Here at Colossal we’ve long been fans of photographer Michael Paul Smith whose broad life experiences lead him to the creation of Elgin Park, a fictional 20th century town filled with miniature 1/24th-scale models of cars and buildings. Smith mixes his carefully crafted model sets with die-cut automobiles and real-life backdrops, taking advantage of an optical illusion known as forced perspective. The photos have been a massive hit with the internet, racking up over 70 million views on his Flickr account alone.
Smith recently sat down with documentary director and producer Danny Yourd of Animal to discuss his significant personal challenges and life experiences that are now the driving force behind his photography. This is a must-watch for any creative grappling with aspects of identity or personal history in their artwork. He’s is also on the verge of publishing a new book, Elgin Park, which is available now for preorder. Seen here are some of his most recent photos along with behind-the-scenes views, there’s much more over on Flickr. (via PetaPixel)
Circle of an Abstract Ritual is the latest stop motion timelapse from artist Jeff Frost (previously) who creates short films that defy description. This latest work gathers hundreds of thousands of photographs taken over the last two years during wildfires, riots, and inside abandoned houses where he created a series of optical illusion paintings. Frost says the film “began as an exploration of the idea that creation and destruction might be the same thing,” and that it is in part “a way to get an ever so slight edge on the unknowable.” Whatever it is, or is not, it’s really up to you to decide. I definitely recommend watching through to the end for the scene with trees—keep in mind the entire film was created without digital special effects or graphics. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)
Japanese artist Shintaro Ohata (previously) currently has two new sculptural paintings on view at Mizuma Gallery in Singapore. Ohata places vibrantly painted figurative sculptures in the foreground of similarly styled paintings that when viewed directly appear to be a single artwork. In some sense it appears as though the figures have broken free from the canvas. These artworks, along with several of his other paintings, join works by Yoddogawa Technique, Enpei Ito, Osamu Watanabe, and Akira Yoshida, for the Sweet Paradox show that runs through August 10th. (via F*ck Yeah Painting, My Modern Met)
Vancouver-based artist Fiona Tang creates large-scale murals of animals using charcoal, chalk pastel, and acrylic on paper that at first glance appear 3D. Tang makes use of a technique called trompe l’oeil where shadows and perspective within the two dimensional drawing are used to trick the viewer into thinking the piece is three dimensional. Tang recently graduated from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and you can see more of her work over on Facebook. (via Juxtapoz, My Modern Met)
First: watch the shaky video, it’s all spoilers here on out.
On first view of this clip by Benjamin Dalsgaard Hughes, I was convinced the skewed perspective of the painting was some kind of digital trick on an HD display, somewhat similar to the dancing shadows we saw a few months ago. But then, the sudden disorienting reveal. What! This particular optical illusion is what’s known as reverse perspective painting, where objects (usually rooms) are painted on a physically skewed surface resulting in images that appear in reverse when viewed head on.
The painting above is by Brian Williams and is currently on view as part of a show on 3D art that just opened at The Gallery Ice in Windsor. Perhaps the most well-known artist working with forced perspective is Patrick Hughes. Here he is discussing his own work at Flowers Gallery a few years ago. Love the bit at the end where the entire crowd is squatting up and down to view the painting.
After a two year hiatus from creating their visually brilliant music videos, alternative rock band OK Go are finally back with their latest mind-blowing clip for ‘The Writing’s on the Wall,’ a single from their forthcoming album Hungry Ghosts. The video is 4-minute barrage of optical illusion techniques performed live in-camera (primarily anamorphic projection) that borrow ideas from artists like Bernard Pras, Felice Varini, Bela Borsodi and maybe even a nod to Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3 album cover. All of the scenes are performed one after another in a single take, but probably took untold months of preparation. Love the last shot that reveals the crew.
In this fun series of painted objects titled “It’s not what it seems” by artist Hikaru Cho, common foods are transformed with deftly applied acrylic paints to look like other foods. A banana is turned into a near photo-realistic cucumber, a tomato becomes a tangerine, and even an egg is made into a glistening eggplant. These are actually some of Cho’s “tamer” artworks, as she’s used these same skills with a paintbrush to alter human faces and body parts by adding extra eyes, zippers and mouths. (via Visual News)