I had painted and exhibited a portrait of legendary opera Diva Maria Callas, but somehow always felt that “something was still missing. So I went to work, individually gluing 13,000 genuine Swarovski Crystals in 17 different colors to the canvas.

It was an INSANE amount of work, but the result was worth it. Callas finally has a portrait worthy of her iconic status. ‘SantaMaria’ is my masterpiece. I used the 13,000 Crystals to create a stained-glass window behind Callas. For 17 days, up to 14 hours a day, I sat with a pair of tweezers, a special jewelry adhesive and a magnifying glass, glueing the crystals one-at-a-time to the canvas. It was like an enormous puzzle. After I completed this painting, I spent the next three months coughing from an inflamed respiratory track caused by the jewelry adhesive.

More info: markjanicello.org