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John pugh art of illusion John pugh art of illusion Presentation Transcript

  • JOHN PUGH ART OF ILLUSION Click to advance
  • By weaving the powerful story-telling abilities of the narrative mural into the engaging impact of the life-size trompe l'oeil illusion artist John Pugh has created a stimulating and enlightening venue for both public and private art. His murals have been instrumental in revitalizing the trompe l'oeil genre as a vital mode of artistic expression that is both aesthetically and intellectually challenging. By the synthesis of deception and enlightenment Pugh has legitimatised and expanded the horizons of the trompe l'oeil mural. He has created a truly monumental body of work and an artistic style worthy of its own descriptive expression: Narrative Illusionism.” Kevin Bruce, author of the upcoming book "The Monumental Murals of John Pugh" Siete Punto Uno The mural Siete Punto Uno is located on Main Street in the town of Los Gatos, California. Los Gatos was one of the communities that suffered the most significant damage from the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. Considered the propitiator of earthquakes, the Mayan jaguar god (as represented in the mural) is grafted with the "cats" of Los Gatos to become one of the key metaphors of this concept.
  • Siete Punto Uno
  • She's not real after all Visage from the past
  • L arger than life, the epic wave behind surfer pioneer Duke Kahanamoku is Queen Lili’uokalani herself. Bold and defiant, she endures the tide of western conquests. This glass wave monument honors her spirit that still pounds in the hearts of her people, and unfurls the forged legacy she left behind. On the balcony below are children who have come to offer gifts and to share a loha . Spiritual and virtuous, Queen Lili’uokalani made sure all future children of Hawaii would have an Ohana (a loving family). Also included in a window by her side is another great Hawaiian – Prince Kuhio - who encouraged, counseled, and supported her. With curved blocks of aqua jeweled glass, the effect of light coming through from a skylight above is similar to the effect in a real wave. This allows the viewer to bask in ‘the zone’ of a surfer’s world. The balcony visually integrates with the building and is ornamented with lush elegant urns, and a grand staircase that issues forth like sea foam.
  • This mural was made possible through an international competition and by the vision of building owner Richard Wasnich M.D. His vision will continue on with a park that integrates with the mural, intending to create a meditative sacred space. Also, mahalo to Kauila Clark for his council and the guided journey through the rich culture and spirit of Hawaii. Mana Nalu Mural Project “At last here are some images of my mural entitled Mana Nalu (power of the wave) that was recently completed in Honolulu. I had the help of 14 other artists, many of which were local Hawaiians, and others were from California and across the country. The dedication / blessing was a heartfelt event, with two Kapunas (Hawaiian ministers), children blowing Conch shells, and traditional singing groups. It was a great cultural experience, as the mural was received openly by the Hawaiian community. It was the most consuming project that I've ever done, but in the end I felt like I really belonged there.
  • One incident that happened after the mural was near completion - A fire truck with crew stopped in the middle of traffic and jumped out to rescue the children in the mural. They got about 15 feet away and then doubled over laughing that they were fooled into an emergency response mode. I don't think that there were any liability issues for a false report :) Peace and Aloha, John
  • Mana Nalu Mural Project - Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Queen
  • Duke Kahanamoku
  • Children Detail
  • Totem Anchorage Project Perhaps the title Totem best describes the overall 'dimensions of life' concept explored in these murals. As a project for a high school auditorium, these pieces investigate both educational and traditional sides of life. On the 'closest' surface, an exhibition of vintage photos surveys the many layers of early Alaskan life. At this level we view chapters of early settlers/families and their land. There's something about looking into the life-sized eyes of children that would now be 110 adds poignancy to the story. The framed photos start to billow and metamorphose into curtains. As curtains, they are drawn to reveal two theater stages. Looming in the darkness one of these presentations - the DNA double helix - characterizes life itself, while the other bay houses an ancient Greek colonnade: a temple of science, philosophy, and the arts.
  • Reaching up like totems, the Doric columns support a ceiling fresco of Mycenaean flying fish. As the capitols touch this membrane of life, the upper portions of the columns are illuminated with greater clarity - as if the contact with life defines their substance, or even their existence. The colorful double helix model is the ultimate totem. Like insects preserved in amber, the random animals represented in the jewel-like acid strands add a new dimension to the genome. The sequence of acid strands is paralleled to a sequence of spirit animals not unlike the totems that define specific clans. Both are the building blocks of life. This hybrid of science and mysticism is symbolic of Alaska’s time-honored traditions as well as its place in the modern world.
  • Totem - Anchorage, Alaska
  • Column detail
  • No single event in the last 100 years has had such a dramatic and lasting effect on Bishop than the draining of Owens Valley. In providing more water for Los Angeles the result here was the loss of a vast fertile land. Here too, was a great loss of life and the loss of a great life . And here in the drying fields, a war of rights was waged whose embers still glow undoused even today. These are historical facts. In this piece entitled Drain , an agricultural Shangri La appears as a mural within a mural. This vision of the valley's past derives from old paintings and photos, book descriptions, interviews, and visits to the less effected areas of Owens Valley. Breathing sweet orchard blossoms while gazing at the lush glory of this place 100 years ago, this depiction is not meant to portray a specific vantage point yet rather allow the viewer an ambient experience of the ecology.
  • If your eyes are diverted to the drainpipe, this is by design. Like a black hole that allows no light to escape, the protruding drainpipe absorbs all color in its proximity. The odd shape surrounding the pipe is actually a preserved section of the under painting, but conceptually it serves as an after image, or 'ghost blotch'. It is a stain that is created by the absence of color information - or metaphorically, of life. Written words like 'water' and 'tree' or even 'green' are some of the sketch notes, but historically these are the line items that have virtually disappeared into the drain. On October 6, 2005 the regional director of the LADWP (Los Angeles Department of Water & Power) fired-off a threatening letter about this mural to Bishop City officials and the Mural Society. It created quite a stir. Since the story came out in the New York Times on November 3, articles have appeared worldwide, as far away as the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian National Daily Newspaper .
  • Drain - City of Bishop, California
  • Drain - Bishop, CA-- Before
  • Drain - Bishop, CA--After
  • The Joshua Tree Chronicles A tribute to the Victor Valley of 1870 to 1920, the Joshua Tree Chronicles is a mural on a the landing between floors in the library at Victor Valley Community College. In it there are three layers symbolizing distinct subjects and times in local history. Closest to the viewer, on the front of the fallen canvas, three High Desert icons loom above the Upper Narrows of the Mojave River: Mrs. E.M. Potts, founder of the Golden State Portland Cement Co. in Oro Grande; William S.Hart, the cowboy actor, director and producer; and Maria Chapuli, known to locals as Indian Marie. Below the portrait of Potts, a cement plant salutes her contributions to industry. A horse and mule team and a railroad train represent Victorville's importance as a transportation center.
  • The second layer of the mural appears on the back of the canvas, revealed as it peels from the frame. In the style of an 1890's circus poster, the image of oranges stuck to Joshua trees alludes to the wily land-developers who prettied up Joshuas in order to fool investors eager to get rich as citrus growers. Even if myth, the story: 1) is a good joke, 2) illustrates the importance of real estate to the Victor Valley economy. The third Layer, the earliest in sedimentary terms, is the cliff covered with petroglyphs — a reminder of the first residents of the area. In the past, the attempt to exclude these ancient people was tantamount to whitewashing the truth in Victorville's history. Hence; "A visual crack in the whitewash-attempt acts as a metaphoric symbol that truth will always escape any attempt to conceal it. This is a most apt message for a library to give its patrons."
  • The Joshua Tree Chronicles Victor Valley, CA Art in Public Places, Tehachapi CA
  • Reverse, Lateral, and Loop In the summer of 2002 I had the pleasure of collaborating with New Zealand artist Marc Spijkerbosch on this project in Tehachapi, California. Renowned for his landscapes, Marc's contribution to this piece produced a majestic vista and resonated gloriously like a sunset pastoral symphony. Thanks, mate! The title -- Reverse, Lateral, and Loop - makes reference of two juxtaposing subjects that colorfully highlight the history of Tehachapi. The first, Reverse and Lateral , refer to the type of faults causing a 7.4 earthquake in 1952 that destroyed most of this small downtown. Many lives were lost, and the wall on which this mural is painted was one of the only two structures still standing.
  • The second subject is the internationally celebrated 'Tehachapi Loop '. The loop concept was a suggestion given by a nine-year old water boy when railroad engineers were trying to solve the problem of maintaining a required train grade on the steep Tehachapi accent. As depicted in the mural, the trains circle literally over themselves as they climb up to the pass. It's really something to watch as two trains transverse simultaneously on this giant toy train set-like loop. The interplay of the train and the vertical rift as they bisect each other creates a different kind of pathway shape, and a different way of perceiving heritage. Like a crossroads of time and space, when things and events intersect -- material and temporal histories intertwine to create a kind of multi-dimensional fabric. This new material conjures fresh feelings and perceptions; it infuses a new sense of place. Yet it is vitaly nostalgic, for it is a new tapestry woven from the past.
  • Reverse, Lateral, and Loop
  • Valentine's Day — Twentynine Palms, California History lessons on the wall — here talks about the cattle rustling in Hidden Valley of Joshua Tree National Park. There, the Mchaney gang rebranded the cattle for resale as depicted in the sketched narrative of the mural. The commentary John made about additional mural concepts are as follows:
  • What's Different About This Mural? The historical theme in 'Cattle Days in Hidden Valley' is not the only subject of this mural. The goal of the artist is to present some additional ideas for you, the veiwer, to consider. Another story being told here is about what happened to an artist while he was sleeping on the job an yet a third is about the mural process itself. Let's look: Valentine's Day Manifested from the artist dreaming about Cattle Days , a rodeo bull name Valentine is metamorphisized into 3-D reality next to the scaffolding. Named for the white heart shape on his head, Valentine also bears the McHaney gang brand, as if he traveled out here from the historical scene in the mural. Eagerly waiting for the artist to awake — along with a patient buzzard perched on the arch — Valentine will soon have his day.
  • The 'Unfinished' Mural Why is some of this mural left incomplete? --Here are the artist's reasons: Effective Illusion The subtle, 2-dimensional qualities of the 'incomplete work' provide a contrast from the foreground. It heightens the sense of illusion. If the background were less complete, there would not be enough colors or shapes for a full composition. If it were more complete, it would be a distraction and render the illusion less effective. Painting Lesson The mid process also provides the viewer with a journey through all the different steps of mural painting — from wall grids and sketched images to blocked-in colors and finished painting.
  • Mural Site Activity There is a great sense of artistic energy and community involvement while a mural is being painted; while it is active. Here we have left the mural in a state of perpetual activity. Although a 'finished' piece is the traditional state of completion, it is perhaps less alive than witnessing the actual stages of creation. Aesthetics More artists have stumbled into exciting accidents while painting, and it is always with regret that these lovely jewels must be coverd over to finish the piece. Here with this mural, we pause in mid-movement and embrace fresh abract forms and gentle transparent colors. The beauty captured during these moments of creation is perhaps the most compelling reason why the process itself deserves to be distiguished as a final art form. --John Pugh
  • Cattle Days in Hidden Valley
  • Located at the University Center at UNF, Study with Sphere and Water appears to have a little more breathing room for its subjects, with it's giant singular sphere and the large Monet-like painting of a campus lily pond. Upon closer observation, the viewer discovers that the book case is crammed full of literary classics and symbolic objects covering almost every academic subject. The student is pulling The Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant from the shelf. Stretching for probably philosophy's loftiest book symbolizes the pursuit of truth and knowledge. It is this reaching toward understanding, this quest for enlightenment, is what defines the life long process of higher education. University of Northern Florida - in Jacksonville
  • University of Northern Florida - in Jacksonville
  • The Dirt on Bishop Inscribed with a land title, the wall-tablet unwraps from the curved packed soil like the peel of an orange. This layered core sample of Bishop earth represents a sedimentary survey of the town's heritage. Digging down through the bullets, spurs, horseshoes, railroad spikes, rusted water valves, and old keys, we unlock different parts of Bishop's recent history. Following the Bristlecone pine roots we dig deeper: past Paiute arrowheads and beads, through fossilized Mammoth tusks and Saber-tooth skulls. Delving even lower we pass fossils of ancient roots, prehistoric leaves and Trilobites to reach layers that span back to the beginning of our world. Like comparing the thickness of the deed to the land behind it, the European story here is only a chapter of the history book. On the lighter side, a dog named Hunter from the floor above helps to 'ground' this piece as he sniffs the air for a bone, but picks up the scent of an eon.
  • Bishop Mural Society — Bishop, CA
  • Green Treasure He Taonga Kakariki " For the second time I had the privilege of being assisted by New Zealand artist Marc Spijkerbosch. In this illusionary mural entitled He Taonga Kakariki (Maori for 'Green Treasure'), a previously seamless hatch has louvered-open through a mosaic of Lake Rotorua. Peering through this mysterious portal and allowing our eyes to adjust, one notices a green glow emanating from a chamber behind. Ghostly moss and micro-ferns remain half-hidden while serving as entrance sentries to this unseen world. Through metaphor we can journey from the exterior mosaic layer -- the external surface world -- into the inner spirit world. Or is it the other way around? Perhaps without this unseen internal force, our perception of the jeweled lake mosaic is only skin-deep. The real koru (spiral fern / new life) resides inside. There, unfurling in the deep green glow is the whakapapa (divine father spirit), where the music is eternal. And there, misty voices of the ageless mother are heard like a song inside the soul. And there, the door opens outward, to all the infinite glory of the universe.
  • Rotorua Arts Commission, Main Library — New Zealand
  • Rotorua Arts Commission, Main Library — New Zealand
  • River of Mercy - Merced California (El Rio de la Mercedes) The river is the lifeblood of Merced -- and of this concept. It is the story as well as the storyteller. As the 'river runs through', it flows from Yosemite Valley, past the foothills, through an old mill until it reaches thirsty orchards and crops of the Central Valley. While chronicling geological passages, it also ushers-in the rich and colorful history of Merced County. Named by grateful conquistadors, El Rio de la Mercedes has given life for thousands of years. The River of Mercy meanders past the Miwok, Spanish, Asian, African-American and European. It has flowed from the beginning of history, through centuries of hunters and gatherers, to the trappers, gold seekers, ranchers and farmers. It's seen harmony and destruction from irrigation to devastating hydraulic mining. It has given drink to the people and to the land. It is why Merced is here.
  • Seed Sarasota County Health Center, Florida Date of Completion: March 2004 Mural Medium: Acrylic Paint on Non-Woven Media This light-filled "space" is designed to provide healing energy. As waiting patients contemplate the orb sculpture, they visually wander into the lighter marble shapes discovering that the inner core creates the image of a family group. Continuing to explore they will also notice the subtle inscribed shapes of earth's geography on the bronze surface. Next, being drawn into the metallic / translucent background leaves the viewer stumbles into subtle images of people as they mysteriously emerge from sparkling haze -- most of whom are actually employees and patients of the health center. Noticing all the ethnic diversity in this cloud of humanity invites the viewer to explore the concept.
  • And there is plenty of concept: The family is metaphorically at the center of the world - even the glow of the blue sky seems to emanate from the inner core of the sphere. Then, sprouting from this seed , the leaves unite our differences like connective tissues of an ultimate family tree. A natural progression from this idea is that humanity is really a large global family: that all men and women of the Earth are brothers and sisters.
  • Academe' Taylor Hall, Chico, CA In 1980 John Pugh obtained his first major commission from California State University, Chico in northern California where he received his degree in art. Taylor Hall was to bring him international recognition and move John's career into high gear. He realized quickly that his Trompe l'oeil style art really connected with artist and non-artist alike. Not just because it was fun to look at with its illusion of hyper-realism that would always prompted any first-time viewer to do a second take, but because great stories could be told by using this style that few artist at this time were employing, especially in a public art context. "My intention was not only to use the Doric column, a symbol that is easily recognized in our culture, to represent the classic architecture of the Greeks, but to tap into the concept of the greek academe as the essence of our western educational system" This Mural has been a landmark in downtown Chico and has set a creative tenor for the community and its visitors.
  • Taylor Hall, Chico State University, Chico CA
  • Valley of the Heart's Delight Inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, the mural's repetitive arched walls are also reminiscent of the old California Mission. Just as the Missions did before, the Berryessa Community Center provides a year-round gathering place for activities. Included in the mural are elements from the past, as well as the present and future, to create a continuum to this heritage. Like time portals, two arched doors serve as a formal exhibition entrance. The left door leads to an upstairs part of the exhibition entitled "The Future". Ascending to an unseen level, the viewer is encouraged to envisage what is to come, and perhaps ponder their part in shaping San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley. The right door is an entrance to the past, or the "Valley of the Heart's Delight". Depicted by a series of illusionary tile murals, these sweeping agricultural scenes can be seen throughout all of the exterior arches.
  • As viewers explore this panorama, they will discover a subtle but unusual area that appears to be unfinished tile work. Closer observations will reveal remnants of a community that thrived here ten thousand years before the Europeans. An old stone pestle and mortar wall, recently uncovered by ‘tiles’, bears the mark of the Valley's first food gatherers -- the Ohlone.
  • City Hall — Hayward, CA Internal Melody Paying homage to Hayward and its heritage, this grotto monument weaves different passages of the city's past, as well as creating an elegant public space across from the City Hall. The meditative reflection pool, rough-hewn columns and smooth granite sculpture are a complementary haiku to the mural's physical surroundings.
  • The sculpture, with its subtle harp-like shape, provides an elegant and lyrical center piece. Visually producing a circular energy flow, this piece seems to resonate a timeless melody like the distant song of a woodland harp. On the hewn pillars, a bas-relief story can be read - left to right, background to foreground. The back columns depict a coastal Ohlone village, the arrival of the Spanish Conquistadors and the settling of the great land grant ranchos. The left front column represents Hayward's more recent history including Hayward's Hotel - the cities' namesake - and the era of Blues artists and Juke Joints of the Russell City distict. Finally on the right front pillar is present-day Hayward. On the column face is a an ethnically varied group - embracing the Earth in unison - as a tribute to Haward's harmony and cultural diversity. The overall feeling of Internal Melody is like a courtyard of nostalgic music; a tapestry woven from the fabric of Hayward's past.
  • Art in Public Places, Miami, Florida Children can cool off and play in a public fountain, climb the courtyard tree, or smell the sweet fragrance of a Florida orange. Using the illusionary painting style, arched entrances open into a world of Moorish architecture with a Southern Florida slant. The colorful approach to this mural project is not unlike the rest of the building's Moroccan theme -- not to mention the Opa Locka region. Visitors to the Children & Families agency waiting for their appointment can book passage to a village square in a distant place. As the viewer wanders onto the balcony to peer over to a vista they are invited to explore the subtle ornamentation and nuances of the Moorish style and enjoy views of the palace. As the visitor continues to meander through the piece, they will also visually stumble upon what appears to be just someone else hanging around on the balcony -- only to realize later that these convincing Moroccan family figures are painted illusions. Looking closer visitors will find other more hidden elements such as the family's father in the distant orange grove or the little mouse in the rainspout in Gates of Opa Locka II.
  • Gates of Opa Locka I
  • Gates of Opa Locka II
  • Model for this baby required nation-wide baby-hunt.
  • 'Slowin' Down to Take a Look' — Winslow, Arizona Located along historic route 66, Winslow Arizona has built a Park dedicated to that famous Eagle's song 'Take it Easy'. The Trompe L'oeil "windows" that are secured to the brick facade of the hotel conjur up reflections of that immortal moment when "a girl, my lord, in a flat bed Ford slows down to take a look at me." For more on the park itself visit the web site; Mention the name "Winslow, Arizona" and it's sure to trigger the question "Are you from Standin' - On - A - Corner - In - Winslow, Arizona?" The lyrics from the song "Take It Easy", written by Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey, were made famous by "The Eagles". It's a song almost everyone knows, hums and sings. It has put Winslow on the map - and at just the right time!
  • 'Slowin' Down to Take a Look' — Winslow, Arizona
  • The 'bird' looking into the illusion which itself is an illusion could be symbol for Americana or even a singing group. Good thing she's slowin' down, she's looking right at me.
  • Palm Desert, CA-- Cross Roads
  • Park Meadows Shopping Center, Denver, Colorado
  • Stanford Shopping Center-- Palo Alto, CA
  • Award Project, Sacramento, CA
  • Award Project, Sacramento, CA--Before
  • El Camino Hospital, Mountain View CA Path Around Son is a piece about cycles and healing. An illusionary path leads the viewer into and around a room containing a fountain, a mosaic and the cross-section of an orchard. The background "mosaic" depicts the symbolic cycle of health care that a newborn baby boy and his mother receives. Paramount to good medicine, images of a doctor, nurse and a volunteer are Included. Another cycle is the cycle of seasons. An obvious homonym for Path Around Son is Path around Sun, as in the Earth's yearly orbit. The annual cycle of seasons is symbolized here by the different phases of the plants and trees. Reading the mural left to right, tells a story of Spring to Fall. I believe there's a healing process and sense of spirituality that comes when meditating on the change of seasons. Embracing the full cycle brings fourth a peaceful dance-like movement. The Bougainvillea petals and fallen red leaves float colorfully together in the sparkling water. What a lovely elixir of life the fountains hold.
  • El Camino Hospital, Mountain View CA
  • Light Walk Palo Alto Medical Foundation, Oncology — Year of Completion: 2001 The air is luminous in these subterranean gardens. A timeless dawn is calling you. Located in the patient area of Oncology, this piece was designed to create a healing and reflective environment. The viewer is invited on a dream quest into this exotic underworld – a spiritual path with reflecting pools, sacred sculptures, and bridges that lead up into the tops of trees.
  • Palo Alto Medical Foundation, CA
  • Palo Alto Medical Foundation, CA
  • Before the moss wall stands a young woman of bronze in sublime rapture. On the left, as homage to Rodin’s sculpture of Victor Hugo, is a prophet of white marble. Perhaps during this great man’s meditation he might say to us: "This is only an infinitesimal piece of this path --for we can not see the beginning or the end of it. Yet, in this moment – if fully embraced – it is infinite.
  • The creation Art Imitating Life Imitating Art Imitating Life at the Cafe Trompe L'oeil (now Cafe Espresso) in San Jose (pictured above), involved painstaking research and preparation including a coinciding trip to Paris, France. Here the use and integration of pre-existing surrounding material was taken to a new level. Every subject and artwork realized in this virtual extension of the restaurant are an original creation in their own right. Carefully crafted to more than just resemble the finest art of France's past, its scholarly devotion to authenticity is an homage. Where Reality Meets Illusion (by John Pugh) The project shown here illustrates how an artist can collaborate with an architect or designer to erase the transitional line between reality and illusion On this project I was fortunate enough to team up with Ed Wieser, designer of Cafe Trompe L'oeil. Cafe Trompe L'oeil (now Cafe Espresso) is located at 814 South Bascom Ave. in San Jose, CA, across from Valley Medical Center between Q-zar and McDonalds.
  • To start the project, real bricks were carefully mounted around this plotted outline on the cafe wall to serve as an architectural prop. Meanwhile, back at the studio, the mural was painted on M.D.O. panels which were cut to fit within these lines. The mural panels were then shipped to the cafe and attached to an elevated plywood backing, so that the mural surface would be flush with the front of the real bricks. Our plans called for other painted elements in the mural - tables, chairs, floor materials, types of wood, and even plants - to be consistent with the real interior environment of the cafe. Most important, the architectural style needed to flow into the piece to make the integration complete
  • Art Imitating Life Imitating Art Imitating Life
  • Take a look at the wall from the time while this amazing mural was in progress
  • Woman in Cafe Great Bear Cafe Los Gatos, CA.
  • Colonnade Location: Monterey Design (513 Monterey Ave), Los Gatos, CA
  • Moss Canyon Mysterious forms lay beneath the overgrowth in this strange and exotic canyon. Like a place from a Mayan Dream, this forgotten gorge possesses secrets of an ancient Mesoamerican spirit world. Worshipers of light and darkness, the Maya believed that embracing good as well as evil was a necessary balance. Animal deities represented many negative and positive forces—and certain animals were revered as having greater power then others. Parallel in greatness, Quetzalcoatl or the 'Feathered Serpent' (left), and the Jaguar (right), oppose each other across the stream. Considered the two supreme animal gods, Quetzalcoatl was the "God of Lightness and Ascension" and the Jaguar the "God of Darkness and Dissension". The stone bridge / 3-D catwalk serves as a symbol of integration between both these Gods—a link between two polarizing hemispheres. Like the Yin and Yang the bridge represents the seeming contradictory concepts of dualism and unity, and forms a pure expression of the Mayan approach to life itself.
  • Moss Canyon--Private residence, Morgan Hill, CA
      • Personal Artist Statement
    • I am a trompe l'oeil artist focusing primarily on mural painting. I have found that the "language" of life-size illusions allow me to communicate with a very large audience. It seems almost universal that people take delight in being visually tricked. Once captivated by the illusion, the viewer is lured to cross an artistic threshold and thus seduced
    into exploring the concept of the piece. I have also found that by creating architectural illusion that integrates with the existing environment both optically and aesthetically, the art transcends the "separateness" that public art sometimes produces. It is important for me, as an artist, to interact with the community, formulating concepts based upon a multitude of viewpoints. Artists must be continually aware that their work can serve as a bridge between diverse cultural backgrounds. Public art is of great interest to me; providing me with a sense of purpose as it is a very powerful form of communication. It can link people together, stimulate a sense of pride within the community, and introduce the viewer to new ideas and perspectives.
  • When developing a mural, I also respond to aspects of the location such as its architectural style or the natural surroundings. Often, I like to play with the art's context by contrasting these environments with another place and/or time. This paradox or juxtaposition of environments transports the viewer on a journey from local reality into a new space. During this "voyage", the viewer may experience sequential discoveries as my compositions are designed to unfold in narrative layers. While most of the time I respond to existing architectural settings, I have also had the opportunity to take part in the development of the architecture itself; modifying the design of the structure to marry the painting to the site. This bridge between art and the architectural can effectively erase the transition point between reality and illusion. The art thus becomes integrated into the real world of architecture and lends credibility to the illusion of the painting. Together the sum is greater than its parts
  • Secret Garden Series
  • Barbi Benton Residence Honolulu, Hawaii --
  • Technology of Future Past or Valley under Umunhum