With a background in cognitive psychology, I can’t help but find illusions and other perceptual tricks utterly fascinating. As our modes of sensory input are streamlined for efficiency, this leaves a significant and somewhat shocking margin for error.
Combine that knowledge with the world of art, and you’ve got the increasingly popular trend of forced perspective “anamorphic” street drawings (wherein the image and three-dimensional illusion are only properly visible while viewing the piece from a particular location).
Here are 89 of the world’s most mind-bending 3D chalk drawings, from five key artists in the scene.
Born in 1959, this British artist studied art at Leeds Met. University. He began “anamorphic pavement illustrations” in the early ‘90s as a busker.
Premodernist and Postmodernist
Politicians Meeting Their End
Times Square in Times Square
That Hemmed-in Feeling...
Beneath Every Carpark...
Christmas Eve in Santa’s Workshop
Swimming Pool in the High Street
Swimming Pool in the High Street(wrong view)
Make Poverty History(wrong view)
The Great Green Grasshopper
The Great Green Grasshopper (wrong view)
Snail (Back off, Creep...)
Snail (Back off, Creep...)(wrong view)
This German artist was born in 1968, and taught himself painting as a child (most often painting his rural hometown of Straelen). He started doing street art full-time at the age of 25.
Mysterious Cave (in Germany)
Tribute to the Elements
Currently living and working in Spain, this Argentinian artist was born in 1964. He began painting in Rome in 1990, and currently specializes in figurative pieces with a distinctly surrealist feel.
Salida de emergencia del la modernidad
Untitled, Sarasota Chalk Festival
Fusión musical(wrong view)
Cross antes de la campana
Cross antes de la campana(wrong view)
German artist Manfred Stader began street painting while studying at the famous Städel Art School in Frankfurt in the early 1980s. Along with Kurt Wenner, he is known for bringing street painting to Old Mission Santa Barbara in 1987.
Untitled, Genussfestival in Bolzano, Italy
Untitled, Lodz, Poland
Untitled, Ladbrokes, London
Untitled, Hong Kong Illusion of Arts
Green Week, Brussels, Belgium
Reflection of the Cathedral
Untitled, Bern, Switzerland
Untitled, Nimue Bioscience, Poland
Diablo 3, Gamescon, Cologne, France
Untitled, Babushkinsky Park Festival, Moscow
Untitled, Babushkinsky Park Festival, Moscow (wrong view)
An American artist, Kurt Wenner is heralded as the inventor of “anamorphic” 3D chalk art. He began receiving commissions for murals at the age of sixteen and was making a living off of his art by seventeen. After attending both the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and the Art Center College of Design, he was employed by NASA as an advanced scientific illustrator. In 1982, Wenner quit his job at NASA, sold all of his worldly possessions, and moved to Italy to study Renaissance art (where he learned about anamorphism, which he would later employ in his 3D chalk works).
The Interrupted Tea Party
Tracy Lee Stum (American artist, studied at Tyler School of Art)
Joe Hill (founder of 3D Joe and Max)
Game of Thrones Commissioned by HBO