Sidewalk Chalk at its Best – Julian Beever’s works

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Does this look impossible? Read on…
(photo credit julianbeever.net)

Julian Beever is an artist native to the UK who uses sidewalks like never before. He began his work in the mid 90’s in an old garden with large square pavement tiles. He quickly began drawing swimming pools – then people falling into swimming pools – then people and things exploding out of the pavement itself. The evolution that took place in that abandoned garden spread his work around the world and eventually into a full-fledged commission based business.

In my opinion the coolest thing about the drawings is the required perspective. Most photographs of his work are taken from the exact angle necessary to view the illusion. This type of drawing is referred to an “anamorphic.” When you see a photo from the wrong angle you can’t even make out what the image is – then presto – you walk a few steps the left and you’ve got a masterpiece.  For example, what do you think the photo below is of?

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(photo credit julianbeever.net)

Now change the perspective….

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The effect is almost like the stretched out letters on the highway that you can only read when you are zooming over them (not to mention they always write them backwards).

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(photo credit xkcd.com)

So if you want to look through an awesome slideshow of Julian Beever’s work you can take a peek at his site which showcases chalk drawings from around the world.

On the other hand, if you read this and feel inspired you can check out how to make your own anamorphic drawing from Instructables. The photos featured aren’t up to Julian Beever standards but hey, they are still pretty impressive. Next time I have a few hours, a bucket of chalk and a hunk of unadulterated sidewalk I might give this a try!

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About Alex Holt

I am a local artist from Brooklyn, NY. I love art, design, books, photography, gardening and blogging.
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