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Art at Large: 11 Record-Holding Paintings, Drawings, Photos and Sculptures

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Ever wonder what the world's biggest photograph looks like? How about the largest knitted pink bunny? Wonder no more, flossers; here are 11 bizarre and/or massive works of art, each of which holds a current world record.

1. Largest photograph, taken with the world's largest pinhole camera

The Great Picture features a 32'x111' panoramic view in black-and-white negative of El Toro Marine Corps air station. To take the photograph, an entire jet hangar was converted into the world's largest pinhole camera. It took 80 volunteers five hours to develop in a custom vinyl tray the size of an Olympic swimming pool.

2. Biggest marble mosaic

For the 40th anniversary of Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said's accession, a mosaic of his likeness was produced to celebrate. At 5.3 meters wide and 8.3 meters tall, the piece contains 128,274 individual marble tiles in 90 different natural shades, all of which were sourced from the mountains and sea beds of Oman.

3. Longest paint-by-number

To kick off World Wetlands Day 2010, 2041 people got together at Hong Kong Wetland Park and painted "Birds and Wetlands," a continuous 959.35-meter by 1.2 meter painting of marshy landscapes, to strengthen wetland ecology awareness.

4. Largest knitted sculpture

If you're ever hanging out in the Artesina, Piemont, Italy, area and feel compelled to take a stroll through the hills, make sure you keep your eyes open for the 200-foot-long knitted bunny lying on the roadside. His name is Hase, and he's made of 2200 pounds of baby-pink wool.

5. Largest animated mobile device mosaic

Blinkendroid app developers broke the previous record for building an animated mosaic using mobile devices with only 72 phones. Watch the record-making in action:

Unhappy with the lower-than-expected turnout, Blinkendroid is organizing an event to break their own record next February in Barcelona. If you'll be in the neighborhood and own an Android device, you can check out the details here.

6. Longest drawing by an individual

Fourteen-year-old P. Nivedha used only crayons, markers, and colored pencils to create her 382.63 m (1,255 ft., 4 in.) record-holding work, which depicts various aspects of nature conservation.

7. Largest underwater painting

At a modest 8.61 ft2, this is the smallest "largest" item on the list, but that doesn't mean it was the easiest to execute. Alexander Belozor, the preeminent underwater painter in the Ukraine, where that's a thing, dove to the floor of the Red Sea off the coast of Hurghada, Egypt, and reportedly painted the piece in just 40 minutes—the amount of time allowed by his oxygen tank.

8. Largest scrap-metal sculpture

Geese in Flight is a permanent installation on North Dakota's Enchanted Highway. It stands 110 feet tall, weights 157,659 pounds, and took four years and the help of hundreds of volunteers to complete. The auto paint used to seal the metal cost more than $9,000.

9. Largest sushi mosaic

What do 8,374 pieces of sushi smell like? (Don't answer that.) We do know they look like this when you assemble them into the world's largest sushi mosaic—a process that took more than six hours to complete, minus preparation time. The project, celebrating the 10,000,000th Norwegian salmon to enter Japan, required 120 kilos of rice and 65 kilos of fish.

(Skip to 0:35, unless you like to watch people stand around not making a sushi mosaic.)

10. Tallest ice sculpture

If you've got 2,000 friends, 15 days, a few hundred tons of ice, and more than a few colored LEDs on hand, you might consider trying to break the record for tallest ice sculpture set at the 2010 Harbin Ice & Snow Festival in China. Dreaming Castle was 53 feet, 2.58 inches tall at the top of the tallest spire, and at night looks like something straight out of a Disney movie, thanks to the (uncounted) thousands of lights embedded in the ice.

11. Largest sky drawing

Technically, this record is for the largest sky drawing by a jet aircraft display team, but that's a little cumbersome. The title goes to the Saudi Hawks for their "emblem move," a synchronized effort that produces a smoke drawing of the Royal Saudi emblem of four palms and a pair of crossed swords, measuring 56,909,105 square feet when complete. If you're thinking it's a little simplistic, you're right; the record is for largest sky drawing, not most intricate.

For 11-11-11, we'll be posting twenty-four '11 lists' throughout the day. Check back 11 minutes after every hour for the latest installment, or see them all here.

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Ape Meets Girl
Pop Culture
Epic Gremlins Poster Contains More Than 80 References to Classic Movies
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Ape Meets Girl

It’s easy to see why Gremlins (1984) appeals to movie nerds. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg and written by Chris Columbus, the film has horror, humor, and awesome 1980s special effects that strike a balance between campy and creepy. Perhaps it’s the movie’s status as a pop culture treasure that inspired artist Kevin Wilson to make it the center of his epic hidden-image puzzle of movie references.

According to io9, Wilson, who works under the pseudonym Ape Meets Girl, has hidden 84 nods to different movies in this Gremlins poster. The scene is taken from the movie’s opening, when Randall enters a shop in Chinatown looking for a gift for his son and leaves with a mysterious creature. Like in the film, Mr. Wing’s shop in the poster is filled with mysterious artifacts, but look closely and you’ll find some objects that look familiar. Tucked onto the bottom shelf is a Chucky doll from Child’s Play (1988); above Randall’s head is a plank of wood from the Orca ship made famous by Jaws (1975); behind Mr. Wing’s counter, which is draped with a rug from The Shining’s (1980) Overlook Hotel, is the painting of Vigo the Carpathian from Ghostbusters II (1989). The poster was released by the Hero Complex Gallery at New York Comic Con earlier this month.

“Early on, myself and HCG had talked about having a few '80s Easter Eggs, but as we started making a list it got longer and longer,” Wilson told Mental Floss. “It soon expanded from '80s to any prop or McGuffin that would fit the curio shop setting. I had to stop somewhere so I stopped at 84, the year Gremlins was released. Since then I’ve thought of dozens more I wish I’d included.”

The ambitious artwork has already sold out, but fortunately cinema buffs can take as much time as they like scouring the poster from their computers. Once you think you’ve found all the references you can possibly find, you can check out Wilson’s key below to see what you missed (and yes, he already knows No. 1 should be Clash of the Titans [1981], not Jason and the Argonauts [1963]). For more pop culture-inspired art, follow Ape Meets Girl on Facebook and Instagram.

Key for hidden image puzzle.
Ape Meets Girl

[h/t io9]

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Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0
Barack Obama Taps Kehinde Wiley to Paint His Official Presidential Portrait
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Kehinde Wiley
Kehinde Wiley Studio, Inc., Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 3.0

Kehinde Wiley, an American artist known for his grand portraits of African-American subjects, has painted Michael Jackson, Ice-T, and The Notorious B.I.G. in his work. Now the artist will have the honor of adding Barack Obama to that list. According to the Smithsonian, the former president has selected Wiley to paint his official presidential portrait, which will hang in the National Portrait Gallery.

Wiley’s portraits typically depict black people in powerful poses. Sometimes he models his work after classic paintings, as was the case with "Napoleon Leading the Army Over the Alps.” The subjects are often dressed in hip-hop-style clothing and placed against decorative backdrops.

Portrait by Kehinde Wiley
"Le Roi a la Chasse"
Kehinde Wiley, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0

Smithsonian also announced that Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald has been chosen by former first lady Michelle Obama to paint her portrait for the gallery. Like Wiley, Sherald uses her work to challenge stereotypes of African-Americans in art.

“The Portrait Gallery is absolutely delighted that Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald have agreed to create the official portraits of our former president and first lady,” Kim Sajet, director of the National Portrait Gallery, said in a press release. “Both have achieved enormous success as artists, but even more, they make art that reflects the power and potential of portraiture in the 21st century.”

The tradition of the president and first lady posing for portraits for the National Portrait Gallery dates back to George H.W. Bush. Both Wiley’s and Sherald’s pieces will be revealed in early 2018 as permanent additions to the gallery in Washington, D.C.


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