The Duck Pirate

 

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Costa Magarakis, a Tel Aviv-based artist also known as The Duck Pirate, specializes in sculpture that uses shoes as the base objects for some of his work. Footwear in his hands can become an animals body, a sailing vessel, or an imagined creature. As a child he spent time looking through his grandfather’s antique encyclopedia and old books.  His results often feel stolen from drawings in children’s books from days gone by, often imitating  Jules Verne or in modern day, Tim Burton.

Costa produces each sculpture thru a long  process in which each shoe must be made suitable for reforming. Once he softens the old shoe, he adds fiberglass resin and a wide variety of materials that might include, glass, wood, metals and paint. Finished sculptures can sell for up to $1200.00.

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Burning Man Festival

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Originally held in 1986 at San Francisco’s Baker Beach, the week-long Burning Man Festival now takes place in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. The festival is a week-long event that starts on the last Monday in August, and ends on the first Monday in September. Up to 68,000 people from around the world gather at the festival and spend a week in the remote desert isolated from the outside world.Burning_Man_Swar_16x9_992

The festival gets its name from the ritual burning of a large wooden effigy, which is set ablaze on Saturday evening. The event is considered an experiment in self-expression, art, and self-reliance. It’s become a gathering for hippies, artists, musicians and dancers who can for a week explore artistic expression. Money is never exchanged at the event, instead the participants gift each other to get what they need. The main attractions of Burning Man include massive art installations, all-night dance parties, marathon kite-flying sessions, unconventional fashion shows, and classes where festival goers can learn things like Hula Hooping.

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They head off one week later, having left no mark whatsoever and wait for the next Burning Man.

http://www.burningman.com/

 

 

Ventriloquist Dummy

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Ventriloquism was originally a religious practice that got its start in ancient times, somewhere around the sixth century. The name “ventriloquist” means “belly speaker” in Latin. It supposedly was used to communicate with the dead. The noises made by the stomach were thought to be the voices of the dead, who took up residence in the stomach of the ventriloquist. For a long time, it was viewed negatively by the Christian church.

 

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The change from being a sign of spiritual forces to being considered entertainment happened in the eighteenth century at travelling fairs. It came of age as entertainment with the help of vaudeville in the United States.

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Ventriloquism is the illusion of creating life, but the fear of ventriloquist’s dummies is called automatonophobia.

Fine Art of Body Painting

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You might not see it right away, but is this really a frog, or something more? The brightly colored image is actually five naked women decorated by body painter Johannes Stoetter to look like a tree frog. With the models perfectly positioned it’s hard to see where there is a separation of their bodies.

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Stoetter, started body painting in the year 2000, creating  scenes turning human models into objects found in the natural world, including rocks, trees and animals. The artist is a fine-art body painter from Italy who uses his talent of blending his subjects into their surroundings so well that they disappear.

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These works of art, which can take eight hours to complete, have earned Stoetter the world body painting title.

http://www.johannesstoetterart.com/

Showmen’s Rest Circus Cemetery

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Here the clowns have stopped laughing, the acrobats no longer fly, and the music has quit playing. Everything is quiet here, but now in immortal life, the show must go on. The small town of Hugo, Oklahoma,  the winter home of the traveling circus since the 1930s, has become the eternal home for some who have spent their life under the big top.

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A section of Mount Olivet Cemetery called Showmen’s Rest, is bordered by sculptures of elephants on granite pedestals and each grave is designed to show the circus skills of the performer. Here they will remain forever performing under a timeless Big Top.

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While these lie in quiet slumber, the rest of the city celebrates their legendary past with clowns, elephants, and death defying stunts. Children watch with delight as performers practice their impossible feats. Adults are held spellbound by the show overhead.  This small Oklahoma town has a history more unique than any other in the state.

http://www.okgenweb.org/~okchocta/cemetery/showmans_rest.htm

Ray Caesar Surrealist

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Ray Caesar is one of the most notable digital artists of our time. He is also the mind behind some of the most disturbing surrealist art.  He is a Toronto-based artist with works that have been in high demand over the past decade. Caesar is unapologetic about being a digital artist in an art world that sometimes sneers at using the computer for creating fine-art.

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Caesar’s portraits usually include abnormality and fantasy in a dismal setting of sexual suggestions. His works captivate some and turn others away. Onlookers have described his work as both grotesque and beautiful at the same time. Besides being a gifted dream-weaver, he is without a doubt one of the most influential surrealist artists of our day.

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http://www.raycaesar.com/

Parisian Nightclub ‘Les Bains’

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Originally built as a public bathhouse in the 19th century, Les Bains-Douches would eventually be reborn as one of the hottest night clubs in Paris known simply as Les Bains, a destination for celebrities including  Mick Jagger, Johnny Depp and Andy Warhol.

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After some second rate re-construction in 2010, the building was closed down and considered a safety hazard. Buildings in France are rarely torn down, so  it will however be gutted and be completely rebuilt on the interior. The owner Jean-Pierre Marois, turned  the building over to 50 street artists who have been working since January to turn the building into an extensive display of artwork.

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Unfortunately the former nightclub is closed to the public, but photographers were allowed in to shoot many of the artworks in progress. Shown here is just a small selection, go to Les Bains “One Day One Artist” to see more of what was captured.

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http://www.lesbains-paris.com/