Time-lapse Pairs Blooming Flowers with Crawling Insects 

Umwelt is a short film by Japanese artist Yoshiyuki Katayama that depicts an elegant series of flowers blooming in slow motion. Unlike other time-lapse videos we’ve seen in this genre, each flower is accompanied by an insect or spider that crawls across each flower at the precise moment it blooms. The timing is incredible considering the insects stay in view while the flower comes to life, there must be some sort of clever editing? Katayama also created a small website that gives a bit of information about each insect and flowering pairing. A vertically oriented version of Umwelt recently won 3rd prize at the 2nd Vertical Film Festival in Australia.

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Giant Starling Mural in Berlin by Collin van der Sluijs and Super A 

Netherlands-based artists Super A (previously) and Collin van der Sluijs (previously) teamed up earlier this year to paint this phenomenal mural titled Starling on the side of a residential building in Berlin. The 137-foot-tall mural piece depicts a large bird whose ornate chest is comprised of a dense patchwork of glistening jewels and plants. Starling was created at the invitation of Urban Nation as part of the One Wall Mural Project. All photos by Nika Kramer. (via StreetArtNews, BerlijnBlog.nl, Urban Nation)

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VW Cars Compressed into Perfect Spheres and Cubes by Ichwan Noor 

Indonesian sculptor Ichwan Noor (previously) takes the iconic components of vintage VW vehicles and warps them into perfect spheres and cubes. The large-scale sculptures leave the uncanny impression of being instantly recognizable, yet leaving you wondering just how the artist constructed them. It’s the immediate familiarity that initially attracted Noor to using the cars as a medium in the first place. “I see the VW Beetle as one of the most successful designs, one that people will always be familiar with,” he says about the ongoing sculpture series. The artist most recently exhibited a new Beetle Sphere at Art Stage Jakarta 2016, and you can see more of his recent artwork on his website.

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Installation view of Ichwan Noor’s Beetle sphere, 2015. National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne.

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Ichwan Noor. Beetle Sphere, 2016. Redbase Art.

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Beetle Box, 2011. Aluminum and original VW parts.

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Elaborate Hand-Painted Persian Carpets by Jason Seife 

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In this new series of paintings, Miami-based artist Jason Seife deftly renders the intricate patterns of old Persian carpets with a mixture of acrylic and ink. While the paintings utilize familiar motifs in rug design like leaves and geometric shapes, Seife introduces colors not normally associated with the heavy textiles, creating his own interpretations that reflect his mood or thoughts while executing the painting. Via Robert Fontaine Gallery:

What initially drew him to these works was not only the aesthetic but the dense history and meaning behind the imagery. The way the weavers were able to link each rug’s particular pattern, palette, and style with a specific and identifiable geographic area or nomadic tribe really stood out to him. Jason aims to mirror this practice with his take on the carpets by having each color and pattern specifically correlate to what state of mind and emotion he was in while creating the specific work.

Seife has exhibited internationally and his work was recently incorporated into a special facade projection artwork with The Bronx and Brooklyn Museum. He’s currently represented by Robert Fontaine Gallery and you can see more of his new carpet paintings on Instagram.

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New Ocean Reefs Comprised of Rolled Paper by Amy Genser 

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For artist Amy Genser, paper is pigment. The Connecticut-based artist cuts, rolls, and arranges countless tubes of mulberry paper mounted to Masonite boards to produce vibrant reef-like canvases. The tightly rolled papers perfectly mimc the forms of sea coral that appears to grow organically in every direction across (and on the sides of) each canvas. Since we last explored her work several years ago Genser was commissioned to create a massive 150 ft. mural for the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children and has exhibited all across the US and Europe with Elisa Contemporary Art and Galerie NUMMER40. You can see more of her recent work in her portfolio.

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Off the Grid: A Couple Spends 24 Years Building a Floating Island Home in Canada 

Twenty-five years ago artists Catherine King and Wayne Adams made the realization they would never have enough income to afford real estate so they made a fairly radical decision: they would build an island. Currently moored off the coast of Vancouver Island about 45 minutes by boat to the nearest town, their sprawling floating house is called called “Freedom Cove.”

The completely mobile island is made of 12 tethered sections that incorporates four greenhouses, living quarters, a kitchen, workshop, art gallery, a lighthouse and even a dance floor. Adams estimates the structure weighs in around 500 tons (a million pounds) and says everything was constructed with a handsaw and hammer without the aid of power tools. In this short clip Great Big Story takes a brief glimpse inside this supremely unusual residence.

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