There are many different ways that artists and city municipalities can work together to decorate their cities, but it seems like city administrators in Japan have come up with one solution that is as unexpected and whimsical as it is creative and beautiful – decorated manhole covers. Each municipality takes pride in its manhole cover design, which can display anything from municipal symbols and local landscapes to abstract patterns or illustrations of local legends.
Deepti Nair and Harikrishnan Panicker, two artists collectively known as Hari & Deepti, create beautiful and detailed dioramas out of paper that look like epic visions from ancient fairytales. The Colorado-based artists, who are originally from India, were inspired by Balinese shadow puppets but have since developed their own unique style.
Kathy Klein, an artist and “lover of plants, animals, people and the divine presence within all,” creates beautiful flower mandalas, which she calls “danmalas,” out of intricate arrangements of natural plant parts. Klein, who is based in Arizona in the U.S., has a deeply spiritual process to creating the mandalas, centering herself in a meditative devotional space as part of the creative process and drawing inspiration from “the golden sound residing within perfect silence.”
In following with the recent trend of creating maps to display interesting information about public perception, a series of maps have been created that use Google search auto-completed queries to indicate what perceptions we hold about different countries and states. All of these maps were created with a process that you could try yourself – find a Google search bar and enter “Why is [insert state or country] so…”
In the hands of British artist Benjamin Shine, a piece of tulle isn’t just for making fancy dresses and curtains – it becomes a great material for creating amazing realistic “paintings.” Using an iron, Shine sculpts, presses and pleats the huge single piece of tulle, whose transparent qualities give the portrait more texture and depth.
Heather Hansen, a contemporary performance artist and dancer in New Orleans, has come up with an elegant and creative way to capture her dancing motions on paper – she gets up-close and personal with a big piece of paper and some charcoal. For the performance aspect of her work, Hansen invites observers to watch her dance on a huge piece of paper. As she dances and prostates herself on the piece of paper, she marks it with charcoal, gradually building a beautiful diagram of her seemingly ritual dance.
J.R.R. Tolkien fans and admirers never cease to amaze each other with their stunning tributes to the master of fantasy and his beautiful world. Danish American artist Victoria certainly paid her respects to the epic book “Hobbit” by crafting a gorgeous paper sculpture of the great dragon Smaug out of its Danish release. The artist cut the pages of the book, still attached to the hard cover, into multiple pieces and apparently glued them together.
In 1942, a young Parisian woman fearing Nazi persecution fled to Southern France, leaving behind a lavish apartment in Paris that she would never return to. 70 years later, its hidden trove of artwork has finally been exposed for the first time. One piece, however, stood out from the rest of the artistic and historic relics – 19th-century Italian painter Giovanni Boldini’s portrait of his muse, Marthe de Florian. The painting itself has been valued at roughly $3.4 million.
A 92-year-old Japanese woman’s amazing collection of painstakingly-crafted traditional Japanese temari handballs has been unveiled to the public for the first time – and it’s all thanks to her granddaughter, Flickr user NanaAkua. Apparently, her grandmother learned the technique of this traditional Japanese New Year‘s day gift in the 60s and had not stopped creating new ones ever since.
Ukraine-born artist Mark Khaisman creates truly outstanding art using something a truly mundane material – brown packaging tape. By putting various layers of translucent tape onto Plexiglass and then cutting it into certain shapes, the artist remakes scenes from old Hollywood movies, art history, certain 20th century cultural icons or his own photographs.
Many people see art as something with many barriers to entry – maybe the materials are expensive, maybe you don’t have the space, or maybe you think it’s difficult, requiring many specialized tools. Sometimes that’s true, but the artists here have created incredible works using almost nothing but paper and scissors or knives.
Anyone who takes care of kids, especially their parents, knows just how hard it can sometimes be to get kids to eat right. When Malaysian mommy Samantha Lee came up with playful story-themed bento lunchboxes to get her kids to eat right, she had no idea they would also catapult her to internet fame. Lee began making the creative story- and pop culture-inspired lunches in 2008, when pregnant with her second daughter.