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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Woven Newspaper Portraits by Gugger Petter

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Most people look at old newspapers as trash, but for artist Gugger Petter it’s a challenging medium for which she has the utmost respect. Using  a special weaving technique, she’s able to take fragile newspapers and turned them into beautiful portraits.

Although she considers the informative purpose of the newspaper important, Petter has been fascinated with this unusual art medium because it presents her with a black/white/and limited color palette, which she has always preferred. In 1986, when she first arrived in California, she laid eyes on a stack of discarded newspapers yellowed by the sun, and found it very intriguing. From that day forth she started thinking about ways she could use this material in her art. She started by rolling newspapers into tubes and creating wall and floor sculptures, but after a couple of years she developed her weaving technique.

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Artist Makes Bullet Portraits of People Killed by Bullets

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Whether in hunting or warfare, bullets are usually used for killing, but artist David Palmer has found a way to use these instruments of destruction to create beautiful celebrity portraits.

John Lennon, Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy were all great men, with one tragic thing in common – they were all killed by a bullet. Now, artist David Palmer has chosen to create portraits of these icons using probably the most unusual medium – bullet shells. After collecting enough bullet casings, the artist puts them together to create a metal canvas, and using a small hand torch darkens the ends of the bullet casings, creating incredibly detailed portraits. Using such a seemingly inappropriate art medium like bullets to depict their victims, Palmer hopes viewers  will “see the miracles that can arise from choosing to create rather than destroy.”

If you find bullet art interesting, you might want to check out the awe-inspiring miniature holy places made by Al Farrow, entirely out of bullets.

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Joe Black’s Amazing Badge Mosaics

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We’ve featured some pretty awesome mosaics here on Oddity Central, from Oksana Mas’ wooden egg mosaics, to the sweet jelly bean mosaics of Peter and Roger Rocha. But there are plenty of other incredibly talented artists out there who use the most unusual materials to create their art. Joe Black is one of them.

Using thousands of handmade badges depicting various images and icons, from the Vietnam War to Elvis Presley, Black manages to piece together amazingly detailed portraits. And if having the patience to create such wonderful mosaics wan’t impressive enough, nearly every one of the badges used is made by Joe Black himself, and relates to the artwork in some way. For example, the portrait of Superman is made up of corporate and fast food logos to depict the notion of goodness defeated by our ever-growing need to consume. A mixed media artist by definition, Black also makes use of oil paints, acrylics and other mediums to complete his modern masterpieces.

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