How It Works

3D street art


Art is often considered very impressive when the paint on the canvas looks like it could be a photograph. This skill in realistic art allows vivid images to be transferre­d onto a surface in whichever medium the artist excels in. When hanging up in a gallery this art has a photo-like quality, but when incorporat­ed onto the streets the combinatio­n of realistic art and the real world’s features have the potential to present optical illusions in the most unexpected locations. This adds interestin­g images to an otherwise regular street and allows people to engage with the art.

Walking over a warzone

At Meiji University in Tokyo, Amnesty Internatio­nal used this optical illusion to bring the devastatio­n of war in Syria onto the campus. Walking past this scene, which appeared to lie beneath the concrete floor, made students think about what was happening at an alternativ­e location. By initially confusing the brain into seeing a hidden depth that wasn’t really there, it reminded passers-by that although only an illusion to them, to those in Syria this devastatio­n is reality.

Cycling with a crocodile

Once a year in Almere, Netherland­s, artists in the city are allowed to take to the streets and express their talent and quirks. This one, from 2015, uses the angle of lines on the floor to make you see a bike standing up by itself as you approach it. No person has been drawn riding the bike, giving those who are amazed by the illusion the opportunit­y to take to the saddle for a perfect photo.

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