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The Wonderful Can Sculptures of Canstruction 2010

Every year, dozens of teams of architects and engineers compete in creating the most impressive can sculptures for the Canstruction exhibition.

This year, 25 teams did their vest to arrange around 100,000 cans of food into detailed sculptures that would ultimately win them the title of Canstruction champions. The intricate works of art are on display at the World Financial Center Garden, in New York City, until November 22, and visitors are encouraged to donate canned foods like tuna, beans or vegetables. Once the exhibition closes, all the cans are donated to the poor people of New York, by City Harvest.

Last year’s Canstruction winner was a piggy-bank sculpture made from 3.024 cans of salmon and 24 cans of tuna, but this year, judges have a tough decision to make. They have to pick between mosaics of Marylin Monroe and Super Mario, a can-made van and several other mind-blowing creations.

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British Artist Turns Lost Hub Caps into Amazing Animal Sculptures

Ptolemy Elrington spends his time collecting hub caps lost on the streets of Britain, and transforming them into impressive-looking animal sculptures.

To prove that “one person’s junk is another man’s treasure”, 43-year-old Ptolemy Elrington has chosen to use reclaimed materials, like hub caps, as the main medium of his art. After finishing college, the Bradford-based sculptor lived close to a sharp curve where cars would often lose their hub caps. He began collecting them from the roadside ditch, and planned to turn them all into an original suit of armor, but noticing they had a marine look about them, he decided to mold them into fish.

After he gave his first sculptures to his family, as gifts, friends started coming to him asking for some hub-cap sculptures of their own. Elrington realized the business potential of his art, and now spends most of his time creating animal sculptures in his workshop. Because his work materials are practically free, he only charges customers for his time, about 75 British pounds per day. His most expensive work so far, a 10 meter tall dragon made out of 200 lost hub caps cost 3,000 pounds, but most of his works are sold for a few hundreds.

A strong supporter of recycling, Ptolemy Elrington only uses discarded materials. He never buys hubcaps, he always uses lost ones, and even the wire used to tie the hubcap pieces together comes from the junkyard.

After seven years of hub cap sculpting, Elrington says he is a fan of luxury car hub caps, from BMW or Mercedes, because they can be flexed more,and hardly ever snap.

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The Bizarre Human Ashes Sculptures of Wieki Somers

Dutch artist Wieki Somers pushes the boundaries of recycling in her project “Consume or Conserve”, which plays with the idea of turning our loved ones’ ashes into everyday household items.

Instead of burying or cremating a beloved family member, wouldn’t you rather give this person a second life as a vacuum cleaner, or a toaster? This way you could cherish them forever, and they in term could feel useful by helping you with your daily chores. And would having our household items made from someone dear make us more attached to them, instead of quickly throwing them away as waste? That’s basically the idea behind Wieki Somers’ sculptures made from human ashes. Depicting weird scenes featuring toasters and dead birds, vacuum cleaners and dung beetles, and weighing scales and bees, these unusual artworks also come with a plaque stating the name and lifetime of the person they were created from.

For her human ashes sculpture series, Wieki Somers used donated remains and a 3D printer.

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Artist Spends 17 Years Carving Model of the HMS Victory

Sculptor Ian Brennan has spent 5,000 hours, in the last 17 years, carving a piece of timber into a miniature replica of admiral Nelson’s famous HMS Victory.

60-year-old Brennan, from Warsash, England, only became a full-time sculptor when he was 34, but in just five years time he became a sculptor of the Royal House. That’s how he ended up doing restorative work on the real HMS Victory, for about a year. As recognition for a job well done, Ian Brennan received a piece of timber from the legendary ship, which he later decided to use as material for a small scale replica of the Victory.

While you may think centuries old wood would be easier to carve, this particular piece of timber was as hard as concrete, and Ian had to much more work into it than expected. 5,000 hours, throughout 17 years, to be exact, during which he went through several pairs of overalls and cut himself countless times. Just like the original HMS Victory, Ian’s replica features 104 guns, 37 sails, flags bearing Nelson’s inspirational signal ‘England expects every man to do his duty’, as well as 200 feet of intricate rope.

Ian Brennan knew he only had one chance at doing something like this, as he would never again get another piece of timber from the original HMS Victory, so he made sure his 47-inch replica was just perfect. His family has been very supportive throughout the 17 years of work, although I’m sure his wife Suzanne wished her husband spent more of his free time with her.

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Fred Conlon Turns Old Army Helmets into Beautiful Sculptures

Old army helmets seem pretty useless in these modern times, but artist Fred Conlon has found a pretty good use for them, and it doesn’t involve a museum.

Growing up in small Steamboat Springs, Colorado, Fred Conlon was always fascinated by art, but it wasn’t until he graduated from the University of Utah, with a degree in Public Communications, that he decided to open a pottery shop. With only his family’s support and 15 credits in pottery classes, Fred fulfilled his dream and opened Sugar Post Pottery, in Salt Lake City. Throughout the years, he discovered his passion for working with metal, old war gear in particular, and his original helmet sculptures are just some of his wonderful creations.

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The Gooey Chewing-Gum Sculptures of Maurizio Savini

Italian artist Maurizio Savini has spent the last ten years creating amazing sculptures out of thousands of pieces of bright pink chewing gum.

Chewing gum may not be the most common media of the art world, but to 39-year-old Maurizio Savini it’s the most versatile material available. It’s easy to manipulate when warm, and can be cut with a knife, just like clay. Regardless of what many may think, chewing gum sculpting is an established art form, recognized all over the world, and Savini’s artworks are eagerly awaited by critics and connoisseurs, alike.

Disgusting as it may seem to some people, Maurizio Savini uses thousands of chewed up pieces of bubble gum for each of his sculptures. He molds them into the desired shapes and when the whole thing is done, he fixes the sculpture with formaldehyde and antibiotics. The amazingly detailed chewing gum sculptures of Maurizio Savini have sold fro up to $60,000 each.

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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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The Steampunk Insects of Shojiro Yamauchi

Although he only recently graduated from the Nihon University College of Art, Shojiro Yamauchi is already considered one of the most talented metal sculptors in Japan. His most recent collection, entitled “Inhabitants of a Certain Planet”, features giant steampunk insects, including a cicada with its wings spread, a spider and a number of large ants. You can see the marksmanship of the artist in the detailed photos below.

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The Wooden Clothes of Fraser Smith

Get ready for a “can you believe the’re made of wood?!?” moment folks, because the sculpted clothes of Fraser Smith are unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

Fraser Smith is a very talented wood sculptor who creates tromp l’oeil works using various soft wood essences. He specializes in carving the kind of things no one would ever believe could be created from wooden blocks, and manages to fool the human eye every time. At every one of his exhibitions, you’ll always here things like “Wow, there’s no way these are made of wood!” Yes, his wooden sculptures are so good most people can’t believe their eyes.

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Recycled Optimus Prime Shows Up in China

Part of the Green Dream Park, in Beijing, the 10-meter-tall statue of Optimus Prime managed to attract the gazes of many passers-by.

With all the Transformers statues, made from recycled materials, showing up everywhere I’m thinking they’re a great way of raising awareness to the problems of the environment, especially as far as young people are concerned.

Assembled near Bird’s Nest Stadium, in Beijing, the 10-meter-tall leader of the Autobots is made only from waste materials, brought in all the way from Taiwan. But this awesome Optimus Prime statue goes to show you that just because something is made from junk, doesn’t mean it’s junk.

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The Digital Orca of Douglas Coupeland

Perhaps the most interesting artwork in Vancouver, Digital Orca is a pixelated sculpture created by artist Douglas Coupleland.

How awesome is this, right? I mean, if I didn’t know any better I’d swear these photos were computer generated. But since Digital Orca is one of Vancouver’s most popular landmarks, featured on Pan Pacific Vancouver blog, you can believe it’s real. Located near the Vancouver Convention Center, Digital Orca looks completely different when viewed from various angles.

Local chronicler Douglas Coupland, is also the author author of Generation X, Microserfs, City of Glass and other impressive works of art in Vancouver.

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The Amazing Newspaper Sculptures of Nick Georgiou

The printed press may be dying, but Tucson based artist Nick Georgiou has found a way of breathing new life into old newspapers.

Nick’s art is inspired by the death of the printed world, economic crisis, and political and environmental uncertainty. He states “Books and newspapers are becoming artifacts of the 21st century. Whatever we used to read off paper, we’re now reading off digital screens. Our way of interacting with text is changing. My work is not only about the decline of the printed word in today’s society but its rebirth as art.”

Nick Georgiou uses old newspapers, collected by him or donated by others, tears them into folds and stitches them into various creatures. His works have been exhibited in various shows and galleries, bot in the US and abroad.

 

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Giant Mobile Is Made of Recycled Phones

A giant Nokia mobile phone has appeared in one of the biggest squares in Cluj, Romania, as part of the Planet Report Environmental and Film Festival.

Cluj is probably the most beautiful city in Romania, and I’m glad I finally get the chance to mention it in one of my posts. The first edition of the Planet Report Environmental and Film Festival aims to point out today’s environmental issues, and get the public and local authorities to take them more seriously.

As part of this eco-festival, local artists were asked to create various artworks out of waste. The most popular piece, so far, was a giant Nokia mobile phone, make of dozens of recycled mobiles, old keyboards and other computer parts.

 

 

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The Sculpture Park of Veijo Rönkkönen Is the Weirdest Place in Finland

Deep in the forest of Parikkala, in the easternmost part of Finland, lies one of the craziest tourist attractions on the face of the planet – the sculpture park of Veijo Rönkkönen.

Regarded by most as the most important ensemble of contemporary folk art in Finland, the sculpture park of Veijo Rönkkönen is a lot to take in, the first time you visit. Finding yourself surrounded by hundreds of creepy statues, grinning at you with their real human teeth, is enough to spook you into turning back as soon as you set foot in the park.

Veijo Rönkkönen, a former paper mill worker, completed his first sculpture in 1961, and now his yard, and the path leading to it, are filled with over 450 statues, 200 of which are self portraits of the artist in Yoga positions he has mastered so far. The statues have loudspeakers hidden inside them, and the sound effects add to the eeriness of this place.

Although he has had the chance to exhibit and even sell his artworks, in auctions, Veijo Rönkkönen has never agreed to showcase his art. Every time he was asked to showcase his work, the near-hermit always replied he needed to discuss it with the statues first. Sadly, they never agreed to travel.

The sculpture park of Veijo Rönkkönen is free to visit, if you dare, but the artist insists every visitor sign his logbook, before they leave. Read More »

Man Transforms Old Car into a Transformer Statue

Using his old Lada Samara Diva as an art medium, artist Nikola Nikolov has built a 2 meter-tall statue, named The Transformer.

The Transformer was created to symbolize the relationship between man and machine. The artist cut up his old Lada Samara Diva into pieces, which he later sculpted and welded together in the shape of a robot. The sculpture’s unusual position denotes the robot is at the moment between knowing what he was and what he has become.

The Transformer sculpture is 2 meters high, 80 meters wide and weight 90 kg.

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