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The Man Who Turned His Home Into a ‘Mosaic Palace’

Yossi LugasiThis from AtlasObscura:

Yossi Lugasi was tired during the final months of his life. He had a hard time getting out of bed, moving or eating. His wife, Yaffa, begged him to finish the portrait of Donald Trump he started working on when he was still feeling better. Lugasi would get up, drag himself to his work table, glue some orange, pink and yellow mosaic pieces to a net, and go back to bed.

Lugasi passed away a year ago. The small mosaic portrait of Trump hangs in a discreet corner of the living room in his apartment, in the Israeli port city of Jaffa. It is hidden among hundreds of such portraits, mostly of Zionist leaders, Jewish historical figures, and Israeli pop culture icons. The portraits cover the walls, doors, door frames and floors of the humble housing project apartment. They spill out onto the roof: artists and actors, prime ministers, presidents and philosophers, Holocaust martyrs, war heroes, members of failed American peace conferences, and the spy Eli Cohen, portrayed by Sacha Baron Cohen in the Netflix series The Spy. The portraits hang on walls on the roof, overlooking the Jaffa projects, blending into a landscape of solar water heaters and clothes lines. Over four decades, Lugasi—who left school during the 5th grade, was barely literate and never studied art formally—created no less than 1,090 mosaics.

Lugasi was born in Morocco in 1949, to a family of eight siblings. In 1954, during the great immigration of Jews from Islamic countries to Israel, his family arrived at a tent camp for recent immigrants in the Beit She’an Valley. His mother Aliyah worked as a seamstress, and his father Eliyahu painted houses. Lugasi’s workroom features a murky oil painting of a hill covered with tents. At the front of the painting a woman sits on a pile of suitcases, watching children playing in the mud.

When he turned 13, as a bar mitzvah present, he went to visit his friends from the absorption camp back in the 1950s. The friends had moved to the poor ‘“development town” of Beit She’an. The camp was razed, and beneath it were found the remains of the grand Roman and Byzantine city Scythopolis and its many mosaics. As an adult, when he couldn’t find a place to store drawings that were vulnerable to the rain and sun, Lugasi chose as his medium the eternal mosaic, which, like in Scythopolis, never peels or fades.

Today, impossible meetings occur on Lugasi’s roof, under the strong Jaffa sun: Ben Gurion is watching Clinton and Elvis is staring at Itzhak Rabin. One could expect Lugasi to reject those people, the representatives of an establishment that marginalized him. Avi says his father did the exact opposite: He built a shrine to them, and so reclaimed power. “His creation,” Avi says, “complements his life story.”


Hybrid Sneakers

Wassink-model-3-625x418A great pair of shoes has become the ultimate fashion statement. People will go to great lengths for limited edition kicks, custom shoes, and one-of-a-kind “statements for your feet.” So, it should be no surprise that Sander Wassink’s reconstructed, hybrid shoes are turning some heads.

Sander Wassink is an artist/designer that uses discarded and left over materials for his projects in an attempt to reimagine a new purpose for an existing commodity. To this end, his reconstructed hybrid shoes envision a life for designer knockoffs by using bits and pieces from many different pairs to make something new.


Broken Plates Christmas Tree

Creative agency Mooz has created the ‘Taste Tree’ which is made up of 5,000 crockery items donated by various people. The installation was in collaboration with the local residents of the city of Hasselt, which is known as the ‘Capital of Taste’ in Belgium. Inge Vanluyd and Stefan Vangergen of Mooz, came up with the idea after they noticed that friends and family had odd plates and cups hanging around the house that otherwise would have remained “invisible.”

The impressive porcelain Christmas tree reaches nine meters high and six meters in diameter. It will remain in the main square of Hasselt until 6 January, 2013. Take a look at some of the photos below:

Taste-Tree-porcelain-Christmas-Tree-236x190 Taste-Tree-porcelain-Christmas-Tree-236x190


Lottery Tickets As Recycled Art

Lottocar I am all for recycling and when you can recycle and transform the material into art, that is a win win. So I was excited to read about Ghost of A Dream and their lottery ticket art effort. I for one have a few tickets to send them for their effort!
 
 
Lottery tickets can make or break dreams, but they can also be transformed into beautiful objects in their own right. Ghost of a Dream, a team of two Rhode Island School of Design Graduates, has created one of the most astounding sets of recycled art that we’ve seen in a long time, using a cheeky combination of lottery tickets and romance novels.