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.
Alexander Jansson was born in Uppsala, Sweden. His first drawing was a ghost when he was only two years old. By the time he discovered Star Wars, his world view changed forever. Because of a loss at a young age, abandonment has always been a part of his work.
Alexander runs his own design studio, called Sleeping House. While he specializes in cover art and illustration, he also created his own style called “Greenpunk”. His mixed media technique is a collage of elements from his photos, models, drawings, and paintings that he blends into the same picture. In order to give these digital pictures a natural touch, he spends much of his time adding scratches, dust and brush strokes.
Mr. Jansson influences include a dark and mysterious touch like that of Tim Burton. The artist creates a mystical world full of miniature houses and characters that are into music.
This artist has done work for Disney, Radio Sweden, and the NYC Ballet among others. Alexander Jansson is well worth following, if only for the inspiration from his work .
Usually when someone works in porcelain, they are trying to follow traditional methods. Artist Maria Rubinke adds a twisted turn to her work pushing what is acceptable in the world of art.
Currently based out of Copenhagen, Denmark, Maria Rubinke blends innocence with grotesque in her work, creating porcelain sculptures with shocking streams of red glaze originating from rips and tears in their bodies. She uses a mixture of cute and surreal to pull people between these extreme opposites.
Most vintage or Victorian porcelain dolls are delicate and beautiful. She doesn’t do that. The children have innocent faces, but are completely twisted. The portrayals in Maria’s sculptures bring to mind the work of Edward Gorey, the American artist and writer known for illustrated books depicting unsettling scenes in Edwardian settings.
She doesn’t yet have her own website, (although it is in progress), but you can check out more of her work on her Facebook page.
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.
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.
They head off one week later, having left no mark whatsoever and wait for the next Burning Man.
From old books that people no longer want, Daniel Lai creates art with several mediums in varied styles and subject matter, bringing new life to old paper. The artist, also known as Kenjio was born in Malaysia, moved to the United States in 2000, and is now living in Tennessee.
Each book sculpture is made by folding the paper to create a fan effect and adding a clay figure of a man. Each of the folded paper sculptures look like a large flower. The figure is then added to suggest a moment of thought. His series of “Thinker” sculptures echoes Rodin’s “The Thinker”
These literary sculptures show the need for knowledge and the limits time gives us to gain that knowledge.
A road winding to the top of a North Carolina mountain is the entrance to Oz, a 1970s theme park that closed less than 10 years after it opened. Back when it started, the Land of Oz would attract up to 20,000 visitors a day, but now the Yellow Brick Road is missing some bricks, and the Wicked Witch’s castle is empty.
Grover Robbins developed the Beech Mountain theme park as a way of attracting families to the resort town. Robbins never lived to see his masterpiece, dying at the age of 50 of bone cancer only six months before the park was complete. The park opened on June 15, 1970 with Debbie Reynolds making an appearance, along with her daughter, Carrie Fisher. In its first summer 400,000 visitors came to the Land of Oz.
The Yellow Brick Road wound its way through the park, leading tourists to a replica Emerald City (destroyed in a fire), Dorothy’s house, the castle of the Wicked Witch and the Munchkin village all accurately recreated on over 450 acres.
After a decline in amusement park visitors in the 1970s and a lack of modernization and updates in the park itself, the Land of Oz closed in 1980. The park was left to vandals and decay, but there was enough interest in its restoration that it was eventually restored as a private garden in the Eagle Mountain community built at that property near the top of Beech Mountain.
The park does open to the public one week-end a year in the beginning of October.
This surreal-looking ice cave is located on the Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia. With very little snow, and a hot summer huge snow melts occured. As a result, a passage was formed in the snow was leading to the cave formed underneath.
At the entrance, the ceiling is thin enough for light to break through giving unique effects. The colored lights aren’t a computer trick, but are the result of sunlight streaming through the ice into the hidden world below. When you get further away from the entrance, the arch of the cave becomes thicker, and less sunlight comes through it, but you can still see unreal spans of form and color.
The snow caves of were formed by hot springs flowing from a volcano. The Kamchatka Peninsula, in the far east of Russia, is a region of extraordinary natural beauty with large symmetrical volcanoes, lakes, raging rivers and breathtaking coastline.
(photos by Denis Budko, Marc Szeglat, Michael Zelensky and xflo:w)
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.
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.
Beaton moved from Montana to New Zealand to work on The Hobbit with Weta Workshops.
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.
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.
These works of art, which can take eight hours to complete, have earned Stoetter the world body painting title.
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.
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.