Detroit Agate – The Precious Stone That’s Actually Just Hardened Car Paint

Detroit agate, also known as fordite, looks like a precious stone that has formed in the Earth’s crust over millions of years, but it’s actually a man-made material dating back only a few decades.

Looking very much like a natural agate, the sought after Detroit agate actually consists of layers upon layers of enamel paint from old car painting racks in Motor City factories. Trapped in these layers of paint are decades of automotive history and unique, vibrant colors that we may never see on cars again. For example, the earliest pieces of fordite mainly consist of blacks and browns, the most popular automotive colors of the time, others have gray primer layers between the colorful ones, and some have shiny flakes of metallic paint. Because the hand-painting process has long been replaced by an automated one, Detroit agate is no longer produced, so the pieces that do exist are actually prized as actual jewels especially by automotive history buffs.

Read More »

The Photo-Realistic Ballpoint Pen Drawings of Andrey Poletaev

Andrey Poletaev is a master of the ballpoint pen, wielding the common writing tool to create stunning works of art that sometimes rival photographs in terms of realism.

Ukrainian-born artist Andrey Poletaev is considered one of the world’s premier ballpoint pen artist, and looking at his exquisite works of art, it’s easy to see why. Although he doesn’t like to be categorized as a hyperrealist artist, his expertly drawn city landscapes and portraits are incredibly realistic to the point where they often get mistaken for photographs. To achieve this amazing level of realism in his ballpoint pen artworks, Poletaev applies up to twenty layers of pen ink on the canvas, and spends hundreds of hours on a single art piece.

Read More »

The Ultra-Realistic Pencil Portraits of Sheila Giovanni

Brazilian artist Sheila R. Giovanni specializes in incredibly detailed, hand-drawn portraits of celebrities, some of which cannot be told apart from high-resolution photographs.

Over the last twelve years, we’ve featured some talented portrait artists on Oddity Central, but Sheila R. Giovanni is definitely one of the best. Using only colored pencils, she is able to create photo-quality masterpieces perfect to the tiniest of details. Looking at some her best works, it’s no surprise that Sheila can spend up to 100 hours on a single project, as her attention to detail is pretty obvious. From expertly-placed shading and glows, to strands of hair and even the reflections in her subjects’ eyes, Giovanni’s artworks really are almost as life-like as photographs.

Read More »

French Artist Turns Urban Spaces Into Mind-Boggling Graffiti Optical Illusions

Armed with a simply can of spray paint, French artist SCAF uses his imagination and mountains of talent to turn abandoned urban spaces into three-dimensional graffiti masterpieces.

Looking at SCAF’s expertly spray-painted trompe l’oeil graffiti artworks, it’s hard to believe that he is a completely self-taught street artist. He never studied art and started experimenting with graffiti in abandoned factories 18 years ago, after being inspired by a colleague at school. He has come a long way since his early days, as you can plainly see, but he continues to practice his skill in abandoned places, like factories, houses and manors, because he feels like his art adds value to such derelict edifices.

Read More »

Teen Spends 400 Hours Making a Prom Dress Out of 41 Rolls of Duct Tape

An-18-year-old girl from Illinois has been getting a lot of attention on social media lately for her one-of-a-kind prom dress which she single-handedly created out of dozens of rolls of duct-tape.

When Peyton Manker decided to enter this year’s Stuck at Prom contest this January, she never thought it would turn her into an overnight internet sensation. The long-running competition challenges high-school graduates to make their own prom attire using as much Duck-brand duct tape as possible, for a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship. Peyton had set out to create her prom dress around a Leonardo Da Vinci heme, but then the Covid-19 pandemic happened and she decided to build her dress around that instead.

Read More »

Insanely-Talented Artist Hand-Paints Picture-Perfect Portraits of Women

German artist Philipp Weber specializes in hyper-realistic paintings of female models which can hardly be distinguished from high-resolution photographs at first glance.

Born in 1974 in Rostock, Germany, Philipp Weber showed an inclination for the arts when he was only three-years-old, and continued to impress both his parents and his art teachers as he grew. Weber graduated from the prestigious University of Arts in Berlin in 2002 with top grades, and has been wowing art critics with his awe-inspiring hyper-realistic paintings. Looking at how incredibly detailed his artworks can be, it’s easy to see why some of them can take the artist months, sometimes even years to complete.

Read More »

Self-Taught Makeup Artist Uses Her Own Face as Canvas for Mesmerizing Optical Illusions

Fueled by her passion for makeup, a 21-year-old self-taught makeup artist from Vietnam has become a master at using her own face to create all sorts of crazy optical illusions.

Hoa Trang has always been fascinated by makeup, but she could never afford to take professional classes, so she decided to teach herself, by watching online tutorials and following Instagram influencers like Mimi Choi (who she credits as one of her inspirations). She started experimenting with facial illusions only three years ago, but because the style was relatively new in Vietnam, she got a lot of attention online and managed to build up a sizable following on social networks like Instagram and Facebook.

Read More »

Pastry Designer Creates the Most Mesmerizing Pies

Ever heard of a pie too pretty to eat? Me neither, but then I discovered pastry designer Karin Pfeiff-Boschek and her intricately decorated creations, and I started to have a whole new appreciation for pies as works of art.

Anyone would be lucky to call Karin Pfeiff-Boschek their friend. That’s because the German-born pie master bakes at least three pies a week and gives most of them to her friends after taking some photographs of them and sharing them with her Instagram fans. But looking at how beautifully decorated her works are, you can understand why she cares more about the photos than the pies themselves. Some of her creations look so incredible that it would be a crime not to keep any evidence of their existence. Luckily, Instagram lets artists like Pfeiff-Boschek do just that and make a living off of it.

  Read More »

Talented Tattoo Artist Specializes in ‘Double Vision’ Tattoos

Looking at the tattoos of Mexican artist Yatzil Elizalde, your first reflex is to squint, thinking there is something wrong with your eyes, but it’s just the artist’s unique ‘blurry effect’ style playing tricks on you.

Coming up with a unique tattooing style usually requires a lot of experience and confidence, so it was really surprising for us to learn that the creator of these stunning double vision tattoos was only 25-years-old. Even more surprising was the fact that she had started out as a visual artist, before taking up tattooing six years ago and opening her own studio in Hermosillo, Mexico’s Sonora state.

Read More »

Self-Taught Artist Creates Stunningly Realistic Sand Sculptures

Andoni Bastarrika, a multi-media artist from Spain’s Basque Country, has been getting a lot of attention for his ultra-realistic animal sculptures made almost exclusively with sand.

Bastarrika has been entertaining beach-goers in his native Basque Country region for almost a decade now, but he only recently garnered international acclaim, after a photo of one of his sand sculptures – a life-size sitting bull – recently went viral on Reddit. People couldn’t stop talking about how lifelike the sculpture looked, from the subtle muscle definition to the hair-like sand detailing on its forehead. Soon photos of other of Bastarrika’s realistic sand animals started circulating on various social media networks.

Read More »

Japanese Mom Specializes in Deliciously Cute Fried Egg Art

A Japanese mother-of-three who took up food art as a way to entertain her daughters struck gold on Instagram after specializing in cute fried egg artworks.

Etoni Mama is often described as a master of kyaraben (or Charaben), the Japanese art of arranging various foods as elaborate, eye-catching designs, but it was her fried egg ideas that really helped her made a name for herself on popular social networks like Instagram and Twitter. Using fried eggs as the main element of her artistic kyaraben pieces, and various other edible ingredients as accessories, the Japanese mom creates all kinds of edible renditions of popular cartoon characters, iconic scenes and cute animals.

Read More »

Chicago’s Pothole Artist Turns Road Hazards Into Works of Art

Chicago-based Jim Bachor is one of those rare street artists’ whose works can be classified as both art pieces and a public service. The man specializes in fixing up pot holes by filling them up with his beautiful and durable mosaics.

In fact Jim’s career as a pothole artist began with a trip to the ancient city of Pompeii, in Italy, where he learned just how durable mosaics really were. The tour guide pointed at a 2,000-year-old artwork and said that although it had been set in mortar, the marble and glass pieces had not faded. The realization of the artwork’s staying power blew him away, and a few months later he was in Italy learning the secrets of ancient mosaic art. He pursued it as a hobby for a few years, but then he started doing commission works and in May of 2013 he got the idea of applying his skill to fixing a pesky pothole in his neighborhood.

Read More »

Living, Human Artwork Sits on Display in Closed Art Museum for Six Hours Every Day

The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania, Australia, isn’t the only museum to have shut its gates because of the Covid-19 pandemic, but it stands out because of its unique, human artwork.

As hard as it is to believe, Tim is both a man and an artwork. A former tattoo parlor owner from Zurich, in Switzerland, he agreed to have his back tattooed by artist Belgian artist Wim Delvoye in 2006, and has been exhibiting his body art in museums and art galleries ever since. He has been coming to MONA since 2011, for stints that can last up to six months at a time and see him sitting with his legs crossed on a plinth, in complete silence, showing off Delvoye’s artwork. And even though MONA closed down on March 18, he continues to sit in the empty museum for six hours a day. That is his job…

Read More »

The Incredible Body-Painting Masterpieces of Johannes Stötter

Johannes Stötter is a world-renowned body-painter whose artworks are so incredibly realistic most people would never guess they are actually made up of people contorted in just the right positions and photographed from the right angle.

We originally featured the magical body-paintings of Johannes Stötter back in 2014, when he made international news headlines with a mind-blowing project where he turned two of his models into almost perfect Ara macaws. sitting on a branch. He has been keeping busy since then, coming up with all sorts of stunning compositions, from a near-perfect frog made up of several painted human models, to a single person posing as perfectly-detailed butterfly sitting on a sunflower. But, as always, even knowing the secret of Stötter’s art, you still have to squint to make out the people hidden in the artworks.

Read More »

The Scribbled Portraits of Liz Y Ahmet

Liz Y Ahmet is a self-taught artist who uses a seemingly messy technique to create incredibly detailed and expressive female portraits.

A ‘scribble’ is usually defined as “a piece of writing or a drawing that is done quickly or carelessly”, but that certainly doesn’t apply to Liz Y Ahmet’s work. While her style certainly looks very similar to scribbling, it’s not done quickly and it certainly isn’t careless. The talented artist’s technique is intentionally messy so as to “portray the chaos of emotions that are hidden beneath” her characters’ mask-like visage.

Read More »