Artists sometimes explore unique and unconventional methods in their attempts to create masterpieces. Some take things a bit further and turn to very obscure art forms or even end up creating their own. These artists’ work can either make us go, “Wow!” or cringe in disgust.
Some artists take to painting with unconventional paints made from their own feces or semen. Others turn their own genitalia into brushes. Some media artists also use unexpected programs like Microsoft Excel to create their artworks. Whatever their methodology, every artist on this list has some unique selling point.
When we think of Microsoft Excel, we think of spreadsheets and the occasional graph. But thanks to Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi, we can start thinking of art, too.
Horiuchi uses Excel to draw, which is the last thing most people would consider using it for. Horiuchi started to use Excel to draw at the time he neared retirement. He had never used the program before then but had seen his workmates use it to make spreadsheets and graphs. The colorful graphs were the reason Horiuchi thought Excel would make a good drawing program.
Horiuchi did not consider regular graphic and drawing programs because they were too expensive. Excel also came preinstalled in Windows, which made it sort of free of charge. Horiuchi continues to make unbelievable artworks with Excel, which he says is easier to use than Microsoft Paint.
Tim Patch is an Australian artist who paints with his penis. No joke; he uses his penis as if it were a paintbrush. This is why he calls himself Pricasso, which is obviously a portmanteau of “prick” and “Picasso.”
Patch got the idea to use his member as a drawing tool while attending a Christmas party. He quickly checked the Internet and was glad to discover that no one was doing something similar.
He started off with dipping his penis into regular acrylic paint and rubbing it on canvas, but the canvas was too harsh on his penis. These days, he mixes the paint with petroleum jelly before applying it to the canvas.
German artist Martin von Ostrowski paints with his own feces and semen. Ostrowski first made the news when he created a painting of Adolf Hitler using his poop. He later created fecal paintings of Friedrich the Great, Otto von Bismarck, and Kaiser Wilhelm II—all of whom had ruled Germany or its predecessor states at some point.
Ostrowski also got the idea to use his semen as paint after observing some oil paintings of ejaculations created by an unnamed artist sometime in 1988. That artist masturbated on his artworks, as the paint didn’t look authentic enough. Ostrowski does not masturbate on his paintings, though. Instead, he masturbates and freezes his semen for later use.
Ostrowski says he had to orgasm over 1,000 times between 2003 and 2008 for his art. A single portrait requires 40 ejaculations. The Gay Museum in Berlin, which exhibited Ostrowski’s work in 2008, claimed that the smell of dried semen set off sexual feelings in people. Nevertheless, Ostrowski says he is just being organic.
Milo Moire is a performance artist who paints with her vagina. She calls her art form PlopEgg painting. This is because she inserts small eggs filled with ink and paint into her vagina. Then she stands over a canvas and aims the eggs right at it. The eggs burst as they hit the canvas, creating a splashing effect. The piece pictured above is called The PlopEgg Painting Performance #1—A Birth Of A Picture.
Moire, who is often naked during her performances, says PlopEgg is all about feminism. However, some people do not think so. Jezebel called it “the best advertisement you’ll ever see for Kegel exercises.” The Guardian was more critical with its words. It called her work “silly” and said it should be considered a “joke.”
The Guardian added that PlopEgg was Moire’s weird but desperate attempt at becoming popular. The writer said that it made no sense, even though many artists thought it did. The Guardian then went on to attack performance art, saying that people who claim to be fascinated by performance art were either lying or likely to fall for dumb ideas.
Tim Patch is not the only artist capable of painting with his penis. Danish artist Uwe Max Jensen paints with his genitals as well. Jensen’s most popular penis artwork is a recreation of Kim Kardashian’s famous “Break the Internet” photo where she bared her naked butt to the camera.
Jensen painted the portrait by inserting his penis in acrylic paint and applying it straight on the canvas. In an interview with The Daily Dot, Jensen mentioned that larger penises are better for painting because they can recreate small details which smaller penises cannot. He added that he held his penis and the canvas in his hands until he completed the painting.
Jensen also revealed that the Kim Kardashian portrait was actually the second painting he’d done with his penis. The first was a portrait of a male politician in his native Denmark. He gave the portrait to a friend but sent a picture of it to the politician through Facebook. The politician responded by blocking him.
The two penis artworks add to the list of eccentric things Jensen has done. He has made the news before for destroying the head of a statue of the Little Mermaid as well as for urinating in a water sculpture exhibited in a museum.
Graham Fink draws using only his eyes and computer software. Fink had a programmer develop a special software program that tracks his eye movement. The setup works with two infrared lights that are directed into his eyes.
A camera tracks the movement of his eyes and sends it to the software. The software straightens the lines Fink makes with his eyes, which soon become visible on his computer. And it continues like that until Fink completes a drawing.
Fink requires lots of concentration to complete a single drawing. He makes the drawing using a single line, since breaking off eye contact would end the portrait. He is also unable to erase anything. Fink says he spends between five minutes and an hour to create a single portrait, depending on his level of concentration.
Like Fink, Ian Sklarsky draws with just a single line. However, he does not use any software. Instead, he uses his hands. Interestingly, Sklarsky does not look at his artwork until it is completed. This technique is called blind contour drawing—an art form that forbids an artist from looking at his drawing until it is completed.
Sklarsky says he has been making blind contour drawings since childhood. He often visits bars and events where he creates blind contour drawings for interested people. A single drawing takes seven minutes to complete, after which he will sometimes add colors while looking at the drawing.
Fire is one thing that we generally want to keep away from our artworks. However, Steven Spazuk wants his art near fire because that’s how he creates it. To be clear, Spazuk does not actually paint with the fire but with the soot from the flame.
This art form is called fumage and was not invented by Spazuk. It has been practiced by artists throughout history. In fact, historians suspect early humans used it to create cave paintings.
Spazuk creates fumage paintings by putting his artwork right above a candle or blowtorch. The soot from the flame rises to the paper, where it forms blackened outlines. Thereafter, Spazuk draws around the soot using a pencil or feather. Sometimes, he uses acrylic paints to add more color to the artwork.
The process of creating fumage on paper is a bit complicated, since the paper needs to be as far away as possible from the flame to make sure it does not catch fire. At the same time, it needs to be near enough so that the soot will create the required outline.
Spazuk said he got the idea of painting with soot after dreaming about wandering into an art gallery. The gallery was black and white, which Spazuk said was caused by soot after a fire. He tried out the fumage technique the next day. However, the paper repeatedly burned until he switched to a thicker cardboard paper.
John Bramblitt is blind. You’d think painting would be the last thing he would consider for a career, since he obviously needs to see to get the job done. However, he has broken that barrier and proven that you do not need sight to become a painter.
Bramblitt lost his sight after suffering complications caused by epilepsy when he was just 30 years old. He fell into a serious depression—one which he only defeated by painting. Bramblitt paints by using his hands to trace the outline of drawings he makes himself. He determines and mixes his colors by just feeling their textures.
Interestingly, Bramblitt draws people, too. He cannot see but makes a mental outline of his subject’s face after touching it with his fingers. This simple touch is more than enough for him to create a portrait of the person.
Cops have a hard time catching graffiti artists. It seems that it’ll only get harder as graffiti artists turn to drones. In 2015, Katsu, a popular and radical but anonymous graffiti artist created the first drone graffiti when he attached a spray can to a DJI Phantom drone.
His target was a six-story-tall billboard of Kendall Jenner in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. Katsu used the drone to spray red paint on Jenner’s face. Katsu later commented on the incident, saying, “It’s exciting to see [drones’] first potential use as a device for vandalism.”
Katsu made the news earlier that same year when he used his poop to create a smiling portrait of Mark Zuckerberg. Katsu does not like Zuckerberg, and his criticism of the Facebook billionaire worsened after he watched The Social Network, a movie about the founding of Facebook. Katsu had earlier attacked Zuckerberg by pasting posters of him with a blackened eye around New York.
For the poop portrait, Katsu ate a lot of Thai food before pooping into a container. He was so dedicated to the task that he used a mirror to confirm that his fecal matter was getting into the container. Then he drew Zuckerberg, using his poop in place of a pencil.
Katsu later stated that the whole thing was so messy that he frequently changed his gloves. He also wore a respirator and had incense burning to weaken the smell. He added that it is actually difficult to draw with feces, since poop contains excessive amounts of moisture that could destroy the artwork.