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Iain Heath/Ocher Jelly
Iain Heath/Ocher Jelly

A Roundup of Sharknado Tribute Art

Iain Heath/Ocher Jelly
Iain Heath/Ocher Jelly

The SyFy original movie Sharknado is so ridiculously over-the-top that it became an overnight sensation. Its unbelievable premise is so spectacular that the film will be shown in theaters this Friday at midnight -even after being shown on TV multiple times. Meanwhile, as we prepare for the annual Shark Week orgy on the Discovery Channel, the Sharknado meme still bubbles on the internet. Let's explore some of the art inspired by the preposterous Sharknado.

Sharknado Cake

Charm City Cakes has unveiled their latest masterpiece: the Sharknado cake! It's a miracle of both engineering and confectionary delight. What kind of party would one order a Sharknado cake for? It doesn't matter -I want to be invited!

Sculpture

Jody Travous Nee makes whimsical small sculptures, and had to make one of a scene from Sharknado, complete with chainsaw. Unfortunately, there was only one, and it was snapped up quickly.

Comic Con Costumes

Grant Imahara spotted this elaborate Sharknado headdress at Comic Con in San Diego last week. He called it "The best costume I've seen today." See more pictures of the wearer, who added more sharks as the weekend progressed, at Business Insider

It wasn't the only Sharknado costume at Comic Con. This one relied on movement to make its intended reference clear.

T-shirts

Many artists are making their Sharknado tributes available on t-shirts. Shelby, who is a fan of Shark Week, created this t-shirt design and sells them through the Etsy store I'm Shark Weak. You can select a light or dark tornado with contrasting sharks to go with your choice of t-shirt color.

LEGO Snarknado

LEGO Sharknado! It sounds almost poetic, doesn't it? LEGO artist Iain Heath, known as Ochre Jelly, couldn't resist turning the SyFy monster/disaster movie into a LEGO work.

Amazingly, this model actually stands up on its own (although its a bit wobbly, being very top-heavy). If I have the time I may add more sharks, improve the lettering, and strengthen it up enough to display at BrickCon.

Here's another Sharknado LEGO creation, from Digital Wizards

Nail Art

You can buy these Snarknado nail art decals from Etsy seller NailSpin. Wear them all through Shark Week!

Art Prints

The SyFy network collaborated with Gallery 1988 to create and sell three art prints centered around Sharknado at Comic Con. The print above is by Glen Brogan

This pinup style print, a riff on the Coppertone Girl, is by Anthony Petrie, as is the chainsaw scene below.

The theatrical showing of Sharknado this Friday may be an attempt to inspire a cult following, like The Rocky Horror Picture Show or The Room, but that kind of phenomenon really can't be engineered. At any rate, it could be a great way to put yourself in the proper mood for Shark Week!

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iStock
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The Simple Optical Illusion That Makes an Image Look Like It's Drawing Itself
iStock
iStock

Artist James Nolan Gandy invents robot arms that sketch intricate mathematical shapes with pen and paper. When viewed in real time, the effect is impressive. But it becomes even more so when the videos are sped up in a timelapse. If you look closely in the video below, the illustration appears to materialize faster than the robot can put the design to paper. Gizmodo recently explained how the illusion works to make it look like parts of the sketch are forming before the machine has time to draw them.

The optical illusion isn’t an example of tricky image editing: It’s the result of something called the wagon wheel effect. You can observe this in a car wheel accelerating down the highway or in propeller blades lifting up a helicopter. If an object makes enough rotations per second, it can appear to slow down, move backwards, or even stand still.

This is especially apparent on film. Every “moving image” we see on a screen is an illusion caused by the brain filling in the gaps between a sequence of still images. In the case of the timelapse video below, the camera captured the right amount of images, in the right order, to depict the pen as moving more slowly than it did in real life. But unlike the pen, the drawing formed throughout the video isn't subject to the wagon-wheel effect, so it still appears to move at full speed. This difference makes it look like the sketch is drawing itself, no pen required.

Gandy frequently shares behind-the-scenes videos of his mechanical art on his Instagram page. You can check out some of his non-timelapse clips like the one below to better understand how his machines work, then visit his website to browse and purchase the art made by his 'bots.

And if you think his stuff is impressive, make sure to explore some of the incredible art robots have made in the past.

[h/t Gizmodo]

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Tessa Angus
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Surprising Sculptures Made From Fallen Feathers
Kate MccGwire, Orchis, 2012
Kate MccGwire, Orchis, 2012
Tessa Angus

Kate MccGwire is a British sculptor with an unusual medium: feathers. Her surreal, undulating works often take the form of installations—the feathers spilling out of a drain, a stove, a crypt wall—or stand-alone sculptures in which antique bell jars, cabinets, or trunks contain otherworldly shapes.

MccGwire developed her obsession with feathers after moving to a studio barge on the Thames in 2006, as she explains in a video from Crane.tv recently spotlighted by Boing Boing. The barge was near a large shed full of feral pigeons, whose feathers she would spot on her way to work. "I started picking them up and laying them out, collecting them," she remembers. "And after about two weeks I had like 300 feathers." At the time, concerns about bird flu were rife, which made the feathers seem "dangerous as well as beautiful."

When not supplied by her own next-door menagerie, the feathers for her artwork come from a network of racing pigeon societies all over the UK, who send her envelopes full every time the birds molt. Farmers and gamekeepers also send her fallen feathers from birds such as magpies, pheasants, and roosters.

The cultural associations around birds are a big part of what inspires MccGwire. “The dove is the symbol of peace, purity, and fertility," she told ArtNews in 2013, "but it’s exactly the same species as a pigeon—which everyone regards as being dirty, foul, a pest.”

The same duality is present in her own work, which she frequently shares on her Instagram account. “I want to seduce by what I do—but revolt in equal measure. It’s really important to me that you’ve got that rejection of things you think you know for sure.”

You can see some pictures of MccGwire's work, and watch the video from Crane.tv, below.

Kate MccGwire's installation "Evacuate"
Evacuate, 2010
J Wilde

Kate MccGwire's sculpture "Convolous"
Convolous, 2015
JP Bland

Kate MccGwire's installation "Gyre"
Gyre, 2012
Tessa Angus

Kate MccGwire's sculpture "Gag"
Gag, 2009
JP Bland

Kate MccGwire's sculpture "Writhe"
Writhe, 2010
Tessa Angus

Kate MccGwire's sculpture "Quell"
Quell, 2011
Tessa Angus

Kate MccGwire's sculpture "Taunt"
Taunt, 2012
Tessa Angus

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