Five Guys (That Make Awesome Art)

Today’s post will be about something that I feel like none of us know much about or appreciate as much as we should: art. I’ve started to be a little more interested in art because I’ve been going to the SF MoMA and it’s amazing. Of course there are still some facepalm worthy pieces of “art” but there are some pieces that are truly mesmerizing either just to look at or to learn about. I’m going to focus on 5 awesome artists with unique styles. There isn’t a lot of learning to be done in this post, so just sit back and enjoy.


Sohei Nishino

Sohei is the master of the diorama map. He takes pictures all over a city, then arranges them into a map of the city. It’s pretty amazing to see — if you don’t focus on any individual picture in the collage, it actually looks like a map of the city, just a bit distorted. Then you zoom in and see amazing detail. Some things are very close to being sized to scale, other things are comically oversized. The SF MoMA has a few of his pieces on display, and I spent probably over an hour looking at the SF map. These really need to be seen in person to appreciate fully. If it’s a city you know well, it’s pretty amazing to look through and see how he portrays all of the areas you’re familiar with.

Try to find this zoomed in portion on the big map

He’s done about 20 of these, including NYC, London, Amsterdam, and a few Japanese cities. You can check out the other maps here:

He also combined pictures from a ton of different cities to create an imaginary city he calls “i-Land.”


Steven Spazuk

Spazuk’s art is “fire” as kids would say these days. He paints with a flame, probably proclaiming “it’s lit” when he finishes. Here’s a video of him burning canvases, then manipulating the soot with dry brushes and other instruments:

And here are some of his awesome works:

Yes, that’s Muhammad Ali

Rashad Alakbarov, Larry Kagan, and Triantafyllos Vaitsis

These three are put together because the make the same type of art, which I find especially fascinating: shadow art. They shape/place objects very specifically, then shine light(s) on them at very specific angles to create an image that you wouldn’t expect. Sometimes, the same object(s) create more than one image on different surfaces.

Rashad Alakbarov has one piece that almost looks like a painting as a result of the colored pieces he uses:

Here’s the city he is depicting, Baku:

And some that he uses the shadows of words to make other words (look closely at this one):

Or straight lines to make words:

I believe that at least Adil and I saw one of Larry Kagan’s pieces in Tennessee years ago. Larry uses what looks like randomly bent wire to make clean, concise images:

The piece I think I remember seeing with Adil

My favorite pieces of Triantafyllos Vaitsis’ (fun fact: we share the same birthday (tomorrow)) are the ones that show two opposing images at two different angles:

On the left, me after a nice steak and a glass of wine. On the right, me during wrestling season

Again, I know this post didn’t have a lot of knowledge bombs or writing in general, but I hope you still enjoyed it.

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