Swiss Artist Creates Realistic Portrait from 20,000 Cigarette Filters

Jinks Kunst, a Swiss street-artist known for his beautiful stencil artworks, has created a portrait of legendary French singer Serge Gainsbourg, out of over 20,000 cigarette filters.

These days, France celebrates twenty years since the death of one of its greatest-ever artists, singer and song writer Serge Gainsbourg. In Paris, the city where he was born and where he died, artists are showcasing a series of unpublished photos of Gainsbourg, but Kunst wanted to make something truly special for this occasion.

A big fan of the singer, the Swiss street-artist spent the last three years collecting cigarette butts off the streets and used them to create a unique portrait. His one-of-a-kind depiction of Serge Gainsbourg numbers an impressive 20, 394 used cigarette filters he gathered himself, since March 2008. The legendary Gainsbourg, author of “Je t’aime moi non plus”, had a passion for cigarettes and alcohol, so Jinks Kunst choice of cigarette filters as a medium makes perfect sense.

The cigarette butt portrait of Serge Gainsbourg is currently on display in Nantes.

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Artist Creates Impressive Punching Bag Portrait of Muhammad Ali

Using tear-shaped punching bags, steel wire and aluminum pipes, internationally renowned artist and sculptor Michael Kalish has created an awe-inspiring monument that pays homage to one of the greatest boxers of all time, Muhammad Ali.

Kalish, who is famous for his license plate portraits, came up with the idea for a complex installation dedicated to Muhammad Ali when he was falling asleep one night, in 2008. He had already met the Ali family, after Lonnie Ali (Muhammad’s wife) saw a report on the artist’s license plate works and commissioned a piece. This led to a long-lasting relationship which eventually inspired the remarkable artwork known as reALIze. But Michael Kalish knew he couldn’t pull off a complicated project like the one he had imagined, so he reached out to architectural firm Oyler Wu, for help.

Made up of 1,300 raindrop-shaped punching bags, 6.5 miles of stainless steel cable and 2,500 pounds of aluminum pipe, reALIze is a monumental 22-foot-high tribute to one of the world’s greatest boxing icons. The coolest thing about this thing is that if you look at it from any side it looks like a whirlwind of hanging punching bags, but if you look at it from a certain point, in the front, you’ll see a clear portrait of Muhammad Ali.

“I love turning ordinary objects into extraordinary works of art. This is an opportunity of a lifetime and I’m honored I could create this monument to pay homage to such an incredible man.” Kalish said about his magnificent work. reALIze will be unveiled on March 25th, at Nokia Plaza L.A. Live, in Los Angeles, where Muhammad Ali himself is expected to make an appearance and hang the last punching bag.

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The Crocheted Portraits of Jo Hamilton

Portland-based artist Jo Hamilton has a house full of balls of yarn,which she uses to create amazing crocheted portraits and landscapes.

Jo remembers she was only six when her grandmother taught her to to crochet, but it wasn’t until ten years later that she really dedicated herself to the old craft and started crocheting in a crafty way. She attended the Glasgow School of Art, where she experimented with both painting and drawing, but she felt that she needed an original medium to help her express her talent.

She was inspired to use crocheting as an art form after seeing an exhibition at the Portland Craft Museum that inspired artists to use techniques that are originally considered to be art. Happy that she had finally found a means of expression that she was comfortable with, Jo immediately started crocheting a cityscape made of six blocks, named “I Crochet Portland”. She now spends anywhere from forty five hours on a portrait, up to three years on one of her cityscapes, but the most important thing  is she never gets bored of crocheting.

The portraits Jo creates are incredibly detailed, and many people have speculated about the techniques and stitches she uses, but the artist claims her pieces come alive from the inside – it’s an organic process that implies no graphs, plans or charts. Of course, this means she doesn’t know the exact outcome of her effort, but Ms. Hamilton says she has learned to trust her way of working.

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Pixelated Self-Portrait Is Made from Over 10,000 Nails and Screws

Inspired by the work of mosaic art masters like Saimir Strati, artist Shannon Larratt has created a unique self-portrait from thousands of different nails and screws.

Shannon used a four foot sheet of heavy 3/4″ plywood as canvas and six different kinds of nails and screws space roughly 5/16″ apart. He estimates there are around 20,000 pixels in his project, and over 10,000 nails. The whole thing weighs around two hundred pounds, and the artist plans to hoist it up from an I-beam, in his studio.

The first thing Shannon did was take a photo of himself, which he then manipulated in Photoshop, so the colors would match the general range of the nails, and then converted it into an indexed color image using a custom palette that matched his nail set. He stacked up all these conversions as layers, and then started the manual labour, occasionally changing or shifting the nails slightly, to improve translation.

The result of his work is just incredible, although the artist says he has learned a lot from this project and he will do a lot better next time. But, because the process of creating one of these pixelated portraits is so time-consuming, Larrat doesn’t know exactly when he will start work on another one.

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Andrew Myers – An Artist Who Literally Screws His Artworks

Laguna Beach based Andrew Myers is the only artist in the world who uses screws as the main medium to create three-dimensional artworks. Simply put – he screws art.

The young artist didn’t always work with screws, the idea just came to him one day, while working on a church’s bronze relief depicting the life of Saint Catherine. And, like most artists, once he got it into his head to work with a certain medium, he just had to find out if he could actually make it happen. It sounds like a screwy concept, but it turned out to be brilliant.

Unlike other artists who create similar art, Myers doesn’t rely on a computer to pixelate his works, he just makes a grid and drills in screws at certain key points (like the tip of the nose) to establish the depth of the artwork. “For me, I consider this a traditional sculpture and all my screws are at different depths. There’s nothing planned out. I draw out a figure on the board and figure out the depths,” the artist says. The screw holes have to be drilled beforehand, to make sure the screws go in straight, and the background of the portrait is made up of phone book pages, usually with listings from the area of the subject.

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The Eco-Friendly Junk Mail Portraits of Sandhi Schimmel Gold

Using a technique she calls Acrylic Mosaic Fusion, artist Sandhi Schimmel Gold takes junk mail and other paper waste and turns it into beautiful portraits.

Phoenix-based Sandhi Schimmel Gold has been fascinated by art for as long as she can remember. In her youth, she spent most of her days sitting quietly in the bedroom, drawing, and she remembers cutting school to spend her days in museums and art galleries around New York City. Although she studied art in school, Sandhi says she is pretty much self taught, and most of her works are influenced by her extensive travels.

The artist first felt inspired to create mosaic portraits years ago, when she was in Venice, Italy. She saw a portrait made of small colorful glass fragments ans since it was to heavy to transport home, by train, Sandhi decided to create one just like it. After a period of trial and error using glass and tile, she decided to change her art medium to ephemera.

Now, using upcycle junk mail, post cards, photos, calendars and other paper junk together with water-based, non-toxic paint, Sandhi Schimmel Gold creates the most amazing mosaic portraits. She doesn’t use any kind of technology or dies in her art; everything is hand-cut, hand-applied, hand-embellished and hand-finished. “My vision is to create beautiful yet thought-provoking images of beauty” says Sandhi, and she manages to do it by using paper waste most people throw away.

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The Bottle Cap Portraits of Molly B. Right

Molly B. Right is a brilliant self-taught artist, from Charleston, South Carolina, who uses discarded bottle caps to create incredible portraits.

She began creating bottle cap portraits back in 1993, when she started pondering the phrase “Jesus Saves”. Saves what? – Molly asked – Does he just save souls, or if he had the time, would he also save things like string or rubber bands? Does he save bottle caps? And that’s when she took this question and turned it into a full size portrait of Jesus. “Now I’m doing bottle cap portraits of archetypal women that don’t have anything to do with Jesus saving anything. Now I’m the one who is saving bottle caps.” Molly says in the artist statement on her official site.

The process of creating bottle cap portraits begins with a painted portrait on a sheet of metal. Molly then glues the vintage bottle caps in an overlapping pattern, sort of like scales on a snake. She pays great attention to details, making sure there are no visible glue traces, and using several transparent washes of glaze to define her portraits even further.

The bottle caps Molly B. Right uses for her beautiful portraits are considered collectibles on their own, since all of them date from the 30’s to the 70’s.

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The Broken Vinyl Portraits of Mr. Brainwash

French street-artist Thierry Guetta, also known as Mr. Brainwash, has created a series of portraits of international pop icons, out of broken vinyls and CDs.

Mr. Brainwash, rumored to be friends with legendary street artist Banksy, has probably smashed thousands of old vinyls into pieces, to create the artworks for his latest collection, entitled “Icons”. Though they all look like they’ve been drawn with a stencil, each of them is made exclusively out of broken pieces of vinyl and CDs. The intricate facial expressions were achieved by using quarter inch vinyl cuts, while chiseled CDs were used to reproduce the shine of sunglasses.

“I had to find something that nobody in the world of art had done. I wanted to take singers that spent their whole lives singing for us and make them live forever with what they sold.” Mr. Brainwash said about his incredible vinyl portraits.

His unique portrait of Jim Morrison reportedly sold for $100,000, and others had a price tag of three times that much.

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Mind-Blowing Embroidered Portraits by Daniel Kornrumpf

We’ve featured some truly magnificent pieces of embroidery on Oddity Central, but Daniel Kornrumpf’s intricate portrait are simply breathtaking.

A true master with the needle, Philadelphia-based artist Daniel Kornrumpf creates extraordinary embroidered portraits that look a lot like real paintings. Even more surprising is the size of these amazing artworks. While they may look like giant paintings, in the close-up photos, in reality they are smallish creations, set against a large white background.

Just like the brown tape paintings of Mark Khaisman or the collage paintings of Megan Coyle, Daniel Kornrumpf’s embroidered artworks are incredibly realistic.

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Zhang Dexuan – The World’s Only Hair-Woven Portraits Artist

While  Zhang Dexuan’s hair-woven portraits may by just slightly bigger than a fingernail, but their incredible detail require weeks, sometimes months of work.

66-year-old Zhang Dexuan, from China’s Sichuan province, claims he is the only artist in the world able to create detailed portraits from strands of human hair. Using just five simple tools and a magnifying glass, Zhang manages to created incredible portraits, from hundreds of hair strands collected from members of his family. Judging by the tools used, you might think the art of weaving hair is pretty simple, Zhang Dexuan claims he is the only hair weaving artist on Earth, and has practiced it for the last 54 years.

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World’s Largest Toast Portrait Is Best Birthday Card Ever

Trying to come up with an original birthday present for mother in law, a museum curator managed to set a new world record for the world’s largest toast mosaic.

27-year-old Laura Hadland, a museum curator from Leicester, wanted to offer her mother-in-law a really special gift, on her 50th birthday. Together with 40 friends and volunteers, Laura spent six hours toasting thousands of bread slices and arranging them into an amazing mosaic of the woman she calls not only a great mother-in-law, but also one of her best friends.

The world’s largest toast mosaic was created using a set of ten bread toasters and measures 32 feet 8 inches by 42 feet 3 inches. Its made up of 9,852 slices toasted to varying degrees of brown, which add up to about 600 bread loafs.

As a museum curator, Laura Hadland has had plenty of experience working with ancient Roman mosaics, and admits she was thrilled to create a modern mosaic out of her favorite food. Her mother-in-law says it’s a bit weird seeing her face recreated from pieces of toast, but at the same time very flattering.

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Zac Freeman’s Incredible Junk Portraits

Looked at from up close, Zac Freeman’s artworks look like common piles of junk, but take a few steps back and you’ll discover amazingly detailed portraits.

You know that stuff most of us throw away after a while, things like old buttons, LEGO bricks, keyboard keys? That’s exactly the kind of material Zac Freeman uses to create his unbelievable portraits. He began gathering junk and found objects in 1992, and started gluing them to pieces of wood, creating various portraits.

In the words of the artist:

“I was interested in communicating through visual representation in apparent 2-dimensional space and through the actual objects used for the medium in 3-dimensional space. It is very important to me that I incorporate the actual objects into the art as opposed to a picture or rendition of it because it better expresses the intention of the artwork. I feel the junk is more powerful being present. It is an actual thing to be reckoned with that existed in this time and place and carries energy in and of itself.”

I was thinking about how many artists use junk as an art medium these days, and then it hit me: it might seem like a peculiar thing to use in art, but junk is everywhere around us, and so easy to come by, so it’s no wonder artists use it in their artworks.

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Welsh Artist Paints with Jam and Marmite on Toast

Nathan Wyburn, a young Welsh artist from Ebbw Vale, has created a series of celebrity portraits with jam and marmite, on a canvas made of toast.

The first time you lay eyes on Nathan Wyburn’s artworks, you don’t know whether to frame it or eat it. But, even though his art mediums might seem a bit weird, 20-year-old Nathan is an established artist, with a worldwide online following. Uploaded videos of his work have been watched by millions of people and made Nathan Wyburn somewhat of an Internet celebrity.

Some of Nathan’s past projects include a portrait of Simon Cowell made of 30 pieces of Marmite-covered toast, and Lady Gaga in sugar. His latest works were commissioned  by a new Costa Coffee shop, in Towcester, and feature the portraits of international celebrities David Beckham and Cheryl Cole, painted on toast.

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Pixelated Princess Peach Built Out of Plastic Bottle Caps

A real Super Mario fan spent months collecting plastic bottle caps in order to build a pixelated portrait of the lovely Princess Peach.

After saving her from the clutches of the evil dragon, several times, Instructables user skeplin decided to create a tribute to Princess Peach. With the help of his family, he managed to collect around 1,000 plastic bottle caps, in a few months time. His children were in charge of washing them, while skeplin prepared the 26 colors needed to complete the project.

He used a little bit of Perl and ImageMagick to figure out all the colors, then hand-painted every bottle cap using a dowel rod. Once that was done, he set and glued the bottle caps in place, on a 28×35 grid, and completed a lovely pixelated portrait of Princess Peach that now hangs proudly in his home.

It all sounds easy enough, but once youc check out all the steps, on Instructables, you’ll think twince before having a go at it, yourself. Video at the bottom.

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The Incredible Wire Sculptures of Ivan Lovatt

Artist Ivan Lovatt has recreated the faces of celebrities such as Michael Jackson or The Beatles, using nothing but chicken wire.

Ivan Lovatt is one of those artists who are always looking for new media to experiment with, and for him chicken wire proved to be just what he needed. Before starting to mold chicken wire into intricate portraits, Ivan used it to give structure to some of his earlier sculptures. At one point, he began creating wildlife out of the unusual medium, and as his skills developed, he moved to celebrity portraits.

Most of his wire portraits take over a month to complete and about one and a half times larger than life size. Somehow, he manages to twist, bend and pin the wire in such a way that his portraits end up so detailed you can actually see every hair on their head. He became a professional sculptor six years ago, and since then , his works have been displayed in galleries and museums all around the world.

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