Louisville, Kentucky-based artist Tom Pfannerstill creates amazing works of art that look like trash, and not just any trash, but actual pieces of litter that he actually found and picked up. For an ongoing series entitled From the Street, Pfannerstill uses the trompe l’oeil technique to paint flat pieces of wood so that they become uncanny likenesses of discarded objects and disposable containers, everything from a smashed boxes of Animal Crackers and Cracker Jack to a beat-up old baseball cap.

"…he starts off by choosing a real piece of trash and traces the outline of the object onto a flat piece of wood. Once his wooden canvas is ready, he fills it in with acrylic paints, in painstaking detail. The two-dimensional painting soon comes to life, looking exactly like a piece of trash it was modeled after."

So why paint depictions of trash? We’re glad you asked. Pfannerstill views each object he finds as something mass-produced that’s become utterly unique as it has been altered by time and exposure to the elements. No two pieces of litter are the same.

“The sparkling clean surfaces are smudged and marked by everyday dirt, grit and grime. No two objects have exactly the same journey.”

Pfannerstill also regards these piece of urban detritus as future artifacts:

“As time inevitably marches on and everything, trash included continues to change, my little pieces ‘from the street’ will become increasingly ‘of a time’. As the popularity of products ebb and flow and certain products disappear altogether as wants, needs and lifestyles change, the will become increasingly esoteric.”

Visit Tom Pfannerstill’s website to check out more of his artwork, including more pieces from his From the Street series.

[via Oddity Central]

Spanish street artist Pejac (previously featured here), skilled at making use of the urban landscape, recently paid a visit to Paris where he cleverly transformed a long crack in a wall into a wavy, dreamlike door, ever so slightly ajar. We can’t guarantee that it’s a gateway to Narnia, but - if you can get it open - we suspect this door leads somewhere awesome.

Visit Pejac’s website to check out more of his fantastic street art interventions.

[via StreetArtNews]

Do any of these photos make you hungry? If so, we really hope you brought your own lunch, because nothing that you see here is actually food. These images are part of a still life photo series by Melbourne-based artist and photography student TQ Lee. Entitled Inedible, each photo depicts a tasty meal or enticing treat made of indigestible ingredients such as LEGO bricks, telephone cord, papier-mâché, makeup pads and hot shaving cream. After happily not feasting on any of it, you can refuse to wash it all down with glasses of Betadine, turpentine or waxed rolled socks.

Here Lee describes his series:

"As a child of the 80s I grew up with fond memories of still-life, photographic prints of breads, pastas, fruit and vegetables captured in the literal style of the era. The pictures hung in the houses of my family and friends and I would spend hours identifying all the ingredients and looking at every detail.

Nowadays, the humble still life has grown out of favour. Instead, colourful, reprinted advertisements of vintage European beverages add smiles to kitchen walls across Australia. And so, I challenged myself to put a contemporary twist on the food art trend of the 80s. This resulted in my series Inedible - photos of food made from unconventional ingredients.”

Head over to TQ Lee’s website to explore more of his playful creative endeavors or follow him right here on Tumblr at tqlee.

[via Laughing Squid]

Let’s take a moment to appreciate some awesome new lifelike painted resin depictions of aquatic animals by Singapore-based artist Keng Lye (previously featured here). The longer we look at them, the harder it is to believe that these aren’t simply photos of live fish swimming in water. In reality they’re the result of the gradual layering of painstakingly applied acrylic paint on clear resin, part painting and part sculpture. The only things here that aren’t rendered in paint are the repurposed containers.

Head over to Keng Lye’s Facebook page to check out even more of his recent creations.

[via Colossal]

It’s been over a year since we last caught up with the work of Milan-based artist Guido Daniele (previously featured here), who comes airbrushed body painting and photography to transform his models’ hands and arms into beautiful and impressively lifelike animals of all sorts. Daniele calls them Handimals and they can be so convincing that it sometimes takes a moment to find the human hands inside the animal.

Visit Guido Daniele’s website to check out many more of his marvelous Handimals.

[via Design Taxi and PetaPixel]

We know it’s hard to look away, but the Department of Awesome Optical Illusions warns you not to spend too long looking at these incredibly hypnotic and often outright dizzying images. They were all created by Akiyoshi Kitaoka, a Professor of Psychology at Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan. He first won acclaim in 2003 for his Rotating Snakes peripheral drift illusion.

"Studying visual perception, visual illusion, optical illusion, trompe l’oeil, and 3D, Kitaoka regularly creates incredible psychedelic patterns and illusion artworks, optical illusions that give the impression of images in motion."

You can check out many more of Akiyoshi Kitaoka’s mesmerizing optical illusions on his website. Some of them are actually preceded by warnings that looking at them may induce nausea. We weren’t kidding about the dizziness. 

[via Juxtapoz]

Norwegian street artist Anders Gjennestad, aka Strøk, (previously featured here) recently enhanced the exterior walls of an elementary school in Gaeta, Italy with his signature hand-cut, multi-layered stencils. This was his contribution to the 2014 Memorie Urbane Street Art Festival. In this setting Strøk’s gravity-defying figures look like students let out for recess who decided to walk up the walls in search of a place to play.

Photos by Anne Esser

[via My Modern Metropolis and StreetArtNews]

Fear not arachnophobes (or maybe do?), you aren’t really looking at a gargantuan tarantula, you’re visiting the Department of Astonishing Optical illusions and this is the spectacular work of UK-based concept body artist Emma Fay. She used water-based paints to transform contortionists Lowri Thomas and Beth Sykes into awesomely lifelike animals. It took five hours to transform Thomas into a giant arachnid.

"First I ask the contortionist to get into the initial pose and mark out where they will be. The contortionists can only hold the pose for a maximum of five-seconds so I have to work quickly to get it right. I then keep painting and repositioning the models until they look like the real animal."

Head over to the Daily Mail for video footage of these amazing transformations as well as a wonderfully freaky glimpse of the giant spider in motion.

Visit Emma Fay’s website to check out more of her amazing artwork.

[via Design Taxi and Dailymail.co.uk]

The Department of Awesome Anamorphic Artwork has been on fire lately with exciting new finds. Today we explore the work of a phenomenal Portuguese graffiti writer named Odeith. He’s been painting since 1996 and appears to have mastered the art of making his letters look like they’re popping off the walls and floating above the ground.

His visual trickery is at its best when used in corners or other narrow spaces. Then it’s all too easy to forget that you’re looking at flat surfaces. This is some serious skill and, as a result, these days Odeith doesn’t just paint on walls, he’s also received corporate commissions from companies all over the world such as Shell, Coca-Cola, Samsung, Estradas de Portugal and S. L. Benfica.

[via Scene360]

Today the Department of Awesome Natural Wonders transports us to the Indian Ocean. About 1200 miles from the southeastern coast of Africa is the island nation of Mauritius, and it’s there, at the southwestern tip of the island, that we’ll find a spectacular natural optical illusion:

When viewed from above, a runoff of sand and silt deposits creates the impression of an ‘underwater waterfall’. Satellite views (as seen in the two Google Maps screenshots above) are equally dramatic, as an underwater vortex seemingly appears off the coast of this tropical paradise.

With some optical illusions, the longer one looks at them, the more one can make sense of what’s actually there. But this stunning, false underwater waterfall looks completely real, no matter how long we stare at the photos.

Visit Twisted Sifter to learn more about this awesome natural spectacle.

Top photo via KULfoto.com, satellite photos by DigitalGlobe via Google Maps.