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The British Library Gives Public Access To Over A Million Beautiful, Rare, And Bizarre Antique Images

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Itching for new source material? The British Library has a public Flickr account that showcases over a million images sourced from books published centuries ago. This account not only gives anyone digital access to a wide range of obscure drawings, photographs, etchings, and others of the likes, it also allows the public to  manipulate and make use of them anyway they chose. The Library released a statement;

“We have released over a million images onto Flickr Commons for anyone to use, remix and repurpose. These images were taken from the pages of 17th, 18th and 19th century books digitised by Microsoft who then generously gifted the scanned images to us, allowing us to release them back into the Public Domain. The images themselves cover a startling mix of subjects: There are maps, geological diagrams, beautiful illustrations, comical satire, illuminated and decorative letters, colourful illustrations, landscapes, wall-paintings and so much more that even we are not aware of”

The images span such a large array of topic areas and media that the librarians aren’t fully aware of what many of the images are. By allowing the public access to these images, the library not only shares them with the masses, but also hopes to collectively acquire knowledge about the content. The Library is planning to release a tool that will allow willing participants to offer information about the images with the aim to create a sort of referential guide.

This is a really amazing resource for artists, illustrators, graphic designers, and just anyone who is in to that sort of thing. Check out the full collection here, or just the highlights here (again, there are over a million).

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Kevin Appel’s Screen Series

Los Angeles-based artist Kevin Appel‘s Screen series shows trivial nature photography layered with coloured, transparent materials in different graphic shapes. Appel uses a range of media – acrylic, ink, enamel and print – to achieve this effect, in order to distort the photo by adding a ‘screen’ of new material. More images from the series here:

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Meet the Man Who Spends 6 Hours Everyday Putting On His 100 Pound Turban

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What’s your morning routine like? Maybe it takes you 15 minutes, or perhaps an hour. Whatever it is, Avtar Singh Mauni from Patiala, Northen India has you beat. He spends six hours a day getting his turban ready before he ventures to the local temple. The devout Sikh’s impressive headdress measures 2,115 feet (about 645 meters) when unwrapped and weighs about 100 pounds.

The 60-year-old is proud of his turban, which took him 16 years to assemble all of its parts. He’ll wear it until he physically can’t any longer; Singh doesn’t consider it a burden and says that he’s happiest when he has it on his head. In fact, when he doesn’t have it on, part of him feels incomplete.

While most people who follow Sikhism wear turbans, they are comprised of a length between five and seven meters and probably don’t weigh all that much. Singh’s, in further comparison, has purple and orange fabric that weighs 66 pounds, while the decorative elements make up the extra weight. This is coupled with a sword and heavy bangles that weigh an additional 87 pounds.

Singh’s ritual sits at the bizarre intersection of art, fashion, and religion. Do you think it could be considered a type of performance art? Or just a fervent dedication to cultural guidelines? (Via Lost At E Minor and Oddity Central)

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Warren Thomas King

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Warren Thomas King describes his work as “Brococo,” a combination of his interest in Rococo styling and the modern day bromance. If for some reason that doesn’t make perfect sense to you, from what I can gather, Brococo translates into paintings of dudes with crazy facial hair. You know, like jack hammer beards and mustaches shaped like space shuttles. These guys may not be mild-mannered Watercolor’s usual house guests but that’s what makes them awesome.

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Ryan De La Hoz

Ryan De La Hoz

Spooky blobs by SF artist Ryan De La Hoz.

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Miika Saksi

Illustration for Aamulehti

Finnish illustrator/photographer/director Miika Saksi’s work is everything I love about fantastical and mythic Lisa Frank evoking creatures galloping the fine line between awesome and cheesy as hell. It’s almost as if (for me) the relationship between work I like, and what I can Google image search is basically one and the same… 

 

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AIDS-3D

AIDS-3D

AIDS-3D is a collaboration between two American artists, Daniel Keller and Nik Kosmas, both of whom were born in 1986. Their work, and the documentation of it, is about as cryptic and brash as their mysterious name. Their influences are clear – low brow 1990s cyber-culture, space mysticism, aliens, etc, etc – but the work revolving around said themes can be quite clever and subversive.

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Brittany Zagoria

Brittany Zagoria‘s deeply personal  and emotional paintings do battle with her inner demons.

“My paintings reflect my subconscious need to demonstrate the existence of evil in others. I grew up with a mentally ill mother, whose physically and verbally abusive actions towards me were relentless, cruel, and, most crucially, without reason. The arbitrary nature of her attacks left me feeling scared, insecure, and especially perceptive of the inherent capacity for monstrosity in all individuals. Through painting portraits of people I have known, I have become aware that my perceptions of others and my relationships with them have been greatly skewed by emotional tumult from my past. A finished portrait is evidence of my raw, childlike way of perceiving each subject. Judgmental and distorted, they are artifacts of my disturbed perception of the world that render tangible my personal, psychological confrontations; the process of painting turns a critical eye toward subject and painter alike. Often grotesque, monstrous and condemning, the final product constitutes my ultimate judgment of human relations.”

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