Exciting images from ‘Golden Age of Auto Design’ we almost didn’t get to see

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Charles Balogh, Ford Advanced Studio, 1953. Photo: American Dreaming
Charles Balogh, Ford Advanced Studio, 1953. Photo: American Dreaming

The concept artists who envisioned the future of the automobile created edgy, forward-thinking illustrations knowing their works might never be seen — and would likely get destroyed.

But some of the forward-looking art created during Detroit’s “Golden Age of Automotive Design” made it outside company walls, thanks to artists who lined overcoats with drawings or used boxes with false bottoms to smuggle out their work.

The car-centric art is the subject of a current exhibit at Lawrence Technological University in Detroit and is the subject of an upcoming documentary on PBS called American Dreaming.

This museum wants you to touch the art and take lots of pictures

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Go ahead, touch the art and have your picture taken at Art in Island interactive musuem in Quezon City, Philipines. Photo: Art in Island/Facebook
Go ahead, touch the art and have your picture taken at Art in Island interactive musuem in Quezon City, Philipines. Photo: Art in Island/Facebook

It figures that the city known for generating the most Instagram selfles would open a museum to attract selfie shooters.

Art in Island, an interactive art museum in a suburban Manila, Philippines, has installations designed for visitors to incorporate themselves into master 3-D copies of some classic works.

Pencil artist works in miniature — and that’s the point

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Russian artist Photo: Salavat Fidai carves detailed sculptures into the point of a pencil lead. Photo: Photo: Salavat Fidai
Russian artist Salavat Fidai carves detailed sculptures out of pencil lead. Photo: Salavat Fadai

Salavat Fidai is working proof that artists need not create large pieces to make a name for themselves.

Much of what he creates is no bigger than the tip of a pencil — literally.

Under the glow of a single work light while his family sleeps, Fidai uses a craft knife and 4x magnifying glass to create tiny sculptures out of pointy pencil lead.

Fruitdoodles artist finds banana work has mass a-peel

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Stephan Brusche finds bananas to be a great surface for drawing and regularly posts his Fruitdoodles to Instagram. Photo: Stephan Brusche
Stephan Brusche finds bananas to be a great surface for drawing and regularly posts his Fruitdoodles to Instagram. Photo: Stephan Brusche

Stephan Brusche was bored and starting to play with his food when he made a discovery that would change his life: Bananas are nice to draw on.

Graphic artists are paid to think this way, and Brusche was being urged by his wife to promote his work to a wider audience using Instagram.

“There wasn’t anything exciting to photograph,” said Brusche, 37, an artist for a travel agency in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. “I still had a banana and I thought maybe if I draw a smiley face on it, that would make a nice picture. I discovered how nicely the ink flows on the peel. It was really a pleasant surface.”

That smiley face, posted more than three years ago, received more likes than his work illustrations. And thus Fruitdoodles was born. Since then, Brusche has transformed more than 200 bananas into fine art.

New Yorker illustrator plays with his art on Instagram

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From Abstract Sunday, an Instagram Feed by the illustrator Christoph Niemann. Illustration by Christoph Niemann
From Abstract Sunday, an Instagram feed by illustrator Christoph Niemann. Illustration: Christoph Niemann

Artists don’t always explain themselves well.

Even acclaimed illustrator Christoph Niemann, who can articulate the mysteries of creativity better than many, doesn’t always understand the moment when the head, heart and eyes merge with skills and gifts to produce a brilliant piece. It’s like trying to put into words the act of breathing.

But every Sunday, we can behold the headwaters of his creative flow.

The inside story of Apple’s amazing Hangzhou Store mural

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Wang Dongling's poem at the Hengzhou Apple Store. Photo: Apple
Wang Dongling's poem at the Hangzhou Apple Store. Photo: Apple

Apple’s stunning new store in Hangzhou China is drawing raves, even though no one has seen what it’ll actually look like. The outside of the store has been covered with a giant Apple Store sized mural during construction, only instead of throwing up another boring white box, Apple teamed up with famous calligrapher Wang Dongling to create a beautiful poem on the outside.

To celebrate the upcoming West Lake store, Apple published a video today going behind the scenes with Dongling and his creative process for creating the artwork on the store. Dongling is renowned for his experimentation in merging Western and Chinese forms to push calligraphy in a new direction.

“The lines in calligraphy need to have life in them”, Dangling says in the video. “They need to have an aesthetic feeling. They need to have a kind of magical energy endowed by nature.”

Watch the full behind the scenes clip below:

Dirty car artist leaves masterpieces in the dust

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One person's dirty car window is Scott Wade's canvass. Wade found a museum mashup - Mona Lisa and Starry Night - on this dirty window. Photo courtesy of Scott Wade
One person's dirty car window is Scott Wade's canvas. Wade created a museum mashup -- The Mona Lisa and Starry Night -- on this grimy glass. Photo courtesy Scott Wade

He is an Eagle Scout, a versatile bar-band drummer and a senior GUI designer for a company that creates mobile apps for the health care industry.

But Scott Wade is famous for drawing dirty pictures.

It’s not the content that raises eyebrows but the canvas on which Wade creates. Present him with a dirty car and see why some call him the “da Vinci of Dust.”

Who hasn’t walked by a car coated in dirt and used their finger to scrawl the message, “Wash me”? Wade, inspired by the dirt roads of his home state of Texas, uses a car’s dirty window as an opportunity to create elaborate landscapes, detailed portraiture with subtle shading and re-imagined classic works like The Mona Lisa or Van Gogh’s Starry Night.

One man’s progress bar is another man’s artistic expression

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This indecision's buggin' me... Photo: Viktor Hertz
This indecision's buggin' me... Photo: Viktor Hertz

That other man being, in this case, freelance graphic designer Viktor Hertz, who spends some of his time making fun little art pieces out of Macintosh progress bars.

He calls this project his “work in progress bars,” and you can see his whole collection on his main page, as well as some of his other illustration work over on Behance. Continue below to see a few more tasty treats from Hertz, who calls it “a quick and silly little side-project of mine.”

This painter sees the world through 8-bit glasses

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R2-D2 is just one of Adam Lister's 8-bit-inspired pop culture artworks.

Remember being lost in the 8-bit world of Atari and Nintendo? When Adam Lister was a boy, he couldn’t spend enough time in his basement playing Pong, Space Invaders or Donkey Kong.

Games and graphics, of course, evolved, and the chiptune music of those game consoles went silent long ago. But the graphic language where characters are a rough collection of cubes and rectangles still speaks to Lister.

It is the lens through which he views art history and pop culture in a series of more than 250 watercolor paintings he created over a three-year period.