In Chichibu, Japan, two hours northwest of Tokyo, there’s an odd museum; perhaps the only one of its kind. It’s called the Chinsekikan (which means hall of curious rocks) and it houses over 1700 rocks that resemble human faces.
The museum houses all kinds of jinmenseki, or rock with a human face, including celebrity lookalikes like Elvis Presley. And according to a 2013 post on Kotaku, there are also movie and video game character rocks like E.T., Donkey Kong and Nemo.
According to the Sankei, the museum is currently run by Yoshiko Hayama, the wife of the original owner who passed away in 2010. But it was his rock collection that started it all. An avid collector, the late Shozo Hayama spent 50 years collecting rocks that looked like faces. His only requirement was that nature be the only artist.
There are currently so many rocks on display that some don’t even have names. So the owner occasionally invites visitors to name the rocks. The Chichibu Chinsekikan (Gmap) is a 10-min walk from Kagemori Station. However, it’s recommended that you call ahead if you plan to visit because the museum is known to unexpectedly close for personal reasons. You can explore more photos on Another Tokyo and Yukawa.net. (Syndicated from Spoon & Tamago)
Head curator, Yoshiko Hayama.
Animator and artist Aiden Glenn of Pizza and Pixels takes his love for character design to the streets of Liberty Village, Toronto where he turns outdoor objects into weird, googly-eyed faces. Glenn refers to the act as “toon bombing” and you can see plenty more of it over on his Tumblr. If you liked this, also check out the work of Tom Schneider. (via Laughing Squid)
About two years we featured a great selection of skull nickels, a numismatic curiosity where miniature bas relief sculptures are carved into coins, an artform that’s broadly referred to as hobo nickel art. While researching a follow-up article on Hobonickelart.com I stumbled onto the work of Paolo Curcio (aka “mrthe”) who appears to have taken the process of carving coins to an entirely new level. Using a variety of different coins the Barcelona-based artist creates etched homages to pop culture, illustrations of figures from literature, and most commonly: macabre portraits of skulls and death, probably the most prevalent theme in hobo nickel art.
One aspect of Curcio’s process that’s really amazing is his ability to use coins made from multiple layers of metal (referred to as clad coins) which he then strategically reveals to create colored flourishes and background patterns. You can see much more of his work over on his website, and keep an eye on his Ebay page for occasional coin listings.
Cleopatras Feast, after Jordeans, Detail Eyes Open Detail
Cleopatras Feast Detail
Cleopatras Feast Detail
Cleopatras Feast after Jordeans Assembled
Water after Archimboldo
Leda and the Swan, after Correggio
Madeline de France Queen of Scotland, after Corneille de Leon
Salome after Solaria
Judith with head of Holofernes, after Cranach
Wishbone, after Gysis / Lanna Woman (Wat Umong)
Artists Chadwick Gray and Laura Spector of Chadwick & Spector create detailed reproductions of historic artworks by painting them on the human body. While both artists collaborate on each artwork, Chadwick is generally the canvas while Spector does the painting. The resulting body of documentary photographs form their ongoing body of work titled Museum Anatomy. Via their artist statement:
Museum Anatomy is a collection of documentary photographs of works from museums around the world that have been recreated onto the human body. The artwork goes through a significant process until reaching the final outcome, a photograph of Chadwick, sometimes unrecognizable as a human form, with an elaborate, detailed painting covering a portion of his body. The recreated paintings of these historic portraits recapture the subjects in their own moment in history. The resulting photographs reveal a unification of art combining antiquity, history and technology in a contemporary context.
What initially starts as a bizarre attempt to visually untangle the artwork from Chadwick’s body becomes a strangely rewarding exercise as you look from piece to piece. It’s an uncanny feeling when you think an area of the artwork is a human body part but you eventually realize the opposite is true.
If you want to see some of the pieces up close you can stop by The Big Show at the Lawndale Arts Center in Houston, Texas starting July 12th, or see their first solo show in the U.S. since 1999 at the Georgetown Art Center opening October 4th. All imagery above courtesy the artists. (via juxtapoz)
Photographer Rakesh JV captured this phenomenal portrait of a girl having her face painted prior to the Maha Shivaratri festival in India, an annual Hindu celebration in reverence of Lord Shiva. During the festival people offer sacrifices through various means, kids are dressed up as gods, and older individuals are known to inflict pain on themselves through a variety of self torture. Rakesh has traveled all around the country the last few years and has captured a wealth of incredible portraits and scenes that are well worth a look.
Since 1997 Brazilian artist Andre Muniz Gonzaga has been turning haphazard, porous, or cracked surfaces into bizarre, misshapen faces in his unique style of street art portraiture. His site-specific paintings have appeared around the world this year in places like Senegal, Portugal, Berlin, Amsterdam and of course his native Brazil, and he’s also known for much more elaborate and polished graffiti murals. You can see much more of his work over on Flickr, and if you liked this also check out the work of Nomerz. (via hi-fructose)