Akira Nagaya is a Japanese artist who creates impossibly intricate paper cut-outs entirely by hand. Akira discovered his talent for making fine cuts while learning the art of sasabaran – a technique for cutting food decorations from bamboo leaves at sushi shops. While practicing, he discovered, to his own amazement, that he actually enjoyed the process. What’s more is that he actually excelled in it. He then began learning kirie, the Japanese art of cutting intricate designs on paper. It wasn’t until later that Akira started displaying his artwork to the general public.
Lee Griggs is a Madrid-based artist who uses 3D animation and rendering software to create these realistic topographical illustrations. Most of them resemble ocean floors, planetary surfaces, or even weather patterns. Each image is made of innumerable colored cubes, cylinders, and spheres extruded to create eye-catching patterns. Lee utilizes Maya Xgen and Arnold to render each image. If you’re ever inerested in creating you own, he shares a couple of tutorials over at his blog.
Hattie Newman has a lifelong obsession with structures. As a child, she would draw towns and villages and make civilizations out of LEGOs. Her desire to create and design led her to dream of being an architect. Her affair with paper towns started while she was studying at the University of West England in Bristolfor her degree in Illustration. She wanted to bring 2D illustrations to life and found that paper and cardboard was the cheapest medium to work with. Hattie currently runs her own studio in Stoke, Newington where her clients include Sony, Cadbury, Louis Vuitton, GAP, Honda, GQ, and The Times.
Chloe Giordano’s miniature embroidered animals have been making the round in the internet lately. Their size as well as the level of detail that Chloe has put into them has impressed even the most jaded internet skeptic. Also, she does it all freehand. She creates her own patterns and works out for herself the best way to make the tiny animals come alive. According to her, it’s the planning stage that takes up the most time. The actual sewing takes between two to three days. Chloe is currently based in Oxford where she’s available for projects and commissions.
Katerina Kamprani went out of her way to create some of the most counter productive designs ever. She calls the series “The Uncomfortable”. An apt description to anyone trying to drink out of a prickly wine glass, eat out of a furry plate, and eat using hinged forks and spoons. Katerina is currently based in Athens where she carefully considers how each every-day functions and how best to confound that function in a tongue-in-cheek way. Some of my favorites are the cement umbrella, the open-toed boots, and the inflatable door handle.
Brian Dettmer is known as the book surgeon because of his penchant for dissecting books using scalpels, tweezers, and other surgical tools – without anesthesia. Brian’s subjects are mostly old books that would most likely moulder in dumps had he not turned them into works of art. He carves away layer after layer of pages to reveal the detailed drawings on different pages. While bibliophiles may think that he’s ruining those books, according to him: “My work is a collaboration with the existing material and its past creators and the completed pieces expose new relationships of the book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception.”
Anders Gjennestad is the artist responsible for these awesome, gravity-defying kids playing on the wall. Anders specializes in creating shadow people using his own photographs. The stencils he uses are hand cut and layered to create a detailed and complex photorealistic images. It also helps that his work is perfectly placed to fool the eye. The installation above was part of Memorie Urbane, a street art festival in Italy. Anders is currently based in Norway where his street handle is Strøk.
Internationally renowned graffiti duo Pichi & Avo were invited over to Werchter, Belgium to create a a massive, site-specific installation for the North West Walls Street Art Festival. The installation consisted of stacked up container crates upon which the artistsweregiven free reign to exercise their creativity. The result featured their trademark signature of Greek gods superimposed over a mishmash of loud and vibrant colors. According to event curator Arne Quinze; “When they work together they create breathtaking figurative detail and quality. Their work is very striking and always commands the spectator’s full attention.” The festivalmay be over, but theGreek godsin all their glory still stand.
Yumi Okita is the artist responsible for these exquisitely crafted members of the Lepidoptera family. She uses a wide variety of textiles and embroidery techniques to achieve a realistic feel. Most of her work is on a large scale with some specimens measuring almost a foot from wingtip to wingtip. She also crafts a variety of other insects but nowhere is her talent more evident than with these fragile, winged creatures. Yumi is currently based in North Carolina.
Robin Wight is the artist behind FantasyWire. FantasyWire is an England-based studio that specializes in creating custom-made wire fairies. Their sculptures are primarily made with stainless steel wires and can be placed outdoors, but they also make galvanized steel versions. Eachfairy is carefully handmade and crafted according to the customer’s design and installation requirements. FantasyWire have their offices in Staffordshire, England near Alton Towers. It is said that Robin was inspired to make these sculptures because of an inexplicable real life encounter.