Art is meant to push the boundaries! Here are 13 artists that prove unusual art is more awesome than traditional artwork.
Even the biggest art buff agrees that there are only so many oil paintings you can see in a day. As respectable and skillful as painting is, it isn’t the only way to create great art.
Art is all about creativity, and some artists use creativity in their mediums as well as their work. If you’re in the mood for some unusual art, check out these beauties.
Artists with Unusual Art Mediums
Whether you’re looking for inspiration or just a slice of beauty, check out these genius ideas.
1. Fruit Sculptures
In true 2019 fashion, our this first artist primarily shows his work on his YouTube channel.
Portuguese artist Jose Pereira crafts beautiful pieces using pieces of fruit. This isn’t your grandmother’s fruit basket. He’s best-known for the flowers he carves out of watermelons, making great use of the natural layers of color.
Pereira goes beyond these designs to create entire scenescapes out of the fruit as well. For instance, his wedding scene and football stadium are must-sees.
2. Solar Peace Sculpture
Artists have used their work to send messages for as far back as history remembers. One artist, Fred George, is using his modern art to spread the word about sustainable energy.
George created a massive peace sign that’s close to 60 feet tall. It’s made with 80 oil barrels mounted on their sides. On the front of each barrel is a solar panel.
This traveling piece does more than display an environmental message and offers free publicities to solar companies. The solar panels are functional, generating eco-friendly energy and sending it to the grid of its city du jour.
3. Written Art to Visual Art
You bought some books you loved and you had a great time reading them. Or you have books your past schoolwork required you to buy. Either way, chances are that you won’t reread them any time soon.
What do you do with them? One artist, Brian Dettmer, is turning them into beautiful works.
Dettmer uses thick stacks of pages to carve out buildings, spheres, and other unique shapes. He uses features like tabs and pops of color for added visual interest.
4. Cassette Tape Artwork
Who among us doesn’t have a box of cassette tapes from the ’90s and early 2000s that are useless today? One artist decided to make something amazing with hers.
Erika Iris Simmons creates beautiful scenes and portraits using the tape from cassette tapes. One of her most common techniques is to create portraits of celebrities, from Bob Marley to Marilyn Monroe to The Beatles.
To hit the nail on the head, Simmons often uses tape from a cassette of the artist in the portrait. She even has a unique piece of Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta made from a Pulp Fiction soundtrack.
5. Pencil Art
We know what you’re thinking: pencil is one of the most common mediums for drawings. One artist is taking it in a whole different direction, though.
Salavat Fidai carves intricate sculptures into the graphite in the tip of a pencil. His ornate work features everything from busts to depictions of nature. He even has some pieces in which he carves interlocking shapes.
The Russian artist has long been known for his attention to detail, and it isn’t limited to pencil sculptures. He creates ornate paintings on tiny items like matchbooks.
6. Mixed Media Fashion
If there’s one art form that doesn’t get the respect it deserves, it’s fashion. People see the fashion world as a superficial one but in truth, it’s as artistic as painting and sculpting.
One artist takes it to a new level. Sylvie Facon specializes in creating ornate dresses with a blend of materials. Her most notable pieces, though, is a corset dress made from old book spines.
7. Art from Spilled Coffee
If there’s no use crying over spilled milk, as the saying goes, then one artist sees spilled coffee as a cause for creativity.
Giulia Bernardelli crafts beautiful paintings with spilled coffee. Her most common subjects are cityscapes and churches, but she’s even recreated the Mona Lisa with java.
As popular as the coffee art is on her thriving Instagram page, Bernardelli doesn’t stop there. She specializes in art that uses all manner of unconventional materials.
Most of these materials center around the kitchen, like spices, fruit juices, and noodles. Leaves and other pieces of nature are favorites too.
8. Toilet Paper Roll Sculptures
As it turns out, empty toilet paper rolls have a use beyond cluttering the trashcan.
For artist Anastassia Elias, they’re canvases. She cuts out intricate paper scenes and stages them inside toilet paper rolls.
In many cases, the rolls become part of the scene. For instance, she has scenes of miners picking away at the “mine” around them, and of painters at work.
To expand her repertoire, Elias has gone beyond the toilet paper rolls. She’s created scenes inside coffee cups too.
9. Crayon Art
Chances are that as a child, crayons were your favorite art medium. One artist, however, saw the true potential inside every child’s favorite colorful wax.
Pittsburgh-based Hoang Tran carves designs out of crayons. In most cases, he takes his inspiration from pop culture. Some of his most popular pieces include carvings of Star Wars characters and cartoon characters.
Interestingly, though, Tran didn’t get the initial idea from pop culture figures. It came from teeth.
Tran spent several years in dental school. During this time, he learned how to sculpt wax teeth. He took these skills and his natural artistic ability and combined them in a beautiful way.
10. Walking on Eggshells
If you’re like most of us, cracking an egg without getting shells into your dish is an accomplishment. British artist Shirley Hambrick, on the other hand, is an eggshell expert.
Hambrick started as a glass artist, and that’s still her key focus. She realized, though, that her air engraver could go beyond glass. That’s when she started carving eggshells.
From paisley patterns to animals and figures, Hambrick uses varying carving depths to add original details. When all is said and done, they remind you of ivory carvings…without the animal cruelty, of course.
As you look through Hambrick’s pieces, you’ll notice that most of them are far bigger than the eggs in your refrigerator. That’s because her canvases of choice are ostrich eggs. Their thick shells open up a new world of possibilities.
11. Tanbo Art
Many of the artists on this list use either materials or inspiration from nature. When their medium of choice is still alive, it’s a whole different matter.
Every year, the town of Inkadate in Japan features a brilliant piece of living art. They design an art piece in a rice paddy by growing various colors of crops in a precise layout.
Known as Tanbo art, these scenes are only visible from raised viewpoints and observation towers. Still, people flock to the town from June through October to see each year’s masterpiece.
12. Avocado Pit Art
Most of us open an avocado and throw away the pit without a thought. Irish artist Jan Campbell sees treasure where the rest of us see trash.
In a surge of inspiration, Campbell realized that she could carve her original sculptures into avocado pits. To make them into heirlooms that last forever, she then casts them in bronze or sterling silver.
Most of Campbell’s designs center around treasured figures and deities. She sells them as pendants as well as beautiful figures in their own right.
13. Shopping Bags
There’s something people love about those thick paper shopping bags with the rope or ribbon handles. Maybe we’re channeling our inner Pretty Woman fans or maybe we love the bags’ sleek looks.
Artist Yuken Teruya saw more. He punches holes in the bottom of dark shopping bags. By placing these holes in precise patterns, he recreates constellations in a way you have to see to believe.
Based in both New York and Berlin, Teruya is a world traveler. He brings this into his work by using some of his pieces to depict views of the night sky from various parts of the world.
Finding Beauty in Unconventional Places
On the surface, art looks like a simple, enjoyable past-time. When you take the time to think about it, though, it plays a powerful role in shaping our mindset.
Some artists like Fred George above use their art to send a specific message. The other artists on this list also serve another purpose, though. They create beauty out of everyday items like avocado pits or even perceived problems like spilled coffee.
Artists like these remind us that there is joy to be found in everything and anything if we know how to look at it.
If all this unusual art amazingness has whetted your appetite and you want more, check out our blog of fascinating stories.