Sarah Harvey’s Eerily Realistic Underwater Images

Most people love taking photos of themselves underwater, but English artist Sarah Harvey isn’t like people. She likes to take things to a whole new level by using photos of herself underwater as reference for her incredibly realistic paintings.

Most often than not, Sarah likes to be both the artist and the subject of her artworks. She puts on a bathing suit, jumps in one of London’s oldest pools and goes underwater so her photographer friend can take a series of photos. She takes into consideration the position of the sun every time she prepares for a photo shoot, and tries to include its reflection on the water whenever she can, along with the surrounding darkness to create a contrast that makes the distorted human figure look even more interesting. Once work at the pool is completed, the artist heads for her studio in East London, where she selects the best photos and starts placing them one over the other to create a collage.

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The Secret Life of Ants, Shot by Andrey Pavlov

We’ve seen insects used as art protagonists before. Mike Libby turns them into steampunk hybrids, and Ubyka creates armed insect cyborgs, but I haven’t seen anything like what Andrey Pavlov does with ants.  This is the touching story of a man who found comfort in studying and immortalizing hardworking ants performing their daily routines.

Andrey Pavlov wasn’t particularly interested in macro photography until seven years ago, when a spinal injury caused him to remain immobilized. That’s when he fell under the charm of these amazing earthlings called ants. He started reading books about them and their behavior, and became fascinated with the way the ant community cares for its weaker members – the children, the old, and the disabled. That’s when he realized they were creatures that commanded respect. This civilization that for the last 150 million years has mastered so many environmentally sustainable ways of surviving and evolving at the same time, really impressed him. So he made it a hobby to observe and take photos of these incredible insects.

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Cuban Sculptor Proves Tobacco Can Be Used for Better Things than Smoking and Chewing

Janio Nunez is a talented Cuban artist who has the gift of making incredible sculptures exclusively from tobacco leaves. He creates works of art both tiny and life-size that prove there are better things to do with tobacco than smoking it.

Janio’s fascination with tobacco began as a little boy, watching his grandparents roll cigars at the factory. He started copying them and ended up becoming a tobacco leaf roller himself. He worked at the factory, but after passing evaluations, he was sent to Varadero, Cuba’s largest resort in Cuba, to roll cigars for tourists. Everything was normal until one day when something really strange happened. He began seeing his co-workers like they were made entirely of tobacco leaves. He would get scared and close his eyes, and when he opened them they were normal again, dressed in their regular clothes. Then would turn around and see another colleague sitting down, all made of tobacco (clothes, face, skin, etc.). This happened sporadically for about four months, and his friends even took him to see a doctor about his “problem”. That didn’t help very much, and realizing something was wrong with him, he decided to do somehow fix things himself.

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The Amazing Shadow Paintings of Rashad Alakbarov

Using various everyday objects and back light, Azerbaijani artist Rashad Alakbarov creates mind-blowing shadow paintings.

It always amazes me what some people can achieve by using the simplest materials and their imagination. Rashad Alakbarov is definitely one of these incredible individuals; using common items like empty plastic bottles, metal pipes or simple pieces of plastic and back light, he creates amazing works of art. Either by hanging these items from the ceiling, or carefully positioning them on a table, Alakbarov manages to produce incredible shadow paintings.

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Seo Young Deok’s Bicycle Chain Sculptures Are Off the Chain

You’ve probably sculptures made from bicycle chains, but I bet they’re nothing like the ones created by South Korean artist, Seo Young Deok.

The incredible ‘works of Seo Young Deok are clearly inspired by the shapes of the human body, but artists have been sculpting masterpieces based on our natural curves for hundreds of years. What makes this Korean designer special is the material he uses for his unique creations – bicycle chains. Miles of metal chains, to be exact, welded in such a way that they recreate the human body to the finest details. Deok says he finds inspiration for his art in crowded markets, and metro or bus stations, but also in Buddhist sculptures and paintings, which he has alway admired. “I like Asia Beauty” he says, “so most features of my work seem to take an Asiatic pose”.

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Renowned Artist Creates Jesus Portrait from 24,790 Push Pins

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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German Fashion Designer Makes Shoes from Real Hooves and Dead Animals

These are some of the freakiest shoes I’ve ever set eyes on. Made by German designer Iris Shieferstein, the footwear is actually created from body parts of dead animals. She uses horse hooves and skin, snake skin and even whole dead birds as decorations.

I really doubt there are a lot of people out there willing to walk around with a pair of stuffed birds on their feet, but that isn’t stopping 45-year-old Iris Shieferstein from using all sorts of dead animal parts to make unique shoes. She agrees her creations aren’t exactly as comfortable as trainers, but she still wears them around the house. The designer says that her footwear is mainly meant for ‘aesthetic pleasure’. The animal shoes have been displayed at exhibitions around the world and Dolce & Gabanna have even created a range based on her designs. But so far, no company has had the courage to produce them for the general public.

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Mind-Blowing Portrait Created from Thousands of Coffee Stains

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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Ukrainian Artist Creates Fantastic Religious Icons from Millions of Knots

Using a special knot weaving technique called macrame, Ukrainian artist Vladimir Denshchikov creates mind-blowing religious icons made almost entirely of linen thread.

Born on July 1, 1952 in Kiev, Vladimir Denshchikov graduated the Kiev Theater University and went on to become and actor. He worked his way up  to director and artistic director of the Simferopol Crimea Maxim Gorky Academic Russian Drama Theater, and since 2007 he has been teaching acting and directing at the Simferopol Institute of Culture. Quite an impressive professional career, but this national artist of the Ukraine is mostly known for his unique hobby – making incredibly detailed religious icons from linen thread, using a technique called “macrame”.

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Artist Makes Stunning Sculptures from Shattered CDs

Instead of throwing away old CDs, like most of us do, Sean Avery transforms them into incredible sculptures he classifies as sustainable art. Sure, you’ve seen CDs used as decorations before, but I assure you, they’re nothing like what this man makes.

Pieces of shattered CDs are pretty hard to work with when you’re trying to recreate an organic shape, but somehow Sean Avery manages to piece together animal and bird models that look amazingly realistic. Using special layering techniques, he is able to make something as pointy and sharp as CD shards look as smooth as feathers or animal fur. “I blend many different man made materials together to make them appear strangely organic, with a distinct sense of movement” the artist reveals about his unique process.

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Renowned Photographer Spends over 10 Years Building 35-Foot-Long Camera by Hand

In a world where all things small are considered beautiful and cool, a photographer is doing something quite drastically different from the norm. Dennis Manarchy is in the process of creating a camera that is so huge, it captures 24-foot tall realistic photographs of incredible detail. Photoshop-ing these pictures would be totally out of the question.

The camera itself is a thing of wonder. It’s huge, to say the least. At 35 feet long, 12 feet tall and 8 feet wide, it’s large enough to fit a small apartment into. Manarchy is in the process of collecting more funds to make the camera functional, and in the meantime, he has a working immobile model, equally large, fixed in his studio. It uses negatives that are 4.5×6 feet in size. An actual window needs to be used as a lightbox to view them. As opposed to dipping the negatives in chemicals, they need to be showered with the stuff in order to be developed. The resulting photographs are of such pristine detail that even the fleck of an eyelash or pores on the skin can be viewed clearly.

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Mind-Blowing Animal Artworks Painted with Heat

Self-taught artist Julie Bender is a master of pyrography – the art of drawing with heat. She combines this artistic talent with her love for animals and nature to create incredibly detailed sepia works of art.

Pyrography, the art of burning or scorching a natural surface like wood or leather with a heated tip or wire was first practiced thousands of years ago by the Egyptians and African tribesmen attracted by the power of fire. Impressive as it was in its early days, pyrography has come a long way since then, especially since Melbourne architect Alfred Smart discovered a way to pump benzoline fumes through a heated hollow platinum pencil, thus creating an instrument that allowed artist to create tinting and shading, which were previously impossible. In the early 20th century, the invention of the electric pyrographic hot wire machine took the ancient art to a new level, and modern tools have become so advanced that they allow artists to modify burning temperatures and create a variety of tones and shades.

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Man Makes Life-Size Tank from over 5,000 Egg Cartons

‘Eggs for Soldiers’ is a family event held every year at the Clapham Common in London to raise money for Help for Heroes. It’s basically about the sale of khaki green boxes of eggs, with 15 pence from the sale of each box going to the charity that helps wounded servicemen returning from war. This year’s event on the 4th of March will have two great things to look forward to – a national egg and spoon race, and a life-size tank made of no less than 5,016 egg cartons.

The tank, a replica of The Challenger 2, was created by British sculptor Stuart Murdoch. Along with the 5,000 odd egg cartons, he also made use of over 10,000 nails, 26 liters of glue, 15 liters of paint, 80 sq. meters of steel and 5,013 staples in the creation of this epic tank. I can’t believe someone actually counted the number of staples. What’s more, the whole project took Mr. Murdoch and his assistants only 3 weeks to complete. That included 3 sleepless nights as well. The tank will be on display for the general public on 4th March at Clapham Common, so if you happen to be in London, don’t miss it!

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Hauntingly Realistic Human Figures Carved by Real-Life Geppetto

Whether painted or sculpted, I’ve always found hyper-realist artworks fascinating, but Bruno Walpoth’s masterpieces are particularly impressive simply because they are carved from large pieces of wood.

I’m not saying working with other materials to create realistic shapes is easy, but turning something as rigid as wood into works of art that seem almost alive takes something truly special. Bruno Walpoth uses simple carving tools to turn pieces of wood (lime and walnut) into human sculptures with detailed features that seen from afar look incredibly life-like. Only on closer inspection does one notice the carving marks on their skin, left intentionally as quiet reminders that these mind-blowing figures are not human. “Contrary to Geppetto, who constructed himself a child (Pinocchio) out of a piece of wood to banish his loneliness, Bruno Walpoth attempts, perhaps out of awareness of life’s transience, to immortalize the volatile spark of youthfulness he catches in the eyes of his models – sometimes his own children – into a wooden sculpture,” Absolute Art Gallery‘s Diana Gadaldi says about Walpoth’s work.

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The Bottled Smoke Artworks of Jim Dingilian

Jim Dingilian is one of those rare artists who stretch the limits of creativity with their amazing creations. He uses candle smoke to paint picture-perfect images on the inside of empty bottles.

“The miniature scenes I depict are of locations on the edge of suburbia which seem mysterious or even slightly menacing despite their commonplace nature. The bottles add to the implied narratives of transgression. When found by the sides of roads or in the weeds near the edges of parking lots, empty liquor bottles are artifacts of consumption, delight, or dread. As art objects, they become hourglasses of sorts, their drained interiors now inhabited by dim memories” Jim Dingilian says bout his art.  How he manages to create such detailed images inside the bottle remains a mystery, but I’m thinking he uses some sort of slim tool to scratch at the candle smoke. Still, how he manages to keep a steady hand and work through that narrow bottle hand is beyond me.

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