9 Mind-Blowing Pieces of Art Made With Ridiculous Materials

Let's face it -- we've all tried to build a house of cards or make a sand castle at some point in our lives, but most of us get bored within a few minutes and give up. For others it may take an hour, or maybe even a few days... and there are those who devote their lives to making hugely pointless yet amazing things out of small, ridiculous materials.

Such as ...

#9. A Fully Livable LEGO House

It's no surprise that people can build some amazing things out of Legos. We're pretty sure all those replicas of important buildings they have in their theme parks will come in pretty handy when evolution inevitably turns us all into smurfs.

Via Whitespace
A re-enactment of Roosevelt's inauguration, in which he claimed he was "knee-deep in bitches."

However, some individuals have taken their obsession with tiny plastic bricks even further ... and some even manage to make a living off of it. For instance, Nathan Sawaya is a world-renowned Lego sculptor who not only sells his statues for thousands of dollars, but also exhibits them in museums around the globe. For the right price, he can make a life size Lego sculpture of anything -- including you.

Via Brickartist.com
If you looked like an 80s computer game character.

But perhaps the greatest feat of Lego architecture of all time was the one thought up by British television presenter James May. May enlisted the help of architects, interior designers and hundreds of people with way too much free time to build a two story house made out of 6 MILLION Lego bricks ...

Via Nowpublic.com
"Wine is on the table," he called out to them. Their crotches burned with Lego anticipation.

Via Metro News
"Let me slip into something more comfortable," he said, returning in a Lego thong.

... and then proceeded to live in it for 24 hours. But wait -- how did he take care of, uhh, certain basic necessities in a house made entirely out of Lego? Easy: thanks to the running water connected to his Lego sink and Lego toilet.

Via Gnews
Also, the fact that he doesn't mind pooping on toys.

Despite the fact that an art expert valued the house at $750,000, no one was willing to buy such an exquisite piece of live-in artwork, for some reason. It has since been dismantled and presumably, those 6 million Lego pieces have been returned to the children they were originally intended for.

Via Wikimedia Commons
So be on the lookout for Lego pieces that smell like ass.

#8. Toothpick Cities

Let's face it, toothpicks are a technology that became useless the moment dental floss was invented. Nobody knows why we continue manufacturing them; their only purpose right now is to aid people who don't want to touch canapes with their hands and don't know how to use a napkin. Stan Munro, however, figured out a much more productive use for them:

Via Toothpick City
Pictured: The main reason the toothpick industry remains afloat.

Stan's obsession with toothpicks goes way back to grade school, when his science teacher asked the class to build a toothpick structure that could hold an egg. While most of the class tried to figure out what was wrong with the teacher, Stan built one that held a desk. It was at that moment, presumably, that the boy decided he wanted to grow up into a man who builds big things out of small wooden picks.

Via Toothpick City
And then lurks behind them, apparently.

But Stan doesn't just create buildings: He makes entire cities. Plural. His first project, the aptly named Toothpick City, took him two years to complete. The sequel, Toothpick City II, consists of 40 buildings constructed with 4 million toothpicks and 45 gallons of glue. The structures take him anywhere from a day to six months.

Via Supiri.com
"So, uh, where've you been for the past half year, Stan?"
"Expanding my toothpick kingdom."

All buildings are on a 1/64 scale and contain impressive amounts of detail, thanks to the technical drawings and satellite photos that Stan consults before starting. The most impressive part, however, is that he has managed to convince his wife that there's nothing crazy about making toothpick building his full-time job. It totally paid off, though: Toothpick City I is now on permanent display in a museum in Mallorca, Spain.

#7. Toast "Paintings"

You've probably burned a lot of toast in your life, since dependable toaster technology has not advanced one iota since the device was invented. Depending on how much bread you had left, how hungry you were or how little time you had, your response was probably somewhere between "Oh, that sucks" and Samuel L. Jackson's monologue from Snakes on a Plane (only with toasts and toasters instead of snakes and planes). We're gonna go ahead and guess that you never pulled out the burnt piece of toast and framed it on a wall, though -- and that's where you've been going wrong in life, it seems. Yes, people pay real money to look at toast art:

Via Maurice Bennett
This must have been a remarkably inept toaster.

Yep, that's toasted bread right there. Of course, Maurice Bennett, the internationally renowned toast artist, doesn't actually use a toaster to make his masterpieces; that would be silly.

He uses a blowtorch.

Maurice lives in New Zealand and gets a lot of his inspiration from Maori tribal designs, among other important parts of traditional New Zealand culture:

Via Maurice Bennett
The follow-up to "Smiling Peter Jackson" will be "Raging Russell Crowe."

But wait, those are like, small mini-toasts or something, right? Otherwise, his portraits would be freaking hu ...

Via Maurice Bennett
... Oh.

OK, that's a lot of toast. "The Toastman" credits his first career as a supermarket owner with honing his understanding of things like display, color and food. And what more logical career progression could there be than going from stacking cans to recreating famous works of art with thousands of pieces of burnt bread?

Via Maurice Bennett
He added an ice cream to the Mona Lisa because the fact that it was made of toast wasn't weird enough.

Of course, toast isn't the only breakfast food on display in museums.

#6. Creepy Cereal Art

Ryan Alexiev (born to Bulgarian immigrants, raised in Alaska and educated at UC Berkley, which is pretty much the definition of "confused hippie") finds his inspiration in children's cereal. Using the most colorful and sugary pieces he can find, he creates light hearted, whimsical portraits like -- no, wait, he makes shit like this:

Via Artbusiness.com
Is it just us, or do you just want to fill that glass case up with milk?

That's a cereal replica of Damien Hirst's famous diamond coated skull "For the Love of God." If it looks disturbingly accurate, that's because Alexiev made it using a real skull he "purchased on eBay."

Finally, someone uncovers the untapped artistic potential in cereal and uses it to tackle things like religious iconography:

Via Artbusiness.com

Via Artbusiness.com

... and of course, Osama bin Laden, in this piece called O's-ama:

Via Ryan Alexiev
Nothing like Froot Loops to capture the fun side of a genocidal maniac's personality.

Of course, this isn't just for fun -- there's a deeper meaning behind every work. Like for instance, Alexiev explains that by making saints made of cereal he's really "[exploring] how contemporary product marketing functions through appeals to our sense of -- and desire for -- the transcendental. In the Land of Milk and Cereal, we are what we eat."

Via Ryan Alexiev
The fact that he looks like Cap'n Crunch's estranged son explains so much.

#5. Full-Size Matchstick Heads

When we say "matchstick heads," we don't mean the upper part of the matchstick -- we mean something a little more literal:

Via Denoirmont.com
And a lot more insane.

David Mach is a Scottish artist who makes sculptures out of stuff like coat hangers, car tires and old newspapers. Also matchsticks. Thousands and thousands of little matchsticks. Mach uses around 30,000 matches in each of his limited-edition sculptures, and then sells them for about the same amount of money.

Via Denoirmont.com
For that much money we could get you a real head on a stick. There are ways.

Each sculpture takes him months to complete, since he has to painstakingly glue each one of the matches to a fiberglass or plastic structure he creates beforehand. Mach doesn't paint the sticks himself, though -- that would be crazy. Instead he has them shipped from Japan, the only place insane enough to produce matches of every color, apparently. His sculptures include representations of famous people ...

Via Denoirmont.com

... deities ...

Via Denoirmont.com

... and mostly angry animals.

Via Telegraph

Via Denoirmont.com

These are pretty impressive and all, but we can't shake the feeling that they would look infinitely cooler if someone were to "accidentally" spark a lighter near them. Fortunately, Mach agrees. He often closes his presentations by setting a head on fire.

Via Denoirmont.com
And then laughing maniacally while staring into the sweet, cleansing flames.

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