Beautiful nude wine cork portraits by Conrad Engelhardt





An artist from California now based in Shoreditch has found a novel and creatively beautiful way to reuse old wine corks by painstakingly piecing together stunningly detailed nude portraits.

Using between 2,000 and 5,000 corks courtesy of donations made by some of London’s top restaurants, Conrad Engelhardt assembles these large murals which often then feature in a plethora of the capital’s top eateries such as Les Trois Garcons and The Boundary.

On the artist’s website Engelhardt admits his background in chemistry, the subject he studied at California Polytechnic State University, has given him a "deep appreciation for the complexity of wine". He intimates the unique and diverse “components in wine work together to achieve a unique and characteristic taste sensation."
 
 
Venus Unfinished (2012) - F. Conrad Engelhardt 
 
In regards to his subsequently eye-catching creations, Engelhardt adds: “Wine corks offer a unique media that capture the essence of their parent wines and as they are natural materials they also mirror nature's imperfections."

Using thousands of staples to arrange the corks on artist boards, the wine inspired artist keeps his medium in barrels and chooses each one according to their unique hue.

Speaking to the Daily Mail, Engelhardt said: "Every piece is based on a challenge to myself, like can I make the illusion of folded fabric?

"I tried to make a landscape but the scale needs to be much, much larger.

"Mosaics are like a coded representation - they need to tap into something the observer is familiar with, like the female form.

"Even if the silhouette isn’t perfect, your eyes can still get an impression from it and people fill in the blanks."

Inspired by the Impressionist movement and by photo-realist artist Chuck Close, Conrad’s work can take in excess of 30 hours and he is currently working on a portrait of Marilyn Monroe.

"The magical allure is that up close the image is merely suggestive,” the artists explains on his website Cork by Cork, “But as the observer backs away the artwork takes advantage of the human eye's narrow focal point and the corks begin to blend together until the moment when the image appears sharp and unmistakable."

To view the artist’s work visit his website www.corkbycork.com.
 
 
In Progress - Redhead Profile - F. Conrad Engelhardt 
 
Main Image: Diptych, Back Of Woman Seated With Blanket (2012) - F. Conrad Engelhardt
 

Written by: Ben Moss

Ben Moss 

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