I am surprised if you have not been forwarded this unbelievable 3D pavement chalk art. It’s mostly credited to The Chalk Man Julian Beever, also known as “Pavement Picasso”. But who is the real Chalkman?
There’s more than one chalkman. These works are created by different brilliant artists.
Street painting is not new and has a long history. Its origin can be traced back to 16th Century Italy, when Italian street painters, known as Madonnari (as they started practising with the image of St Mary – Madonna) started to carry simple tools like chalk, brick, charcoal, coloured stones to travel around Italy and promote religious art on the street. Thanks to the Annual Grazie di Curtatone Street Painting Competition in Mantua, Italy, this art has been preserved.
The many images that have been forwarded and circulated on the internet are created by different artists. Here I try to give the right credit to the correct artist.
Julian Beever is an English chalk artist. Crowned as the “Pavement Picasso”, Julian Beever is the most known one. The images of his works were circulated widely on the internet. Adopting an art technique called trompe l’oeil (French term, meaning cheat of the eye), Julian Beever used a tripod camera to keep tracking the perspective when he draws the image. Below are his works:
Kurt Wenner is an American artist. Inspired by anamorphism, he created his own unique way of using geometry to bring illusions to the street surface starting from the 1980s. He specialises in Renaissance art and brings them alive on the street.
Kurt Wenner: Kurt Wenner invented 3D pavement art in the early 1980s, and his work was documented by National Geographic in an award-winning film titled “Masterpieces in Chalk.” Wenner invented a specific kind of geometry that enables him to create rich, complex images within the 3D space. A decade and more later a number of other artists, inspired by Wenner’s work began working on the street. What continues to separate Wenner’s work from the others is that other artists use the camera lens and computer programs to create their compositions because they do not understand Wenner’s use of geometry.
Edgar Mueller is a German artist. At the age of 25, he decided to commit himself fully to street painting and traveled around Europe.
With permission by Edgar Müeller
With permission by Manfred Stader.