Hirotoshi Ito takes the cake for crafting these awesome, weir, and downright bizarre rock sculptures. He takes ordinary river rocks and turns them into zippered, sliced, and grinning versions of themselves. Hirohito juxtaposes the natural cracks and seams in a rock into whatever shape he happens to fancy, topping it all off with shiny (sometimes fluffy) modifications that bring them to life. It’s not uusual for his rock sculptures to grin right back at you, or reveal treasure hidden within. He said: “Although I work with various kinds of stones, most of my work consists of optimizing a stone’s original shape.”
Herakut is actually a partnership between Jasmin Siddiqui Hera and Falk Lehmann Akut. Both of them studied Visual Communication and Graphic Design with extensive backgrounds in graffiti. Their collaborations can be found all over the world including San Francisco, Los Angeles, London, Melbourne, Kathmandu, and New York. They started working together in 2004 with Hera setting the character’s form while Akut paints the photorealistic elements. References to the character’s life can often be found as short quotes or passages integrated into the artwork itself. This fantastically artistic duo is currently based in Germany.
Steve Axford is enjoying his retirement by tracking down the world’s rarest fungi. He lives in the Northern Rivers area of New South Wales in Australia and most of the mushrooms you see here are local flora. Steve has also captured pretty unique shots of mushrooms from Tasmania and Victoria. He said: “The world, for me, is dominated by living things and the planet we live on . My photography is an avenue into exploring this world. My interests cover everything from micro fungi to volcanoes, though more of my time now is spent with the fungi than the volcanoes. . . Nothing exists in isolation and the more you look, the more you find.”
Manuel Savariz Santos is a Spanish photographer whose first reaction to an approaching thunderstorm isn’t to find shelter, but to run outside with his camera. It is with this habit of his that he managed to capture these amazing shots of cities in the midst of thunderstorms, lightning storms, and breath-taking sunsets. I bet it took him a thousand mediocre shots just to capture a perfect one. Manuel is currently based in Argentina, Spain.
Benedict Radcliffe is a designer and sculptor who has gained world-wide popularity with his frame cars. The cars are startlingly realistic for something completely made out of wire. They look like something an invisible man might ride to work. The hollow, see-through,make-believe automobiles are innocuously parked on curbs, daring passersby to “drive” them Flintstones style. Benedict is a graduate of the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow. He has been involved in various architectural commissions and signature sculptural pieces for international clients. When not traveling, he is currently based in London where he has his own studio.
Grzegorz Rutkowski is an awesome Polish artist who makes kickass illustrations. According to an interview, he said that the best thing in concept art is this whole creating process. Sometimes one has to start from scratch, building whole ideas step by step. For giving ideas life, nothing beats the traditional pencil and paper. When asked about his penchant for sharp contrasts in his work, Grzegorz said: “I’m still looking for perfect way to show what I want to “tell” to my audience. I choose this sharp-contrast way because I’m feeling comfortable in this stylistic; I’m a fantasy fan, more dark then light. But also, I think it has to do with the general perception; certain people see things in pink colors, others in dark, and it has nothing to do with frame of mind.”
Gilf! is a prolific street and conceptual artist currently wreaking havoc on the various walls (and in some instances, doors) of Brooklyn, NYC. Gilf! obtained her bachelor’s degree in Fine Art from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She had her first solo show just last year at Arcilesi Homberg Fine Art in New York. During an interview, she said: “I make art that poses questions to and present solutions for the challenges we face as a global community. Whether it be the street, a gallery, museum, or the internet it is important to have these discussions in various dimensions to produce the most thoughtful, comprehensive, and effective solutions. . . As I work to create comprehensive progress through my art I hope you will choose to be an active participant in the discussion, and momentous change we will build together.”
Julie Lee is a California-based artist who loves creating colorful food composites. Her work celebrates local, sustainable produce as well as promote healthy eating. None of the produce in her shots were bought from a store.She got them from her local Farmer’s Market, from her own urban garden, or from foraging from her neighborhood. She said: “My food collages on Instagram started out as a way to showcase seasonal and local offerings from neighborhood farmers markets. It’s evolved into an ongoing project in the study of plant design, exploration of color theory, and pure, unadulterated food-love. Let’s be real–I like to play with my food. I love delicious things. I love beautiful things. I love to create. I love to learn.”
Those realistic sculptures of clothes and plants are actually nothing more than cleverly layered pieces of birch plywood meticulously crafted by sculptor Ron Isaacs in the trompe l’oeil fashion to resemble the real thing.Sure, he could’ve just used actual leaves and clothes, but that’s just too easy, where’s the challenge in that? In his artist’s statement, he said: “ I could use real objects to make assemblages, installations, or collages, but that’s too direct. My three primary recurring subjects are vintage clothing (for the way it continues the life of the past into the present, for its rich structures and colors and shapes, and for its anthropomorphic presence as a stand-in for the figure); plant materials in the form of sticks, leaves, and flowers (for too many reasons to list); and found objects. They combine in appropriate or surprising juxtapositions, sometimes purely as a visual “poem” of sorts and (if I’m lucky) sometimes as an image with real psychological resonance. Objects occasionally reappear in other contexts and take on new meanings, like a repertory company of actors playing different roles in different plays.”
Patrick Commecy and his team has done a great job of transforming boring building facades into fun and witty works of art. His hyperrealistic style would make anyone take a second look at the buildings. Patrick likes to incorporate local famous people from the town into his work. An example would be his trompe l’oeil mural in the town of Montpellier where he cleverly six influential residents of Montpellier including Antoine Jérôme Balard, the scientist who discovered bromine. One of my favorites is his mural based on Gabriel Chevallier’s popular novel “Clochemerle”. He accurately sketched the novel’s larger-than-life characters doing what they do best – drinking, loving, and living life to its fullest.