The Wind-Powered Kinetic Sculptures of Theo Jansen

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Called ‘Strandbeest’ (beach animals), the kinetic sculptures of Theo Jansen actually walk, using the power of the wind.

A former physicist, Theo Jansen has used all of his knowledge to create a new strain of life, creatures made of artificial matter that are able to use the power of the elements to move, store this energy for later use, and protect themselves in case of danger. Just like living being, Jansen’s automatons are constantly evolving, and learning new things. In their creator’s vision of the future, the strandbeest will, at one point, develop muscles and brains that will allow them to perform complex actions.

But today’s strandbeest are complex enough, displaying amazingly flowing movements as they use the power of wind. Some are able to store its energy and move for longer periods of time, while others have learned self-preservation, and stick their yellow tubes into the sand, when wind threatens to blow them away.

Reading about Theo Jansen’s strandbeest, and even looking at photos of them, makes little sense until you get the chance to see them in action. So, scroll down and prepare to have your mind blown.

Photos via WebUrbanist

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The Adorable Adoptabots of Brian Marshall

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Adoptabots are cute little sculptress, created by Delaware-based artist, Brian Marshall, using various discarded objects.

Brian Marshall is a middle-school teacher, from Delaware, who creates these lovely Adoptabots, in his spare time. The fact that he’s not even a full-time artist makes his work even more impressive. Instead of leaving old kitchen utensils, cameras, and all kinds of other stuff rot at the landfill, this talented artist decided to offer them a second chance at life, by transforming them into Adoptabots. Now they live happily in his workshop, and can be viewed on Brian’s Flickr stream, or bought adopted from his Etsy shop.

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The Steampunk Creatures of Daniel Proulx

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Using copper, brass and gemstones, Daniel Proulx creates steampunk sculptures and jewelry, inspired by the fantasy imaginary worlds he’s so passionate about.

His career as a steampunk jewelry designer began when Catherine, his life partner, took a two hour lesson on how to make wire rings. He tried it himself, and then spent a lot of time perfecting his own technique. Before he knew it, Daniel quit his job and decided to make a living on his original creations.

He never knew what he created was steampunk, until one of his friends told him. The Montreal-based artist was always interested in steampunk, but didn’t know there was actually a name for it. He started studying the culture and creating intricate artworks that are now sold on his Etsy shop.

Some of his works are so good that the Museum of the History of Science decided to include them in one of its displays. You’re about to see some of Daniel Proulx’s awesome steampunk sculptures, if you’re interested in the jewelry he makes, head over to his website and check it out.

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Don Porcella Turns Pipe Cleaners into Art

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Pipe cleaners aren’t the most common art medium an artist can use, but that’s just what makes Don Porcella’s creations so special.

His art consists mostly of “humorous representations of a widely imaginative reality” made with lots and lots of pipe cleaners. Some categorize his crazy sculptures as creepy, while others find them amusing, but personally I think they’re a fluffy combination of both.

Don Porcella was born in 1963, in Modesto, California, but has lived and worked in Staten Island,NY. Check out more of his artworks here.

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Robot Sculpture Made from Crashed BMW Parts

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What do you do with a totaled 2005 BMW 645Cl convertible? That’s simple, turn it into a kick-ass robot sculpture.

At least that’s what this guy did, after he trashed his BMW, beyond repair. He turned to metal sculptor, Bruce Gray, who used the scrap parts one to create a work of art, dubbed “Robot Sculpture 1″ (I dare you to find a worse name).

While the robot’s feet are immobile, it does feature a movable head, movable upper arm and and a forearm that raises, in case you ever want to make a toast,in its presence. Bruce Gray’s robot sculpture is also armed and dangerous, sporting a pivoting energy pulse gun, and a movable joystick/fire button controller.

via GizmoWatch

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Mosquito Monument Found in Russian Village

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If this thing was for real, you’d need a lot more than a can of Raid, to hold on to your blood.

Back in 2007, Biologists from the Tyumen Regional Museum, who were examining the Noyabrsk area, for creating an eco-tourism route, for kids, stumbled across what they considered the most bizarre find, in their careers, in Lata village. A giant mosquito, as tall as an average person, was staring them in the face.

Luckily for them, this particular blood-sucker was just a sculpture, made from scrap metal. Local artist, Valery Chaliy built this strange monument, using old car and truck parts. It’s not exactly a monument, since we’re talking about a pest that no one would really miss, but the artist admits he was inspired by the millions of mosquitoes inhabiting the neighboring swamps.

Photos via svintuss

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Dome of Milan Is the World’s Largest Chocolate Sculpture

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Mirco Della Vecchia, one of Italy’s most famous chocolatiers, has set a new world record for the largest chocolate sculpture.
Mister Della Vecchia was competing with himself, for the new record, as he was the current holder, for a chocolate sculpture of the Dolomiti Mountains, made in 2009. This time, Mirco decided to create a replica of the Dome of Milan, that would be even bigger than his last sweet masterpiece.

Together with a team of artists Mirco Della Vecchia spent many days sculpting the white chocolate Dome. All the left-over chocolate was wrapped in small packages and sold to passers-by, in Milan’s Carosello Shopping Mall, where the event took place. All the proceeds will be donated to children of Haiti foundations, to help rebuild their lives.

Miro Della Vecchia’s white chocolate Dome of Milan is 1.5 meters tall, 2.5 meters long and weighed and impressive 7,500 pounds.

via GuinnessWorldRecords

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The Cool Robotic Sculptures of Andrea Petrachi

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Italian artist, Andrea Petrachi uses things most other people throw away, to create amazing robotic sculptures.

Milan-based Andrea Petrachi was born in 1975, in the Italian city of Lecce, and quickly began taking things apart. Nobody suspected such a seemingly destructive activity would eventually stand at the base of his artistic genius. He takes old stuff like broken electronics, used toys and recycled materials, breaks them into pieces, and reassembles them as cool robotic sculptures.

Known also as “Himatic” Andrea Petrachi currently works as a video editor for RAI television. Feel free to check out his entire portfolio of unique robotic figurines, on his official site.

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Vipula Athukorale’s Intricate Butter Sculptures

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46-year old Vipula Athukorale spends tens of hours creating some of the most intricate food-art masterpieces in the world.

Mr. Athukorale has worked, as a chef, in high ranking restaurants in Grece, Cyprus, Bahrain, Iraq and England, creating amazing works of edible art, out of butter. Actually, he uses pastry margarine, but “margarine sculptures” doesn’t roll as smoothly off the tongue. This fancy chef won two gold medals and a silver one, at the international Salon Culinaire Awards, in London, last week , for his detailed Rolls Royce, and scenes from Pinocchio and Pied Piper stories.

According to the artist, the Rolls Royce took around 90 hours to complete, and features detailed interior and underside. In order to get everything right, Vipula Athukorale doesn’t even breathe, when sculpting margarine. To keep his hands from shaking, he leans in toward the artwork, takes a deep breath, does some sculpting, then leans back and breathes out. He also washes his hands in ice-cold water, to prevent his hot fingers from damaging the artwork.

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The Key Sculpture of Prague

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Designed and built by Jili David, voted the most influential Czech artist of the last 20 years, this impressive work of art was unveiled on March 9, in the Franz Kafka Square of Prague.

Made using 85,741 metal keys, the sculpture symbolizes the 20 years that have passed since the Velvet Revolution. Keys were picked as the main theme because jangling keys were the symbol of pro-democratic rallies, organized by Vaclav Havel, in 1989.

The 6-meter-tall artistic construction spells the  word “Revoluce” (Revolution) with the lower letters considerably distorted. There has been some controversy regarding Jili David’s key sculpture, because the work was commissioned by international telecommunications company, Vodafone, who also collected the keys. Money from an international company, for a national symbol raised some questions in the Czech Republic.

Key-sculpture-Prague

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Scrap Metal Transformers Sculpture Is Uber Cool

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Made by the guys at RoboSteel, an Irish company specialized in creating artistic sculptures out of scrap metal, this Optimus Prime replica is the best I’ve ever seen.

Characterized as “the most amazing steel sculpture ever created by RoboSteel” this Optimus Prime sculpture is made of over 5,000 recycled steel parts, collected from a car, a boat, a motorbike, a dishwasher, a television and others. It’s 2.5 meters tall and weighs an impressive 550 kilograms.

Recycled Optimus Prime has been coated with several layers of strong, protective lacquer, and all the sharp edges were removed. Now it’s ready to guard your home against Decepticons, provided you’re willing to fork out 5,500 euro for it. It may not be as big as the Transformer drying laundry in Taiwan, but it definitely looks better.

optimus-prime-statue

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Plastic Cutlery Sculptures by Sayaka Ganz

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Things don’t get much boring than plastic cutlery items, but put them together like Sayaka Ganz, and you can call yourself a very talented artist. And for good reason, too.

33-year-old Sayaka Ganz, from Indiana, USA, collects most of her working material from dustbins and charity shops, and the rest is donated by friends and family. The young artist uses all sorts of plastic junk, from cutlery to sunglasses and baskets, and sorts them into 20 different color groups.

Then she meticulously ties every useless piece of plastic to a wire frame, until she achieves the shape she first envisioned. Sayaka Ganz’s works range from 18 inches to 8 feet long and the most complicated ones take up to a month to finish and contain 500 pieces. Still her efforts pay off, considering some of her plastic artworks have sold for as much as $12,000.

Photos via SayakaGanz.com

recycled-plastic-sculptures2

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The Mysterious Sculptures of William Ricketts Sanctuary

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Hidden deep in an Australian rainforest, the clay sculptures of William Ricketts express the Aborigines’ deep connection with Mother Nature.

Born in 1898, William Ricketts was an Australian sculptor and potter who developed a spiritual bond with the Aboriginal people of Central Australia. The time he spent with them, between 1949 and 1960 inspired his works in Potter’s Sanctuary (now known as William Ricketts Sanctuary).

The 92 intricate ceramic sculptures placed along the passageways seem as they are merging with the surrounding plant-life, thus expressing the strong bond Aborigines have always had with nature. Designed as a place where man’s spirit becomes one with nature, William Ricketts Sanctuary inspires us all to protect Mother Nature instead of constantly exploiting her.

William Ricketts spent most of his life in this sanctuary, located on Mount Dandenong, near Olinda, and died here, in 1993, at the age of 94.

william-ricketts-sculptures

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The Stone-Encased Pain of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt

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Franz Xaver Messerschmidt (1736-1783) was German-Austrian painter and sculptor most known for his series of canonical grimaces sculptures.

Messerschmidt’s character heads were inspired by the mysterious condition that forced the artist to leave the Vienna Academy of Arts. The undiagnosed digestive illness that caused Messerschmidt so much pain is today believed to have been Crohn’s disease. At one point, he came up with a series of pinches he would apply to his right lower rib. in order to take his mind off the pain.

Looking in the mirror while he was applying his pinches, and seeing his facial expressions, Messerschmidt decided to immortalize his pain in a series of sculptures. Thus, in 1781 Franz Xaver Messerschmidt started working on his famous character heads, using himself as a model.

Franz-Xaver-Messerschmidt-heads

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The Giant Hand of Atacama

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The last thing you would expect to find in the middle of the driest desert on Earth is a a work of art. But that’s exactly what you’re gong to see, if you happen to be traveling through the Atacama Desert, in Chile.

The Hand of the Desert (La Mano del Desierto) is an 11-meters-tall sculpture, in the shape of a hand, rising up from the desert. It was designed and created by Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrázabal, and is probably the weirdest thing you’re going to see in Atacama.

The hand rising from the sand” theme is very common in Mr. Irarrázabal work and he has two other major similar sculptures in the US and Uruguay. We’ll add them both to our list of oddities, soon enough.

hand-of-Atacama

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