By Jueseppi B.
Julian Beever is an English chalk artist who has been creating trompe-l’œil chalk drawings on pavement surfaces since the mid-1990s. He uses a projection technique called anamorphosis to create the illusion of three dimensions when viewed from the correct angle. It is often possible to position a person within the image as if they were interacting with the scene.
The Pavement Picasso Julian Beever
Uploaded on Aug 28, 2008
Internationally renowned Artist Julian Beever is often called the “Pavement Picasso” for his enormous 3D pavement sketchings that bring his art well and truly to the streets.
Julian works in chalk, so his art, which takes up to 3 days to complete, is there only as long as the elements allow, “If it rains it means I’ve done a lot of hard work for nothing, but I usually manage to avoid that.”
Julian’s “trompe l’oeil” (or trick of the eye) pavement art is amazing to see. The effect is so convincing people will swerve to avoid potholes he has drawn in the pavement. But just how does he get this incredible effect? “The secret is to set up a camera on a tripod and keep it in one spot and check every mark you make. It’s really just playing with perspective to make it appear different to what it really is.”
Please watch this video to see for yourself…
- Born Cheltenham, UK 1959.
- Grew up in Melton Mowbray from the age of two.
- Attended state schools and studied Art at Leeds Met. University in UK.1979-83.
- Julian Beever is a British artist who began pavement art as a busker, drawing in different countries including the USA, Australia and Europe to fund his travels .
- Began anamorphic pavement illusions in early 90’s.
- Commercial commissions from mid 2000’s.
- Has also worked in a range of different jobs including photographer’s assistant, tree-planter, carpet-fitter, Art teacher, English teacher (TEFL), street entertainer and Punch and Judy Man.
- Made 10 part TV series « Concrete Canvas » (with ElectricSky Productions) in 2007.
- Wrote book « Pavement Chalk Artist » (published by Firefly), featuring his pavement art in 2011 .
His earlier drawings were portraits of well known people which worked best in getting immediate attention from passers-by.
“I got started when I was in a pedestrian street in Brussels where an old garden had been removed. This left an unusual rectangle of paving slabs which gave me the idea to convert this in to a drawn swimming pool in the middle of the high street! It worked so well I tried other variations such as a well with people falling in. I soon realized that if you could make things appear to go into the pavement you could equally make them appear to stand out of it.” says Beever.
Some have dubbed him “the Pavement Picasso” but he says that although this is flattering, his work has little in common with the Spanish Master except perhaps in the fact that Picasso too was interested in 3 dimensionality in his Cubist period.
Beever is now in great demand from corporate business and has worked in 28 different countries.
He still finds time to do drawings for his own satisfaction and for their own sakes.
Each drawing must be seen from one special viewpoint and if the viewer moves from it the illusion is lost and the drawing becomes an unrecognizable distortion.
“My work appeals literally to the man (and woman) in the street and is not confined in galleries or limited by the gallery system”.
It is the internet that has brought it to the attention of the world.
Beever first designs his work on paper. Once finalised, a camera is placed at a distance from the art on the pavement which he returns to in order to observe the image through the lens a number of times, as the camera’s wide-angled lens can create an optical illusion which distorts the actual size of objects, which aids in maintaining perspective.
Beever works internationally as a freelance artist and creates murals for companies and big institutions.
Besides this pavement art, Beever also paints murals with acrylic paints and replicas of the works of masters and oil paintings, and creates collages. Among his other work are drawings, usually themed around music.
In 2010, Beever released a book Pavement Chalk Artist, which includes photographs of many of his works from around the world.
The book is available on Amazon.com.
Now some of Mr. Beever’s work…..
The process is called anamorphosis, which involves drawing a distorted image which gives the impression of a three-dimensional scene from a certain vantage point. According to NPR, the talented artist sets up a camera or a viewfinder in the specific spot he intends his viewers to stand and draws his killer whales and beachy snapshots from that perspective. So if a passerby views the work from that same perspective, the drawings jump to life in their three-dimensional glory. But if they stand from any other position, the chalk creation appears to be elongated fragments of an incomplete design.
Mr. Beever began his pedestrian-friendly art in Brussels and has since been dubbed the “Pavement Picasso,” as he states on his website. He prides himself on the public appeal of his work and credits the Internet for bringing his street art to the world stage. In the past decade, his work has adorned the streets of the UK, US, Turkey, Chile, Japan and other major cities.
How the “Pavement Picasso” Does It
Uploaded on Jan 31, 2007
A time lapse video of Julian Beever creating the Aveeno Fountain of Youth chalk drawing in Union Square, NYC on 01/15/07. See a full gallery of Julian’s work athttp://www.flickr.com/photos/pavement….
Julian Beever in Vienna June 2009
Uploaded on Jul 3, 2009
Julian Beever in Vienna at the Museumsquartier from 14th – 17th June 2009
His web site can be found here…
Thats…..Julian Beever’s Official Website
His Facebook page can be found here…..Julian Beever
As well as a Facebook fan page for his book….
Can be found here………Pavement Chalk Artist: The Three-Dimensional Drawings of Julian Beever
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