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Never too Old for Art – Portugal’s Granny Graffiti Gang

Lata 65 is a highly unusual urban art workshop in Lisbon, Portugal, that teaches elderly women the basics of street art. Although graffiti is generally perceived as a part of youth culture, the workshop has introduced the quirky art form to over 100 senior citizens around the city. It gives groups of elderly women the chance to team up with prominent street artists and literally paint the town red. They bring color and charm to otherwise neglected and run-down neighborhoods, by making their own stencils and creating their own street tags.

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Artist Creates Sculptures from His Own Chewed Nicotine Gum

Slovak artist David Havetta has created a collection of unique sculptures from thousands of nicotine gum pieces he chewed himself, while trying to give up smoking.

The 65-year-old artist says he started smoking as a young boy, but decided to quit about 25 years ago, so he searched for alternatives to keep him busy and away from cigarettes. At one point he discovered nicotine gum, but had no idea it will eventually become the main medium of his unique art. During work, David started sticking the chewed up pieces of gum on a pen holder he had in his office until he formed one big lump. When he pressed his finger on it he noticed it was good, malleable material, so he decided to try and sculpt it, out of boredom.

Havetta’s first chewing gum artwork was the head of a woman, and he liked working with the material so much that he spent the next few months creating a body for it, as well. It took a lot of time and a total of 500 pieces of nicotine gum, but for the artist it was all worth it. Just so you realize how long it takes to make one of his nicotine gum sculptures, you should know David has only created a few dozens of them in the last twenty years. They include a horse, flowers and even an old table clock modeled after The Toilet of Venus by Diego Velasquez. They are all made of hundreds, sometimes thousands of pieces of gum.

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Cancer Survivor Makes Drug Jewelry to Pay off Medical Debt

Susan Braig, a 61-year-old cancer survivor from Altadena, California, began making jewelry from medication as a form of therapy, but now sells her creations to pay her medical bills.

Susan was diagnosed with breast cancer and started chemotherapy in 2004. She remembers she bought her first round of medicine our of her own pocket; it cost her $500 and looking at the little pills she got for that much money, it made her wonder if they were little gems. But the idea of actually using medication as jewelry came to Susan Braig in 2007, when she participated in a medical-themed art exhibition organized by the NewTown Pasadena Foundation. She decided to create a mock Tiffany & Co. jewelry advertisement for the exhibition, using different kinds of pills as diamonds, rubies and emeralds, but she eventually ended up making a princess’ tiara encrusted with her leftover cancer pills, as well as several other pieces. They were a hit, and many show-goers told Susan she should open her own jewelry line.

Now, seven years after starting her treatment, Susan Braig is cancer-free and running her own jewelry line, called designer Drug Jewelry. Friends and fellow cancer survivors donate their own old and leftover medicine, and she uses them to create colorful accessories priced between $15 and $150. She sells them at craft shows, where she wears a white medical robe, and is considering distributing them to hospital gift shops. The pills used for the over 500 pieces she designed so far are coated with a sealant and glued to the costume jewelry, to make them “non-abusable” as she says. The jewels come in an ordinary pill bottle, wrapped in a ribbon and placed in small bags made from surgical face masks.

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Woman Makes Giant Penny Sculpture Using 84,000 Pennies

Wander Martich, from Grand Rapids, Michigan, spent three months working on a giant penny sculpture made of 84,000 common pennies.

The story of how an average woman managed to create this unique artwork began in 2006, when Martich and her family were going through a really tough time. She had just got divorced, lost her house to foreclosure and was an unemployed mother of two daughters, aged 6 and 9. She was literally saving every penny and her girls pitched in the contents of their piggy bank, to help out in these troubled times. The pennies ended up in a plastic water jug, and even after Wander finally found a job, she took $20 from every paycheck, changed them into pennies and kept filling up the water jug.

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Saimir Strati Creates the World’s Largest Industrial Screw Mosaic

Saimir Strati, the well-known Albanian master of mosaics has created yet another masterpiece, a giant mosaic made of 300,000 industrial screws.

Strati, who already holds four Guinness records for various mosaics, has just applied for a fifth one, the world’s largest mosaic made with industrial screws. His latest artwork measures 490 cm by 240 cm and features a portrait of Greek poet Homer in the middle of a giant banknote, entitled “currency of the soul”. The Albanian artist who has previously created impressive mosaics out of nails, bottle corks and paintbrushes, has dedicated his latest masterpiece to his fellow art creators from Tirana, Albania.

Saimir Strati has spent two weeks creating his unusual banknote mosaic, using 300,000 industrial screws.

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Street Artist Hailed as China’s Chalk God

Mr. Hou is an average Joe who recently became popular thanks to a few photos of his chalk art being posted on Chinese forums.

The first photos of Mr. Hou’s 3D chalk art first appeared late last month, and Chinese netizens quickly gave him the nick name “Chalk God” and compared him to the architects from the sci-fi blockbuster Inception, for his ability to create unbelievably realistic-looking landscapes.

Because his works first appeared on a Chinese forum, his identity had to be dug-up by the media, and everyone was surprised to discover the talented chalk artist was just an average citizen who exercised his talents for the fun of his little boy. The humble Mr. Hou said he doesn’t believe his artwork are that impressive, but actually the ideas behind them.

Check out a video of Mr. Hou in action, at the bottom.

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Avatar Mosaic Made Out of 4,000 Avatar Blu-Ray Discs

British mosaic artist Laura Hadland has created an impressive Avatar-themed mosaic, as a present for her film-fanatic husband.

A few weeks after creating an amazing toast mosaic for her mother-in law, for which she used 9,852 slices of toast, Laura does it again, this time for her beloved husband. Making use of 4,000 Blu-Ray discs, she managed to create a giant mosaic of a Na’vi. Located on the floor of the London Film Museum, the Avatar mosaic took the artist just a few hours to complete. No news yet on how Laura’s husband reacted to her fantastic gift, but I’m sure he was pretty impressed.

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Patriot Dedicates 10 Years to Sculpting Wooden Declaration of Independence

Charlie Kestead, a talented woodworker from Johnstown, USA has spent ten years of his life carving the Declaration of Independence in dark walnut wood.

The giant wooden replica of famous document was completed a few months ago, after 10 years of constant labor. Kested would have probably finished it earlier, but a stroke forced him to abandon his project for a while. Although it impaired his speech and mobility, the dedicated woodworker continued work on his wooden masterpiece, as soon as he was physically able. Almost as tall as its creator, the wooden Declaration of Independence is an exact replica of the original document, down to the bottom signatures. Every letter and character was hand carved out of dark walnut and placed on a background of light Baltic birch, for contrast.

The 81-year-old retired teacher of industrial arts says it was a labor of love, despite the fact that it took most of his free time, during the last decade. He added that all of his efforts paid off when he was awarded first place and best in show at the 2010 Florida State Fair. Fellow woodmakers who saw Charlie Kested’s wooden Declaration of Independence were blown away by his unbelievable patience and attention to details. Every little bit of it is so precise, it’s almost impossible to believe it was done by hand.

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Chinese Artists Create World’s Longest Piece of Embroidery

Chinese artist Qiao Lianchun, along with 25 other artists, is claiming the Guinness world record for the longest piece of embroidery.

The 25-meter-long, 0.96-meter-tall embroidered work of art may not look like much from a distance, but it took a team of artists two years to complete. Made up of 3, 150,000 stitches, the embroidery inspired by the classic Chinese painting ‘Along the River during Qing Ming Festival’, involved the use of 50,000 meters of thread, in 120 different colors.

Embroidery is a really fascinating art, and Qiao Lianchun took it to the extreme. He spent 27 months just traveling trough China’s Yunnan Province, looking for talented artists and craftsman to help him fulfill his dream. The “stitched painting” was created at Qiao Liachun’s factory, in Baoshan, and ever since its unveiling, people from all over China have been coming to see it.

After he receives his Guinness record, Qiao Lianchun hopes to sell his embroidered painting for $500,000.

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Artist Uses Old Toys to Create Amazing Sculptures

What do you do when your kids leave you with entire boxes of old toys they don’t like anymore? Well, you can donate them, throw them away or, do something creative with them.

Robert Bradford, a part-time psychotherapist from Cornwall, UK, opted for the third option when his two kids left him with a bunch of discarded toys. Luckily, one day, while he was staring at them, he came up with the wonderful idea of using them to create artistic sculptures.

His first artwork was an Alsatian dog that he doesn’t much like these days. But this was the experiment that started his career as an artist. That was four years ago. Since then, Robert Bradford has used thousands of toys to make truly incredible toy sculptures, like the soldier and angel you see in the photos below.

The artist uses up to 3,000 used toys for each of his toy sculptures and sells them for prices that go as high as 12,000 British pounds. That’s pretty expensive, but hey, it’s art, right?

Make sure you check Robert Bradford’s official site for more photos and info about his beautiful works of art.

Photos by Robert Bradford/BARCROFT MEDIA

via Daily Mail

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Life-Size Formula 1 Car Made Out of Styrofoam

From Michael Salter, the styrofoam master who also created the famous Styrobot, comes the styrofoam Formula 1 race-car.

Definitely the best styrofoam work of art I’ve ever seen, this race-car replica looks just like the real thing, without the engine. But hell, if I had these baby in my yard, I’d just place a speaker under it and just record the sound of a Formula 1 race-car.

The brilliant Michael Salter presented his styrofoam Formula 1 race-car and a few other styrofoam creations at the Portland John Ross Plaza Studio, so be sure to check them out if you’re in the neighborhood.

via Gizmo Watch

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Lilliputan Terracotta Army Invades England

40,000 small terracotta soldiers storm into the Spanish Barn, in Torquay, Devon.

The Terracotta Army is a famous art collection, by British artist Anthony Gormley, featuring 40,000 clay figurines. They were all made in St. Helen’s, Merseyside, as a community project. Children and their families were given clay balls to manipulate into a human shape, with two eyes. Each person created up to 200 terracotta figurines per day.

Now the Terracotta Army has been moved from London’s South Bank Center into the Torre Abbey’s Spanish Barn, in Torquay, Devon. All the 40,000 lilliputian terracotta soldiers must face in the same direction and must be viewed from a certain angle. That’s why volunteers were needed to walk through the ranks and arrange the figurines.

The young lady in the second photo is one such volunteer, walking carefully among the 8 to 26-cm-tall statuettes, in her socks. If one of the soldiers were to fall, it could lead to a disastrous domino effect.

Anthony Gormley’s Terracotta Army will be stationed inside the abbey for the summer, if you fancy a visit.

Photos by SWNS

via Daily Mail

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