The Chalk On The Street
Meet the most amazing anamorphic 3-D street artists around the world
By Stephen Joseph
Anamorphosis is a distorted projection or perspective requiring the viewer to occupy a specific vantage point to reconstitute the image in a remarkable three-dimensional manner.
Kurt Wenner is the father of anamorphic 3-D street art, a genre he helped create in the ’80s, creating chalk paintings in the streets of Italy. Wenner has come a long way from his days of trying to protect his work from his spectators to designing his work around them. “I used to think of the pavement art in terms of a drawing demonstration. I wanted to show young Italians that one could still work in that way. But later on, people started interacting with the images more. And I started to design the images around that fact. Now it’s a huge part of my designs, ‘Where are people going to stand? How are they going to participate in the image?’” Wenner feels that the art is the relationship between the work, the environment, and the people.
“For me, no art exists without the spectator.”
Juandres Vera is a successful anamorphic 3-D artist who originally went to college to be a director. His work behind the camera prepared him for creating street art, “I had to apply my knowledge in the basics of how the optics works in the perspective from a single point of view which is the start point of every 3-D illusion. I’m always looking for a framing based on the average lens of the audience so everybody can get the most of the composition and the best shot possible when they are interacting with the street painting piece.”
“When it comes to my art, I’m looking for the audience to take away a smile, a moment of joy.”
Joe Hill is one half of “3D Joe & Max,” an anamorphic street art team who hold the world record for the largest piece of street art ever created. Despite his success in the field of anamorphic street art, Joe originally started his art career as a portrait painter to subsidize his college education. “I got into street art by accident, actually. I was commissioned to do a chalk painting in the streets of Spain, and thought that it would just be a one-off thing. But I found that I loved it.”
“I always start with, ‘Where’s the ideal spot for a person to stand?’ and then I create the image around that.”
Vera Bugatti first started painting anamorphic street art 4 years ago. “I did not receive a formal training. I always painted and I grew step by step, making mistakes, learning on the street.” Her favorite projects are the ones in which she can convey messages in which she’s more free to design what she’s feeling. “Expressing feelings, giving messages, and traveling and meeting interesting people makes you discover new aspects of thinking and be. Since I consider street-painting as a part of my artistic path I try to find new subjects and more different suggestions to have a dialogue with. It’s a way for me above all.”
“People are absolutely fascinated by anamorphic art. They find it magic.”