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Painter/Scientist Turns Neuroscience into Visual Art

Greg Dunn is on his way to earning a doctorate in neuroscience, from the University of Pennsylvania, but he’s also passionate about pan-Asian art, so he decided to combine his two main interests into one unique art form.

Dunn paints neurons, the tiny cells that comprise our brain, using the Asian sumi-e style, an ancient technique that aims not just to reproduce the appearance of the subject, but to capture its soul. Sumi-e is regarded as the earliest expressionistic art form that captures the unseen. For example, East Asian Ink Brush Painting, as this style is commonly referred to, isn’t used to replicate a person’s appearance perfectly, but rather to express their temperament. In the same way, Greg Dunn doesn’t use photomicrographs as reference to paint a perfect picture of the neurons, but rather as a guide upon which he likes to add his own touch. Painting an exact replica of what he see would “rob the painting of sponteneity”, according to Dunn.

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Carlos Zuniga Creates Art on Phone Book Pages

Chilean artist Carlos Zuniga creates detailed portraits and images by simply striking out names from phone book pages, with black ink. Sounds simple enough, but the results are awe-inspiring.

Carlos Zuniga isn’t the first artist to use phone books as the main medium for his works. Alex Queral has also been using them to carve his amazing celebrity portraits, but Zuniga developed his own artistic technique, which allowed him to differentiate himself from everyone in the art world.

Asked how he came up with this unique way of creating detailed images, the South American artist says it all started with a project he did back in 2006, called The Origin of Species. Inspired by the Ludovico technique used in the 1971 film  the  A Clockwork Orange, he began striking out every line of text from Charles Darwin’s book, The Origin of Species. Throughout the whole process, he couldn’t stop thinking about how to depict his ideas in a figurative way. Figurative representation had always been a great interest to him, but his drawing skills were lousy, and after eight years of taking classes, he felt frustrated.

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Photo-Realistic Living Grass Images by Ackroyd and Harvey

Most artists prefer to paint or draw their artistic portraits, but Surrey-based English artists Heather Ackroyd and Dan Harvey grow theirs from living grass.

We’ve featured some pretty amazing art here, on Oddity Central, but this probably takes the cake. English duo Ackroyd & Harvey have managed to harness the power of photosynthesis to fix photographic images onto the blades of growing grass. They expose plots of seeding grass to a 400-W projector bulb passing through a negative for prolonged periods of time,  and the varying densities of the negative’s lighter and darker areas produce a full range of midtones by controlling the light levels in each area. The light produces green, or darker tones, while lack of light produces lighter (yellow) tones. Within only a couple of weeks, you can see the green portraits literally emerging from the ground, but wait too long and they will simply fade away, just like old photos.

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Amazing Artist Draws with Both Hands at the Same Time

Xiaonan Sun has become a YouTube sensation after a video of him drawing the portraits of Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins with both hands, at the same time, went viral. It’s definitely one of the coolest things I have ever seen.

Let’s face it, YouTube is full of videos of talented artists drawing realistic portraits of celebrities, and Xiaonan Sun was just one of them, until he posted a unique video of him drawing a tribute to Shawshank Redemption, one of his favorite movies of all time. The portraits of Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins look pretty impressive, but what really makes them special is the artist did them at the same time, with both hands. Most people can barely draw with their main hand, and here is this guy in his 20s who can do it just as well with both, and at the same time. I know I’m repeating myself here, but this is just insane.

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Brooklyn Artist Creates Magical Sand Paintings on Sidewalks

Colored sand, a great deal of patience and his bare hands are all Joe Mangrum needs to create his incredible sand pantings on the sidewalks of New York.

Joe Mangrum was a painter for many years, but only started creating art with sand in the Fall of 2009. He chose to work with sand because it’s an ephemeral medium that can simply be swept away at the the end of the day, after he’s had a chance to express his talent and amaze passers-by. I never thought sprinkling colored sand through the bottom of your fist could lead to such amazing works of art, but Mangrum’s creations prove patience and talent are the basis of truly incredible things. The gifted street artist spends hours on end on his hands and knees sprinkling his colored sand onto the sidewalk to create ephemeral masterpieces that catch the eye of everyone around him.

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The Mind-Blowing Book Carvings of Alexander Korzer Robinson

Bristol-based Alexander Korzer Robinson creates incredible works of art by carving discarded encyclopedias and literally exposing their inner beauty. Book carving is one of the fastest growing art forms of the moment, and artists like Alexander Korzer Robinson, Brian Dettmer and Guy Laramee are leading the movement.

Korzer Robinson carefully cuts into the pages of old encyclopedias, exposing a part of its illustrations, while removing others, to create narrative scenes that are truly unique. While the images seem like they’re somehow suspended in a series of layers inside the book sculptures, they are actually left in their original place. It’s the artist’s technique that makes it look like they were placed there by hand. As you can probably guess by looking at the artworks below, book carving is a delicate and time-consuming process, but the end results are absolutely mind-blowing.

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Dr. Rev’s Creepy Artworks Are Painted in Blood

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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Artist Creates Wonderful Artworks with Thousands of Jelly Beans

California-based artist Kristen Cumings spends hours on end piecing together detailed works of art out of thousands of colorful jelly beans. Needless to say her pieces look good enough to eat.

Although it must be fun working with jelly beans for a living, making 4 x 6 feet murals out of them is definitely painstaking work. Cumings uses between 8,000 and 12,000 jelly beans for her stunning masterpieces and it takes over 50 hours to complete each one. She starts the artistic process by looking at a close up of the reference photo, and then visualizes where each colored jelly bean has to go. She then paints an acrylic version of the photo on a blank canvas, and once that dries, she begins applying the small beans and tries to match the colors as best she can. The painter/illustrator uses spray adhesive to make sure the jelly beans stick, and usually likes to start her artworks by recreating the main features, like the eyes and nose. Then she just starts applying the other jelly beans from the bottom up until the piece is completed.

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Student Makes Prom Dress from 5,000 Pop Tabs

Two years ago, Regan Kerr, a junior at George Washington High School, in Aurora, Colorado, decided to turn her small pop tab collection into a daring project: to create her own prom dress out of thousands of pull tabs.

According to 9news.com, Regan’s ingenious dress started out as a weird collection of pop tabs, which soon turned into a joke, then became a very serious two-year project that culminated on prom night, Saturday night. A couple of years ago, a friend suggested she start collecting pop tabs, and she soon got the idea to make a dress out of them, because she had always thought “a great prom dress should pop”. It was a really intriguing project, but she had never made a dress before, let alone one from thousands of pop tabs. Her friend, Sara Sanford, remembers thinking it was a cool idea, but she also believed “it would kind of peter out and wouldn’t actually happen.” She was wrong!

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Skywalking – Russia’s Thrilling but Dangerous Photo Craze

Skywalking is the latest photography craze among Russian teens. The idea is to be able to find a really high building, climb to the very top and stand at its very edge, imagining you’re on the top of the world. Then, you take photographs from up there to post on the internet. The teens participating in this form of skywalking do so without any sort of safety equipment. Needless to say, they enjoy it very much.

19-year-old Marat Dupri is one such teenager who engages in skywalking. He risks his life quite casually, scaling sky-high buildings and capturing photographs of the world below. It was about 18 months ago that he purchased a camera and started to take pictures from his own roof. But soon, he was aiming for bigger and better ones. Accompanied by a friend, he scaled a 33-storey building to the very top going right to the very edge of the 120 m high structure. According to him, “It was such a thrill; we couldn’t wait to do it again.” And they didn’t. One of the shots shows the group of teenagers scaling one of Russia’s seven Soviet skyscrapers, using a ladder. In another one, his friend is perched at the side of a monument to Peter I, 215 m in the air. There are even photos from atop the Moscow tower, one of the highest buildings in Europe. Dupri and his friends say they’ve taken a lot of photos by sneaking past guards and getting access to structures illegally. He thinks the risks are definitely worth it to take such amazing pictures. “When I am on the roof I have a feeling that the whole world is at my feet. All my problems and troubles are left somewhere down. The height exilarates me. I am enjoying with my home town views. It gives me energy and fills with enthusiasm to make new and great shots,” he says.

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Head Injury Turns College Dropout into Math Genius with a Beautiful Mind

Sometimes it takes a good, hard knock in the head to start seeing things right. In the case of Jason Padgett, he started to see more than just right. He began to see complex mathematical formulae everywhere he looked, after a head injury. For now, the 41-year-old works behind the counter of a futon store in Tacoma, Washington, but surely not for long. His genius is bound to lead him elsewhere in life.

Interestingly, for his level of intelligence Jason has no college degree, let alone a PhD. He doesn’t even have a background in math; just 10 years ago he was a very different person. Interested only in working out and partying, Jason had no idea his life was about to change forever as he walked out of a karaoke club in Tacoma. A group of muggers attacked and brutally assaulted him, kicking him several times in the head. “All I saw was a bright flash of light and the next thing I knew I was on my knees on the ground and I thought, ‘I’m going to get killed,’” he says. But he didn’t. Instead, he got the best gift he could ever hope for.

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Japanese Artist Invents New Way of Peeling Tangerines

Yoshihiro Okada has become a popular country in his native country of Japan, after he developed an ingenious way of peeling tangerines, six years ago. It might sound like an arid subject, but the Japanese author has already published two books on peeling tangerines, and even launched a DVD version.

If you’ve been throwing away orange and tangerine peels all this time, then you’ve been missing out on a very fun way to make figurines for your little ones. Using a lot of imagination and a sharp blade, Yoshihiro Okada has been creating detailed figurines out of citrus fruits. It all started six years ago, when he noticed the peel he had removed from a tangerine looked a little like a scorpion. Most everyone else would have probably smiled and moved on with their lives, but not Yoshihiro. He spent the next two weeks buying loads of tangerines and practicing his peeling technique until he got his scorpion just right.

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Guy Makes Life-Size Mummy Out of McDonald’s Food

Ben Campbell, a dude who refers to himself as “some kind of artist from west Texas”, sent us these photos of a life-size mummy he created out of about $200 worth of McDonald’s food.

You’re probably thinking Ben needs a better hobby, but you have to remember he’s not just some guy with nothing better to do, he’s some kind of artist, so he has a pretty good explanation for creating his unique McDonald’s food mummy. Apparently, for the last couple of months, Campbell has been working on an art show to highlight the connection between ancient Egypt and modern society, and his meat mummy is the centerpiece. It makes a lot of sense if you think about it and Ben himself explains that “ancient Egypt was obsessed with achieving immortality through customs that included mummification and the construction of pyramids. Modern society is likewise obsessed with achieving a from of immortality through our own customs that include pursuing celebrity status and constructing corporations.” And since McDonald’s is one of the world’s biggest corporations… See the connection? Read More »

Delicious Street Art – Sugar Icing Murals by Shelley Miller

Montreal-based artist Shelley Miler uses sugar and edible blue paint to create incredibly detailed murals on the side of buildings. Her works are influenced by the cultures of the places in which she’s creating, and although they look as durable as ordinary murals, they simply wash away at first rain.

Looking at Shelley Miller’s artworks for the first time, you’d think they were carved in stone, but in reality the talented artist just applies cake icing using a common pastry bag and paints them with edible blue paint. Trained at the Alberta College of Art and Design and Concordia University, Miller has experienced with a variety of art mediums, ranging from sand to marble, but always found herself returning to sugar. She also spent some time decorating cakes during her university days, but quickly moved on to bigger and better things, and now she is internationally-known for her unique street art sugar murals.

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Fascinating Portraits Made Out of Thousands of Tiny Photographs

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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