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Nathan Wyburn
Nathan Wyburn

Artist Nathan Wyburn Likes to Play With His Food

Nathan Wyburn
Nathan Wyburn

If anyone ever told Nathan Wyburn not to play with his food, he wasn't listening. And it's a good thing. For the past five years, the Cardiff-based artist has been turning foodstuffs into fine art.

“It was a newspaper headline about Simon Cowell saying ‘Love Him or Hate Him,’ and I instantly thought of marmite as that’s their slogan,” says Wyburn of how the idea of using food as a medium originated. “Toast seemed a very fitting canvas to keep it authentic and quirky!”

That Cowell was the inspiration behind Wyburn’s food art only seems appropriate, given that the 25-year-old appeared on Britain’s Got Talent in 2011, where he created an on-the-spot toast and marmite portrait of host Michael McIntyre. While Cowell was the first food art portrait Wyburn created, “I can remember sketching portraits of my favorite childhood TV stars like the Power Rangers and Buffy the Vampire Slayer when I was about eight years old with my father.”

Wyburn has merged his unique creative talent with what he describes as “a very Warhol-like obsession with pop culture” into a one-of-a-kind portfolio that’s both fun and fascinating to look at, as evidenced by the pieces below, which range from a slice of Obama to peanut butter and Britney Spears. 

1. JUDY GARLAND

Inspired by her singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in The Wizard of Oz, Wyburn used Rainbow Drops Sweets to create this portrait of the legendary singer-actress.

2. BRITNEY SPEARS

"America's most loved snack/spread for America's sweetheart!" is how Wyburn describes his peanut butter and jelly painting of the pop princess.

3. BOB MARLEY

Wyburn painted "the most iconic reggae singer of all time" with Reggae Reggae BBQ Sauce.

4. Cara Delevingne

Wyburn chose crisps for his portrait of the model-actress, because "I liked the irony of a super model created from carbs snacks." For her part, Delevingne was impressed, tweeting "Thank you Nathan Wyburn for making me out of biscuits!!"

5. DAVID BECKHAM

In the case of David Beckham, Wyburn let the footballer inspire his method—not his medium—and painted this with his feet.

6. KATY PERRY

Inspired by her hit song "Roar"—and the fact that she refers to her fans as "Katy cats"—Wyburn utilized cat food to create this Perry portrait.

7. BARACK OBAMA

"Pizza has become a very Americanized meal and I therefore thought the President of America would be fun," says Wyburn of this multi-topping Obama pie.

8. LADY GAGA

"In Wales we call soda 'pop,'" says Wyburn. "Inspired by her Artpop album, I wanted to make her art with pop."

9. SIMON COWELL

The celebrity who inspired it all: Simon Cowell's marmite on toast. "Marmite's slogan is 'you either love it or hate it,'" explains Wyburn. "Most say the same applies for Simon!"

10. QUEEN ELIZABETH

Royalty is no match for Wyburn, who made The Queen out of Greek delicacies, "Created for the opening of a Greek restaurant in Windsor."

11. MILEY CYRUS

"Inspired by her trademark poking out of her tongue, I used paint on the end of my tongue to lick the canvas," says Wyburn.

12. STEPHEN FRY

Playing up the actor-comedian's surname, Wyburn assembled this portrait out of egg fried rice & vegetables.

13. TWIGGY

Loving the "name relation," Wyburn used Twiglets for Twiggy.

14. COSETTE

"Inspired by the colors and the French connection," Wyburn used piles of Bic pen parts to create this portrait of Les Misérables' Cosette. 

15. WILL & KATE

Wyburn utilized thousands of folded babygrows (sort of like onesies) to celebrate the birth of Princess Charlotte.

16. MARILYN MONROE

Marilyn Monroe graces the cover of Wyburn's first book, Not That Kind of Art, which will be out this year. "It's made up of marmite on toast, chocolate, peanut butter and jelly, toothpaste, and baked beans."

All images courtesy of Nathan Wyburn

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Watch a Chain of Dominos Climb a Flight of Stairs
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Dominos are made to fall down—it's what they do. But in the hands of 19-year-old professional domino artist Lily Hevesh, known as Hevesh5 on YouTube, the tiny plastic tiles can be arranged to fall up a flight of stairs in spectacular fashion.

The video spotted by Thrillist shows the chain reaction being set off at the top a staircase. The momentum travels to the bottom of the stairs and is then carried back up through a Rube Goldberg machine of balls, cups, dominos, and other toys spanning the steps. The contraption leads back up to the platform where it began, only to end with a basketball bouncing down the steps and toppling a wall of dominos below.

The domino art seems to flow effortlessly, but it took more than a few shots to get it right. The footage below shows the 32nd attempt at having all the elements come together in one, unbroken take. (You can catch the blooper at the end of an uncooperative basketball ruining a near-perfect run.)

Hevesh’s domino chains that don't appear to defy gravity are no less impressive. Check out this ambitious rainbow domino spiral that took her 25 hours to construct.

[h/t Thrillist]

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A Secret Room Full of Michelangelo's Sketches Will Soon Open in Florence
Claudio Giovannini/AFP/Getty Images
Claudio Giovannini/AFP/Getty Images

Parents all over the world have chastised their children for drawing on the walls. But when you're Michelangelo, you've got some leeway. According to The Local, the Medici Chapels, part of the Bargello museum in Florence, Italy, has announced that it plans to open a largely unseen room full of the artist's sketches to the public by 2020.

Roughly 40 years ago, curators of the chapels at the Basilica di San Lorenzo had a very Dan Brown moment when they discovered a trap door in a wardrobe leading to an underground room that appeared to have works from Michelangelo covering its walls. The tiny retreat is thought to be a place where the artist hid out in 1530 after upsetting the Medicis—his patrons—by joining a revolt against their control of Florence. While in self-imposed exile for several months, he apparently spent his time drawing on whatever surfaces were available.

A drawing by Michelangelo under the Medici Chapels in Florence
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Museum officials previously believed the room and the charcoal drawings were too fragile to risk visitors, but have since had a change of heart, leading to their plan to renovate the building and create new attractions. While not all of the work is thought to be attributable to the famed artist, there's enough of it in the subterranean chamber—including drawings of Jesus and even recreations of portions of the Sistine Chapel—to make a trip worthwhile.

[h/t The Local]

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