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Artist Creates Portraits of Pop Icons with Thousands of Spray-Painted Tiny People

Seen from afar, Craig Alan’s celebrity portraits seem made out of thousands of expertly placed paint dots, but as you draw nearer, you notice that those dots are actually tiny detailed human figures.

Craig Alan’s “Populous” series was inspired by a bird’s eye view from his mother’s 6th story condo, in Orange Beach, Alabama. He was watching the people down at the beach and photographing them when he noticed that their tiny figures forming patters. In one of his photos, the people appeared to have formed a eye, and the artist recalls that this was what first got his creative wheels turning. He started spray-painting tiny human figures on white canvases, positioning them in such a way that they and their shadows formed detailed portraits of some history’s most iconic personalities, from Michael Jackson to Marilyn Monroe.

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