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robin antar

Hyperrealistic Sculptures of Everyday Objects

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robin antar

Robin Antar is a Brooklyn artist who creates oversized replicas of American staples out of stone. Despite being made out of marble and other inedible materials, her statues looks good enough to eat! Antar's creations are currently being displayed at The Waterfall Gallery & Mansion in NYC, June 12 through August 31, 2014. 

"My passion for sculpting is expressed in my creation of the virtual records of contemporary culture," Antar said in a press release. "I capture everyday objects in carved stone, using a technique I invented more than 20 years ago."

Antar starts with a similar color of stone or simply dyes it herself. Due to being blind in one eye, she keeps the model close at hand instead of using a photo. She then spends countless hours carving, chiseling, sanding, and mounting to create huge replicas of food and clothing. For some pieces, she adds other materials like string to add to the effect. The result is a plethora of realistic statues that make you look twice before you realize they're made of stone (and huge!).

Antar wasn't always interested in pop art. Although she has been sculpting since high school, her work was largely abstract. It wasn't until she helped a student finish their project that she became intrigued with realism. She was commissioned to create a Nike shoe and then eventually carved an entire set of footwear.

After 9/11, Antar wanted to celebrate American culture and decided on the most American thing she could think of: junk food. The artist went on to create a whole collection of condiments, cookies, and candy. She also created other American symbols like a jean jacket and boxing gloves. 

"I’ve achieved my goal when the U.S. government writes to tell me I cannot copyright a work of art because it too closely resembles the product that I chose to record in stone," she wrote. "The day I received that letter was one of the happiest days of my life."

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Thomas Quine, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
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Weird
Take a Peek Inside One of Berlin's Strangest Museums
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Thomas Quine, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

Vlad Korneev is a man with an obsession. He's spent years collecting technical and industrial objects from the last century—think iron lungs, World War II gas masks, 1930s fans, and vintage medical prostheses. At his Designpanoptikum in Berlin, which bills itself (accurately) as a "surreal museum of industrial objects," Korneev arranges his collection in fascinating, if disturbing, assemblages. (Atlas Obscura warns that it's "half design museum, half horror house of imagination.") Recently, the Midnight Archive caught up with Vlad for a special tour and some insight into the question visitors inevitably ask—"but what is it, really?" You can watch the full video below.

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Courtesy of Nikon
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science
Microscopic Videos Provide a Rare Close-Up Glimpse of the Natural World
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Courtesy of Nikon

Nature’s wonders aren’t always visible to the naked eye. To celebrate the miniature realm, Nikon’s Small World in Motion digital video competition awards prizes to the most stunning microscopic moving images, as filmed and submitted by photographers and scientists. The winners of the seventh annual competition were just announced on September 21—and you can check out the top submissions below.

FIRST PRIZE

Daniel von Wangenheim, a biologist at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria, took first place with a time-lapse video of thale cress root growth. For the uninitiated, thale cress—known to scientists as Arabidopsis thalianais a small flowering plant, considered by many to be a weed. Plant and genetics researchers like thale cress because of its fast growth cycle, abundant seed production, ability to pollinate itself, and wild genes, which haven’t been subjected to breeding and artificial selection.

Von Wangenheim’s footage condenses 17 hours of root tip growth into just 10 seconds. Magnified with a confocal microscope, the root appears neon green and pink—but von Wangenheim’s work shouldn’t be appreciated only for its aesthetics, he explains in a Nikon news release.

"Once we have a better understanding of the behavior of plant roots and its underlying mechanisms, we can help them grow deeper into the soil to reach water, or defy gravity in upper areas of the soil to adjust their root branching angle to areas with richer nutrients," said von Wangenheim, who studies how plants perceive and respond to gravity. "One step further, this could finally help to successfully grow plants under microgravity conditions in outer space—to provide food for astronauts in long-lasting missions."

SECOND PRIZE

Second place went to Tsutomu Tomita and Shun Miyazaki, both seasoned micro-photographers. They used a stereomicroscope to create a time-lapse video of a sweating fingertip, resulting in footage that’s both mesmerizing and gross.

To prompt the scene, "Tomita created tension amongst the subjects by showing them a video of daredevils climbing to the top of a skyscraper," according to Nikon. "Sweating is a common part of daily life, but being able to see it at a microscopic level is equal parts enlightening and cringe-worthy."

THIRD PRIZE

Third prize was awarded to Satoshi Nishimura, a professor from Japan’s Jichi Medical University who’s also a photography hobbyist. He filmed leukocyte accumulations and platelet aggregations in injured mouse cells. The rainbow-hued video "provides a rare look at how the body reacts to a puncture wound and begins the healing process by creating a blood clot," Nikon said.

To view the complete list of winners, visit Nikon’s website.

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