Medium rare

Think you've seen it all in art? Our series on unusual mediums might just change your mind

Unusual contemporary art

Skip text, view art >

Hirst has his formaldehyde tanks, Paul McCarthy favours large inflatables.

The enormous range of mediums and techniques employed by today's artists is both fascinating and, in many cases, strongly defines their practice.

Of course, true originality is hard to achieve and whatever your schtick, there's a strong chance someone has beaten you to it. But artists constantly strive to widen the envelope of unconvential creativity through highly individual use of medium or method.

Whether the result is great art or simply rates high in the novelty stakes is something we're going to leave you to decide. But our peek at those who dare to be different attests to the ingenuity of artists, as well as the infinitely protean nature of art. Enjoy.


Ben Long

contemporary drawing

Scrawling on dirty vehicles isn't exactly uncommon, but young UK artist Ben Long has literally got it down to a fine art (left and below, right).

He's also a dab hand with scaffolding, transforming this unlikeliest of mediums into impressive large-scale sculptures (below, left).

Unsurprisingly, Long's work has been featured in a wide range of publications, and Londoners have had the chance to see the spectacular stag (shown page top) installed in the Elephant and Castle, an inner-city area currently undergoing massive regeneration.

His ability to turn the drabbest materials into something uplifting means we should probably add him to our survey of artists making the mundane marvellous - but for now he's taking a rightful place alongside those producing highly unusual art.


contemporary sculpture
All images above, © Ben Long

Tom Deininger

unusual contemporary art

It's hard to believe that the homage to Monet shown above, or striking self-portrait (below), consist solely of cast-offs and rummage sale goodies, but toys, trash and a myriad of brightly coloured objects form the basis of 38-year-old Tom Deininger's fiendishly clever collages.

Perfectly colour-blended from a distance, up close there's plenty of fun to be had identifying the vast array of components in his works - and marvelling at how well doll limbs double as nostrils, or Muppets integrate into a bric-a-brac Old Master.


Tom Deininger, close-up detailDetail


Tom Deininger, self portrait

Deininger's most recent recyclable art moves in completely new directions via the re-processing of discarded cigarette butts into intriguing, albeit smelly, objects.

The adorable bunny shown below consists of the furry contents of hundreds of filters, and the artist has also created ciggy sculptures reminiscent of pieces by British artist Sarah Lucas.

Judging by the number of recent searches we've experienced for his work, Deininger is starting to attract definite attention, and we're certainly in favour of his ecological art-making. Just don't go snuggling those butt-end bunnies.


Tom Deininger, cigarette butt bunny rabbit
All images © Tom Deininger

medium rare: continued >

Bookmark and Share


limited edition prints and multiples

back to top

Advertise here

Advertise here

top picks...

gifts, presents, festive, season, Christmas
movies film cinema shows theatre theater

Further articles...

click to scroll left
The art of Jacob Kassay
Jacob Kassay's maximised minimalism
Nicholas Hlobo
Spotlight: Nicholas Hlobo
Swedish art now
Swedish contemporary art
Sculptural form in the contemporary photograph
Form and the photograph
Death, disaster and apocalypse in contemporary art practice
Apocalyptic visions
sex and sexuality in contemporary art
Abstract art now
Recent and emerging artists from Poland
Poles apart: Polish art now
The influence of digitisation on new and recent painting
Digital influence on contemporary painting
Korean contemporary art
New art from Korea
click to scroll right
1 2 3