Flowers in near-space

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Japanese artist Makoto Azuma launched a beautiful bouquet and a 50-year-old bonsai tree on a high-altitude balloon 30,000 meters into the atmosphere (about 1/3 of the way to space) to capture a beautiful series of images with Earth's curvature visible in the background. The project is titled "Exobotanica." From a CNN interview with Azuma:

When did you realize you wanted to work with natural materials to create art?

While I was running a flower shop, putting together bouquets and decoration, I thought I could find a new type of flower by applying a new expression on the flowers themselves. Besides merely making bouquets as presents or table top decoration, I thought it would be possible to capture the beauty in a photograph or video while the flower is changing its shape. It is like slicing out a moment for keeping the beauty eternal...

It took you around six months to prepare for Exobiotanica, one of your most extreme and perhaps best-known projects. Can you tell us a bit about this work?

(Creating) Exobiotanica was a fight against a temperature of minus 60 degree Celsius (-76 degrees Fahrenheit). It is more to show the flowers' beauty, even in a frozen state or even when they are shattered, rather than how to bloom beautifully. It (the art) went into space, so the body had to be chunky and the structure well cemented. Making just an art object was not a goal at all. I needed to choose flowers that can complete to form a good contrast in space.

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A candy portrait of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka, by mosaic artist Jason Mecier

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Mosaic portrait artist Jason Mecier shares his recent Gene Wilder tribute portrait as Willy Wonka.

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Deep Sadness

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Deep Sadness is an interactive art thingy online. Click the shape to generate a new shape and a sad noise. The vibe is vaguely hauntological, like something you saw once on BB2 at 3 a.m. in 19A0 or so, but for some reason was never on TV again. [via Metafilter] Read the rest

Messages sent to artists wanting them to work for free

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An enraging gallery features more than 50 screenshots and messages showing people asking artists to do free work and sometimes getting angry and nasty when denied. It's good for your portfolio! You're getting paid in exposure! Why do artists only care about money? Most are taken from the excellent For Exposure twitter account, where more beauties are regularly posted. And then there's this classic from The Oatmeal. Read the rest

Pointillist portraits made of lipsticked kisses

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Lipstick Lex (aka Toronto artist Alexis Fraser) puts on lipstick and kisses her canvasses to create cool portraits. Once they're close, she'll refine things a bit by drawing with the lipstick. Read the rest

Mark Ryden's new micro-portfolio for sale

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Mark Ryden and Porterhouse Fine Art Editions have published a new micro-portfolio of Ryden's paintings and drawings from his recent exhibitions The Gay 90's Olde Tyme Art Show and The Gay Nineties West. The postcards are 9" x 6" and packaged in a gold foil stamped and embossed card stock box.

Micro Portfolio 7 - The Gay 90’s Exhibition - 1st Printing

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Painting a hyper-realistic fried egg: a time-lapse video

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Marcello Barenghi painted a giant fried egg, and recorded the process via time-lapse.

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How to make vibrant digital photograms

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An analog photogram is essentially a photo made without a camera, by placing objects on photosensitive materials and exposing them to light. Marcin Lewandowski shows how to reproduce the effect with digital equipment. The results are pretty cool! Read the rest

World's longest Instagram tour: Toronto's Graffiti Alley

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Heritage Toronto has curated a cool Instagram account (graffitialley.to) that documents Toronto's Graffiti Alley. It works best on a phone, but it's OK on other screens if you don't mind turning your head 90 degrees. Read the rest

Experience the minimalist joy of moving empty desktop windows

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Try it for yourself. Blankwindows is a creation of NYC-based artist Rafaël Rozendaal. And don't miss newoldhotcold.com and somethingopen.com. Read the rest

French artist Patrick Commecy converts bare building walls into trompe-l'œil

French artist Patrick Commecy transforms boring buildings into something else

Via Amusing Planet:

French artist Patrick Commecy and his team of muralists transform dull and boring facades around France into vibrant scenes full of life. His hyperrealistic painted-on windows, balconies and tiles closely resemble their real-life counterparts. Hanging in the balconies and outdoor space, Commecy would often incorporate figures of famous and influential persons from the history of the town the mural is in.

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Wade among interactive koi in this stunning art installation

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TeamLab creates gorgeous interactive art installations, like this beautiful piece poetically titled Drawing on the Water Surface Created by the Dance of Koi and People. It's not a video loop, but a program where the swimming koi interact with each other as well as the people wading among them. Read the rest

Chainamation: collaborative additive animation project

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Take about a dozen animators and give them 72 hours to add a couple of seconds to an animation chain, and you get Chainamation, a fun series of collaborative videos created by Shawn Hight, Ira Hardy, and Kyle Martinez. The most recent one is space-themed. Read the rest

Gorgeous calligraphy using iPad and modified Apple Pencil

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In addition to making amazing pen-and-ink calligraphy, Ian Barnard is great with an iPad and Apple Pencil. And the latter allows for do-overs if you make a mistake halfway (or more typically, on the final letter or stroke). Read the rest

Beautiful wooden shell thingy is also a classic arcade cabinet

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8Bitdo's prototype Desktop Arcade Joy Stick is a) an entire retrogame cabinet, complete with controls, display and guts, b) excellently crafted from wood, c) a surprisingly beautiful re-contextualizing of the experience of play. I'd like to own an entire arcadeful of these, in sizes ranging from 6 inches to 6 feet tall, in a colossal building the exact same shape, with anarchoprimitivist propaganda and classic arcade slowruns depicted on its vast screen. The real thing, though, is perfectly desktop-sized: about 12" across. Read the rest

Artist who denied authenticity of painting wins in court

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Artist Peter Doig, accused of damaging the value of a painting simply by denying that he was its creator, prevailed in court this week. U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman found that there no evidence that Doig created the work, but plenty that it was by someone else: one Peter Doige, with an "e".

Doig maintained from the beginning that he was the victim of a opportunistic "scam" enabled by similarity of the two artists' names and the recent death of Doige. Meanwhile, the plaintiff claimed Doig was "embarrassed" by a juvenile work that happened to expose a youthful stint in prison [Doige, not Doig, was imprisoned.]

Doige's sister, Marilyn Doige Bovard, testified that the painting was her brother's work.

As Doig's work sells for millions of dollars, much was at stake; the case was watched closely by artists and dealers concerned about an outcome that made it dangerous to discuss their own work lest they be sued by hungry speculators.

Others were angered that the judge had let the case go to trial in the first place, costing Doig heavy sums to defend himself even after producing ample evidence the painting could not possibly be by him.

The case is unusual because disputes over the authenticity of a work of art normally arise long after an artist has died. When artists are alive, it is widely accepted that their word on whether a work is theirs or not is final. Mr Fletcher claimed Mr Doig had renounced the work to avoid admitting he had spent time in prison.

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Instagram for Windows 95

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Misha Petrick reimagined the Instagram app if it had come out 20 years earlier in Windows for desktop. Be sure to scan that .exe file for viruses! Read the rest

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