anamorphosis

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Art

The Wound: JR's New Anamorphic Artwork Appears to Carve Out the Facade of Florence's Palazzo Strozzi

March 23, 2021

Grace Ebert

“La Ferita” (2021), 28 x 33 meters, Palazzo Strozzi, Florence. Image courtesy of Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, shared with permission

French artist JR unveiled an imposing artwork at Palazzo Strozzi in Florence last week that mimics a massive gash in the institution’s Renaissance-era facade. Spanning 28 x 33 meters, “La Ferita,” or “The Wound,” is an anamorphic collage that appears to reveal the iconic artworks housed inside the building, in addition to a stately courtyard colonnade, exhibition hall, and library. Exposing different parts of the interior as the viewer shifts position, the artwork is in response to the lack of accessibility at cultural institutions since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Completed alongside a team of 11 in two months, the site-specific piece was constructed 30 centimeters in front of the 15th Century ashlar facade with a metal structure and 80 panels of Dibond aluminum. It features JR’s signature photographic style—similar projects were installed at Williamsburg’s Domino Park, the Louvre, and the U.S./Mexico border—and includes a mix of real and imagined elements, including black-and-white renderings of Botticelli’s “Primavera” and “Birth of Venus” and Giambologna’s “The Rape of the Sabine Women,” in addition to prominent spaces like the Istituto Nazionale di Studi sul Rinascimento.

“The Wound” is layered further with references to art history, from its use of the trompe l’oeil technique that grew in popularity in the 1500s to its evocation of ruinism, an 18th Century style that portrayed ancient architecture “as testimonials to a glorious past in a dramatic reflection on the fate of mankind,” a release says, noting that Palazzo Strozzi will not be preserving the piece beyond its initial construction.

Follow JR’s monumental works on Instagram, and shop lithographs and books chronicling his projects on his site.

 

 



Art

An Anamorphic Mural Transforms a Montreal Street into Undulating Sand Dunes

November 3, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © NÓS, by Olivier Bousquet, Eloa Defly, Raphaël Thibodeau, Alex Lesage, and Charles Laurence Proulx

Along the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, sandy drifts swell and surge in a massive mural by the Canadian architecture firm NÓS. Aptly named “Moving Dunes,” the anamorphic artwork is comprised of neutral-toned lines that undulate along the walkway, creating a deceptive path mimicking deserts and beaches. Chrome spheres sporadically appear along the street in order to reflect the surrounding architecture and rippling patterns on the ground.

The 2018 project coincided with the museum’s exhibition, From Africa to the Americas: Face-to-face Picasso, Past and Present, which prompted NÓS to evoke the perspective-bending approach of cubist painters. “Moving Dunes” was chosen after an annual call for proposals to install a large-scale artwork on the Avenue de Musée. Follow NÓS’s latest designs and illusory projects on Instagram. (via designboom)

 

 

 



Art Design

A Massive Wave Crashes in a Seoul Aquarium as Part of the World's Largest Anamorphic Illusion

May 17, 2020

Grace Ebert

An enormous aquarium with perpetually crashing waves has popped up amidst an urban landscape in South Korea, but don’t expect to hear the water sloshing around if you walk by. Designed by District, the elevated tank is actually a massive anamorphic illusion. The digital media company created the public project utilizing an advertising screen that spans 80.1 x 20.1 meters. As shown in the video, the deceptive aquarium looms over the outdoor area and splashes repeatedly into the sides.

For more of District’s illusory works, check out Vimeo and Instagram. (via Design You Trust)

Update: This article has been updated to correct an error that stated that the advertising screen was the world’s largest.

 

 

 



Art Design History

Historic Lithograph Reveals Anamorphic Views of Razed Bank of Philadelphia

February 20, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Horizontorium” (1832), hand-colored lithograph, 22.5 x 16.5 inches

In 1832, artist John Jesse Barker added depth to a drawing by Philadelphia-based William G. Mason to create an optical illusion titled “Horizontorium.” Part of a tradition of anamorphic works, this depiction of the Bank of Philadelphia is one of the two surviving works looking at the historic financial building designed by architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe. At the time, it was the unofficial bank of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that sat at the southwest corner of Fourth and Chestnut streets. The structure was razed in 1836.

Horizontoriums became popular throughout England and France in the 18th century, although this piece is the only one known to be made in America. Viewers would set the lithograph on a flat surface and perpendicularly position their face at the center of the work (note the semicircle on this lithograph suggesting a spot for a chin) to peer over the image. The sharp angle would produce a distorted perspective that appears to project the building and its passersby upward. Sometimes, viewers even would peek through a small hole carved out of paper or cardboard to block out their peripheral vision and give the work a more distinct look. (via Graphic Arts Collection, The Morning News)

“Horizontorium” (1832), hand-colored lithograph, 22.5 x 16.5 inches

“Horizontorium” (1832), hand-colored lithograph, 22.5 x 16.5 inches

“Horizontorium” (1832), hand-colored lithograph, 22.5 x 16.5 inches

“Horizontorium” (1832), hand-colored lithograph, 22.5 x 16.5 inches

 

 



Art

Head Instructor: A New Glass Sculpture by Thomas Medicus Analyzes the Human Mind Through Four Anamorphic Images

January 15, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Thomas Medicus (previously) is a master of illusion. The Austria-based artist builds sculptures from segments of painted and hand-cut glass which present a different image depending on which angle you view the rotating cube. In his most recent work, Head Instructor, concept follows form. The piece presents several viewpoints of an androgynous human’s head, showcasing the hidden thoughts and viewpoints that might occupy one’s mind.

“In Head Instructor I tried to show that when you look at a person, a brain, or the world, what you will see always depends on your perspective and the method you use,” he explains to Colossal. “There are always facets that will remain fragmented or hidden when you only approach from only one side.” You can take a look behind-the-scenes of how one of his hand-painted panels is constructed on Vimeo, and see more of his perspective-altering work on Instagram and Facebook. (via Colossal Submissions)

 

 



Art

Larger-Than-Life Insects Lurk Around Abandoned Buildings in Anamorphic Street Art by Odeith

July 31, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Though mostly known for his trompe l’oeil lettering, Portuguese street artist Odeith has recently been adding larger-than-life insects to his repertoire. Many of the wall-based works are placed in corners and require careful planning to achieve an anamorphic effect. You can see more from Odeith on Instagram.