanghai-based artist decided to pay tribute to Chinese film director Yimou Zhang by creating a large-scale monochromatic portrait of him with socks. She first got the idea for her unique work of art while strolling on a tiny alleyway in Shanghai. It was filled with clotheslines made of bamboo sticks with various clothing items hanging above her, and she remembers being surprised to find such a traditional side of life in a modern, bustling city like Shanghai. The unusual art medium is also a connection to Yimou Zhang who uses bamboo sticks in his period films, as well as in the 2008 Beijing Olympics opening ceremony he directed.

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The Chalk Masterpieces of Rustam Valeev

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Rustam Valeev is a 20-year-old street artist from the city of Sterlitamak, Russia. Using simple pieces of white chalk, he is able to create incredibly detailed portraits right on the pavement of his home city.

Doodling with chalk was one of my favorite pastimes, as a kid. I remember I spent hours trying to draw simple things like people, butterflies, or animals, but my works never looked as good as what Rustam Valeev creates. In fact, the only other person I know who can create such realistic artworks is Paul Cadden, who renders photo-realistic masterpieces with graphite and chalk. But while Paul draws on paper, Rustam practices his skills on rough pavement. Although his street art hasn’t been featured by any important Western media outlets, his beautiful portraits have gone viral on some of the most popular sites in Russia.

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Beautiful Leila Khaled Portrait Made of 3,500 Lipsticks

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Last year, Palestinian artist Amer Shomali paid homage to Leila Khaled, a woman revolutionary who became famous as “the poster girl of Palestinian militancy” after hijacking a plane, in 1969. He created a unique portrait made of 3,500 lipsticks for an art exhibition at Birzeit University.

We’ve featured many awesome pixelated portraits on Oddity Central, like the one made of plastic bottle caps, by Marry Ellen Croteau, or that of Shannon Larratt, made of 10,000 metal nails, but this is the first one we’ve senn made of thousands of lipsticks. Using the famous photo of Leila Khaled holding an AK-47 and wearing a kaffiyeh, taken by Eddie Addams as reference, Amer Shomali created a sort of canvas out of lipstick holders and then arranged 3,500 lipsticks of 14 different colors to best recreate the Palestinian icon’s visage. Called “Icon”, Shomali’s artwork was featured in a an art exhibition organized at Birzeit  University.

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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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Renowned Artist Creates Jesus Portrait from 24,790 Push Pins

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World renowned artist Rob Surette has recently completed a mind-blowing portrait of Jesus Christ made out of 24,790 colored push pins. The amazing work of art measures  5.5 feet x 4 feet, and took the artist six months to finish.

Rob Surette has been fascinated by pointillism ever since he discovered the art of Georges Seurat, who invented the dot painting technique during the late 1800s. He became a master of it himself and now creates incredible works of art that always has viewers asking how he achieves such elaborate visual illusions. ”They stand close to the image and say, ‘All I see is push pins!’ and then they walk backwards, away from the artwork and say, ‘It looks so real!  How is that possible?’” Rob says is the reaction of most people. Before starting work on this portrait, Surette set a record for the world’s largest Lite Brite creation (513,000 pieces), and wondering what other objects he could use to create a portrait out of dots, he settled on push pins.

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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 Portrait of Yao Ming Using a Basketball

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I can think of a few things one can do with a basketball, but painting is definitily not one of them. But I guess that’s exactly what makes Shanghai-based artist’s, Yi Hong, so special.

Yi, who goes by the name of “Red”, and describes herself as an artist who “loves to paint, but not with a paintbrush”, recently posted a video of herself painting a detailed portrait of retired NBA superstar Yao Ming, using nothing but red paint and a basketball. In the time-lapse she dips the ball in paint and carefully bounces it on the canvas, and slowly by surely, the portrait starts to take shape. All the help she got was in the shape of a print of the famous Chinese basketball player, which she checked a few times, for accuracy. The amazing video got 400,000 views in just a few days, and the artist posted about how flattered she is, on her Facebook page. Yi Hong was born and raised on the island of Borneo, and also spent some time in Australia and the Netherlands, but she ultimately settled in Shanghai.

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