In The Name Of Art: 4 Cases Of Extreme Creativity

These four artists are giving the conventional art world a run for its money.

Dr. Rev Mayers: Bloody Paintings

With a name like Dr. Rev, it’s no surprise the acclaimed Australian tattoo artist has established a slew of uniquely bizarre pieces, but it’s his materials that are especially remarkable. That’s because Dr. Rev makes art using an airbrush filled with his own blood. Yes, really. Practicing the technique for more than seven years, the tattooist admits to removing one pint of blood every 54 days from his own body, and has experienced such side effects as lack of energy and concentration, and feeling generally run down. However nothing seems to be stopping the doctor from adding his personal touch anytime soon. 

Abraham Poincheval: In The Skin of a Bear

Photo: Thomas Samson / AFP / Getty Images

Abraham Poincheval – a French artist known for his intense performance installations – recently spent 13 days crammed inside the carcass of a grizzly bear to demonstrate a “rebirth.” Excavated by Poincheval himself, the carcass was partially reconstructed to accommodate the artist’s needs, but remained covered with the bear’s original skin and fur. Weighing in at 115 lbs., the structure was also installed with a semi-upright chair for comfort, exercise bands for movement, and a feeding compartment fit for…well…a bear. A canister of various plants, berries, insects, honey, and fruit was available for feeding time. Despite the unappealing nature of the performance, this isn’t even the most extreme piece Poincheval has taken part in. The artist gained recognition two years ago for spending a week underground, “relaxing” in a hole barely big enough to sit down in. Whatever you’re into, dude.

Orestes De La Paz: Making Soap

Leaving your surgically removed body fat at the hospital is for suckers, or so Miami artist Orestes De La Paz would seem to think; he took his liposuction leftovers and turned them into a work of art. Searching for an impressive topic for his senior thesis, the FIU graduate settled on having three liters of fat removed from his body, and using it to craft bars of soap. With a video camera rolling throughout the entire process – including during the actual surgery – La Paz unveiled his artistic experiment at the Frost Art Museum in 2013. The soaps were also available for purchase, at the low, low price of $1,000.

Ani K: Oral Artwork

Photo: Barcroft Media / Landov

India-based artist Ani K has made a name for himself not because of what he’s created, per se, but because of how he’s created itusing only his tongue. Claiming to have crafted over 1,000 works of art with this technique, the school teacher began his oral arts career simply because he wanted to be a “different kind of artist.” After watching a street artist paint with his feet, Ani settled on using his tongue to make his works more distinctive. Naturally, there are a few drawbacks to forgoing the typical paintbrush; Despite steering clear of non-toxic paints, the artist still experiences substantial side effects, including jaw pains, headaches, slight loss of vision, and memory impairment, all of which tend to stick around for at least two weeks. Sure, it may sound mildly insane, but after seeing his work, it all makes sense.