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The Stone-Encased Pain of Franz Xaver Messerschmidt

Franz Xaver Messerschmidt (1736-1783) was German-Austrian painter and sculptor most known for his series of canonical grimaces sculptures.

Messerschmidt’s character heads were inspired by the mysterious condition that forced the artist to leave the Vienna Academy of Arts. The undiagnosed digestive illness that caused Messerschmidt so much pain is today believed to have been Crohn’s disease. At one point, he came up with a series of pinches he would apply to his right lower rib. in order to take his mind off the pain.

Looking in the mirror while he was applying his pinches, and seeing his facial expressions, Messerschmidt decided to immortalize his pain in a series of sculptures. Thus, in 1781 Franz Xaver Messerschmidt started working on his famous character heads, using himself as a model.

Franz-Xaver-Messerschmidt-heads

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The Giant Hand of Atacama

The last thing you would expect to find in the middle of the driest desert on Earth is a a work of art. But that’s exactly what you’re gong to see, if you happen to be traveling through the Atacama Desert, in Chile.

The Hand of the Desert (La Mano del Desierto) is an 11-meters-tall sculpture, in the shape of a hand, rising up from the desert. It was designed and created by Chilean sculptor Mario Irarrázabal, and is probably the weirdest thing you’re going to see in Atacama.

The hand rising from the sand” theme is very common in Mr. Irarrázabal work and he has two other major similar sculptures in the US and Uruguay. We’ll add them both to our list of oddities, soon enough.

hand-of-Atacama

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Stainless Steel Skull

Made out of what looks like a bunch of kitchen utensils, this stainless steel skull sculpture, by Subodh Gupta, is one of the weirdest artworks I’ve seen recently. I’m sure it has some kind of meaning, but so far I haven’t been able to figure it out. let me know if you know something I don’t.

via bookofjoe

skull-sculpture

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