Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ace London correspondent and musician Lauren Brennan checks in with this report

Date: Wed, 21 Feb 2007 02:37:22 -0800
From: Laura
Subject: possible blog entry for E493

Greetings, Profe! I don't know if this is quite what you had in mind for a blog entry fit for class consumption, but I hope so! I was recently introduced to the art of Julian Beever, an internationally renowned sidewalk chalk artist, best known for his use of perspective and optical illusions in his work to simulate three-dimensional objects or scenes on the sidewalks of London. Not quite along the same lines as giant puppets or racist robotics, I know, but ever since I first glimpsed this guy's work I knew I wanted to bring it up for the class to see, and not just because it's pretty amazing to look at. I think Beever's art deserves to make its way into the Obscene Machine's collective consciousness because of the immersive nature of his sidewalk works. People walking by his art are immediately drawn into his world (no pun intended), the false reality he's creating to trap people, literally, at a pedestrian level; snatching the ground out from under the passers-by on the street around him and using it as a canvas. I've attached a couple of my favorite pieces, but the entire site is worth a closer look.

As impressed as I continue to be by the waterfall scene, I especially think that his self-portrait/still life of he and his chalk doppleganger drawing together works particularly well with our art-as-ersatz-humans angle. For an added level of weirdness, take a closer look at the beer bottles - which one is two-dimensional again? ;)

Also, here's Beever's official website and here's a link to a BBC article about him:

Thanks, Nericcio!

Laura Brennan

1 comment:

  1. Mariah Bush10:48 PM

    Beever's work reminds me of the art of Thomas Demand. Demand is a German sculptor/photographer who uses cardboard and colored paper to create realistic images. His subjects range from nature scenes to Saddam Hussein's kitchen. I saw an exhibit of his work in London last summer. The photographs of his subjects were printed on wallpaper and covered all the walls of the gallery. Just like pedestrians were drawn into the world of Beever's drawings, I felt drawn into the oddly realistic scenes in Demand's work. Demand plays with the idea that photographs represent reality. His photos seem realistic, but on closer inspection the viewer can see the scenes are handmade. Demand draws you in to a simulation of reality but forces you to see what he wants you to see.
    Here is one of Demand's works:
    And another called Space Simulator:
    Or go to Demand's website