Ceramic Sculptures by Brett Kern Look Like Inflatable Toys 

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Artist Brett Kern creates detailed ceramic objects that at first appear almost indistinguishable from inexpensive inflatable toys. Kern mimics the tell-tale wrinkles and forms of air-filled toys like dinosaurs, astronauts, balloons, and even whoopie cushions—all made from clay. You can see more work in his gallery, and he has several pieces available in his Etsy shop. (via Laughing Squid)

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Flickr Finds No. 37 

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怪 丁

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Frederic Huber

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Maciej Dakowicz

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Jose Romero

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Xan Latta

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Danielle Hughson

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Lukasz Wierzbowski

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Vincent Ting

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Charlie Loyd

Flickr Finds is back for the first 2014 roundup of my favorite photographs encountered on Flickr over the last few weeks. All of the photos above are linked through to their respective photographers so please click through and check out their work. See previous Flickr Finds.

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Absurd Animated Portraits by Romain Laurent 

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As a way to temporarily break free from a routine of personal and commercial projects, photographer Romain Laurent (previously) challenged himself to create a looped animated portrait each week since last September. He says the bizarre and often laugh-out-loud experiments are a low-pressure way to experiment and be creative without expectations. “As far as the intention of the series, it’s a way for me to explore a hybrid medium, experiment and being spontaneous while still sticking to a short weekly deadline. There isn’t a common concept between each loop, I just ‘go with the flow’ and see what comes to my mind each week.” You can see many more loops from the series over on his Tumblr. (via Lustik)

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Dutch Paintings Recreated Using Thousands of Photographic and Scientific Specimens 

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Dutch specimen MT1639, 2013. 28″w x 34″ h x 3.5″ d. Photographic prints, insect pins, pinning foam, gelatin capsules, glass vials, painted canvas, cast resin, pill organizer, plastic specimen bags, cotton thread, costume jewelry, sequins.

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Dutch specimen MT1639, detail.

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Dutch specimen MT1639, detail.

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Dutch female specimen: J, 2013. 28″w x 34″ h x 3.5″ d. Photographic prints, insect pins, pinning foam, gelatin capsules, glass vials, test tubes, paint samples, cast resin, magnifying boxes, plastic specimen bags, cotton thread.

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Dutch female specimen: J, detail.

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Case no. 1627, female-Dutch, 2013. 29″w x 13″ h x 3″ d. Photographic prints, insect pins, pinning foam, gelatin capsules, glass vials, optometrist lens, paint samples, modeling clay, dried botanical matter, fabric, magnifying box, plastic specimen bags, cotton thread.

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Case no. 1627, detail.

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Case no. 1627, detail.

With hundreds of tiny photographic fragments, gelatin capsules, magnifiers, plastic bags and insect pins, New York artist Michael Mapes (previously) creates collages that are equal parts portraiture and scientific specimen. For his latest works Mapes used photographs of paintings by Dutch masters Rembrandt, Nicolaes Eliasz Pickenoy and others as inspiration for large scale specimen boxes. The deconstructed photos along with myriad other materials have effectively been transformed into a collage of a painting of a person. Of the work Mapes shares:

The samples are part of my most recent series of work examining Dutch Master Portraiture. In this work, I deconstruct the original subject, in both a figurative and literal sense by dissecting photos of a painting and considering ways in which the parts might serve to inspire new parts within the reconstruction to suggest unique and complex meanings. I’ve done these works with the use of a visual metaphor suggesting a pseudoscientific method specifically working with materials and processes signifying entomological, biological and forensic science.

Three of these works will be on view as part of an exhibition titled ‘Face to Face’ at the Yellowstone Art Museum in Montana starting March 20, 214. (via Juxtapoz, Designboom)

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Graphite Portraits of Friends by Thomas Cian 

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Milan-based artist Thomas Cian is extraordinarily talented with a pencil, and lucky for us he has chosen to open the pages of his sketchbook to share a wide variety of drawings and experiments online. Of particular note is his Moleskin sketchbook reserved solely for drawings of friends, where the 24-year-old renders faithful interpretations of individuals closest to him using nothing but graphite. You can see much more of his work on Behance and over on Facebook.

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360° Visual Stories Cut into Paper Books by Yusuke Oono 

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360°Book Sweet Home

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360°Book Sweet Home

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360°Book Sweet Home

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360°Book Sweet Home

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360°Book Jungle Book

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360°Book Jungle Book

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360°Book In a Cheese

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360°Book In a Cheese

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360°Book Christmas Version

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360°Book Christmas Version

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360°Book Christmas Version

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This fun set of paper books was created by Japanese graphic designer and architect Yusuke Oono who conceived the idea as a clever way to illustrate scenes from individual stories in three dimensions. The 40-panel books are laser cut from paper and assembled into a booklet that can be viewed page by page or fanned out as a sort of layered diorama of silhouettes. You can see dozens of additional views from each book right here. (via Enoqi)

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