Tree Troll of Kim Beaton

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Seattle-based Kim Beaton with the help of 25 volunteers built a 12-foot tall tree troll out of completely non-toxic materials. In 2006, the artist and a team of volunteers spent 15 days creating a unique tree troll out of papier mache, wood, metal plates and other materials. The sculpture looks realistic if that is possible, but it’s the friendly face inspired by her father that gets your attention.  In about forty minutes after waking from a dream about her father, she had a rough sculpture that said what she wanted. The next morning she began making phone calls, telling her friends that in 6 days time they would begin on a new large piece. Fifteen days after starting, they were done.

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The flexible building material was developed by the University of Michigan and has been used to improve earthquake resistance in structures. Beaton molded it around plywood to make the sculpture. The strength of the material meant people could enjoy the sculpture without risk of damage. Resembling something from “The Hobbit”, It’s public art and people should touch it and kids can play on it. The troll has been given a coat of buttermilk, and blended moss and lichen, in the hope of attracting further growth.

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Beaton moved from Montana to New Zealand to work on The Hobbit with Weta Workshops.

http://kimgrahamstudios.com/

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/

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/

Shell Grotto Of Kent

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The Shell Grotto, an English tourist attraction in Margate Kent,  is a 70-foot underground passageway, decorated with around 4 million seashells. According to the story, in 1835 James Newlove lowered his son Joshua into a hole in the ground that had appeared during the digging of a duck pond. When he came out, he told his father about this underground tunnel covered entirely in seashell mosaics. He had discovered the Shell Grotto.

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Actually, many different stories about the discovery have been told and may not have involved duck ponds and small boys. By whatever means he did find it, James Newlove clearly saw the potential of his find. He installed gas lamps to light the passageway and three years later opened it to the public, coming as a surprise to the locals , as the place had never been marked on any maps, and nobody knew about its existence.

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Debate of its origins has raged ever since the first paying customers went down the chalk stairway. Everything from an ancient temple, to a meeting place for a secret society or a wealthy family’s “folly”, that they were known to build for their amusement. At first glance the Grotto’s design just adds to the confusion, with shells creating swirling patterns and symbols. There are any number of explanations as to the meaning, trees of life, phalluses, gods, and something looking like an altar. However, there’s only one fact about the Grotto that is indisputable, that it is a unique work of art that should be preserved, whatever its origins.

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Despite the multiple theories going around, no one has been able to solve the mystery of the Shell Grotto. Today, shell mosaics once again cover the entire 2000 square feet of the grotto and a team of conservationists is making sure this unique tourist attraction will be around to amaze and astonish visitors for years to come.

http://shellgrotto.co.uk/

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/

Fairy Tale Palm Paintings

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Based on the fairy tales of famous writers like Hans Christian Andersen, Russian artist Svetlana Kolosova paints works of art on the palm of her hand.

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Svetlana Kolosova has always has always appreciated the arts, but taking care of her children and running a household  left her little time to concentrate on her passion. Without the time to work on detailed oil paintings, she replaced oil paint for watercolors and inspired by the stories she had read to her children, she started painting fairy tale-inspired artworks on the most convenient canvas she could think of – her left palm. Except through photography these images are short lived. As of yet no original palm paintings have been sold.

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Play Dough Sculptures in Tin Cans by Miriam Jonas

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In the times we now live the distinction between sacred and what is blasphemy walks a fine line. Berlin-based artist Miriam Jonas creates relief portraits of clerics inside tin-cans using a very unusual medium, Play-Doh. The result is a colorful version of art you might find hidden in the corner of a large place of worship.  It’s an interesting  topic just as the catholic church transitions to a new Pope.

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All of her work is thought provoking, with its use of bright color and forms and makes us question what we consider normal.

Polka Popes, a large wall installation by Jonas, is made up of a series of fictional Play-Doh portraits of popes inside empty fish tin cans. They are a satirical look at consumer culture and the modern church, reducing larger than life figures into products ready for consumption. The fish cans are a reference to traditional Christian symbols.

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http://www.miriamjonas.de/Miriam%20Jonas/Polka%20Popes.html

Barbie Dolls and Action Figures as Art


Freya Jobbins: Sculptor. Inspired as she is by other artists such as Guiseppe Archimboldo’s fruit & vegie paintings, Ron Mueck’s big big humans, Gunther Von Hagen’s plastinated corpses and the Toy Story Trilogy, their influence and her need to ‘build’ can be seen in Freya’s current sculptural work.

Working with plastic (pre-loved that is) to re-construct the humanoid form in her assemblages is Freya’s obsession. Having an A type personality, loving miniature detail and symmetry and a new love of Greek mythology, results in some very provocative, humorous and disturbing works.