3D Street Painting

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For me art has never really been a part of me. I never really got interested in looking at art pieces or learning about it. Once I saw 3D street art on social media it got me intrigued. It is interesting how these artist can manipulate an image to make it look like it is popping out onto the street. Not only manipulating the image, but creating fun designs to make it interactive with the audience. This type of art is fun to look at and brings excitement to life when I look at it.

The image of the Terracotta Army by artist Leon Keer was created because of his inspiration behind one of China’s biggest tourist attractions. Not only did he bring a bit of history back into the streets, but made it more childish by making the soldiers Legos. I picked the image of the horse because I thought it showed beauty. The scenery behind the horse and all the detailed lines to show the muscles on the animal is impression. I also like the artist made it look like the horse is running towards you. I picked the other two images because I liked how fun and interactive they were.

Street painting had originated in Italy in the 16th Century. The artist that began to decorate the streets of Italy were called madonnari. These artists were known to travel and for painting religious pictures in the cities. They would use tools such as chalk, brick, charcoal, and colored stones. They began to seek recognition for their street paintings after World War II. The artist of street painting began to grow after the 19th century moving into London. Kurt Wenner was the first American Artist to join the Italian madonnari. Wenner had introduced Italian street painting to the United States once he came back from painting streets in Rome in 1982. He started the first street painting festival in 1986 called I Maddonari Masterpieces. Sense the I Maddonari Masterpieces festival street painting has grown exponentially with 50-100 Street painting festivals in the United States and this art form moving to other countries worldwide.

Kurt Wenner was the first artist to create anamorphic paintings in 1984. He did this by combining what he had learned about traditional street painting with his own understanding of illusions. He created the 3D street paintings by adjusting the geometry of the image to create a rise and fall illusion into the ground. He has also transitioned the traditional 3D art to be more interactive with his viewers. 3D art was a widespread artistic movement, which has become a global phenomenon.

 Link to the History:


Link to Kurt Wenner’s pieces:


Links to the images:








What do you like about this form of art?

How long do these paintings take to complete?

Has anyone seen 3D art in person? What was it like up close?

Jessica Sitton


17 thoughts on “3D Street Painting

  1. If I had to guess, I’d say that for each street art painting it would take a couple weeks to complete. I like how life-like street art painting is. I’d imagine if you cut out everything except the painting, it would look so real. But since it’s on the street out in public, if you were to walk by it, I’d imagine that most people would have a mind-f*** kind of moment. If I were to walk by, that’s how I’d feel. I also like how with this kind of style of art, it can be really playful. I feel with most other forms of art it’s usually a lot more serious and there’s usually a point that’s trying to be made. But with this, it’s just fun.

  2. This art form is incredible because at one perspective, it just looks like a funky picture, and as you walk around to the correct area, it sort of pops out. It reminds me of those pictures where you stare at them for long enough and suddenly a cat or a boat appears to be in 3D.

    I’d imagine if it was just a chalk drawing, it could be done in a few hours depending on the size. Something more permanent would obviously take longer.

    I have never seen this in person. There are lots of videos on YouTube where they are time lapsed and show how they make it.

  3. I think this form of art is amazing, and as Dean mentioned I also think it looks playful as well. I have never seen 3D street art in person, but would definitely love to. It looks extremely difficult to master, and requires a lot of time and patience. You mentioned this art form started in 16th century Italy using chalk, charcoal, and stones. Do artists today use the same methods, or is there a special kind of outdoor paint used for these pieces? If they do use the traditional methods, then what happens when it rains?

    • From what I found on a couple of different websites was the artists today use chalk pastels. Which, are like crayons, but are made from a ground pigment with a binder added to it. For street art there is not a lot the artist can do about the rain. The paintings will start to fade from all the foot traffic and if it rains it may wash the painting away.

  4. I like 3D street art because it is very realistic. It gives the illusion of the art being very real. Some of the pieces are very scary like the shark by Nikolaj Arndt in one of the links you included. The shark looks like it’s gonna jump out onto the street. I have never seen a 3D piece like this in person before but I feel like it can only look real if you look at it from a certain angle, but nevertheless it is very interesting and beautiful. It is very colourful and can be done anywhere like roads, sidewalks, walls, floors etc, but I feel like it would take a long time to complete. From one of the pictures in the links I could see that the artists were drawing a grid first, then sketch and then add colour. An artist would need to keep looking at it from a certain angle to make sure it looks like it’s meant to be. That would take a few days to complete.

  5. I like how this art uses your perspective to create the illusion of a picture that is literally coming out of the street, but if you look at it from another angle it doesn’t look like anything. You can notice on the painting of the horse just how long it is compared to how wide it is by looking at the tiles in the ground. I have never seen art like this in person.

  6. The thing that I like about the street art is how interactive it is, you can walk right up to it and take pictures with it while positioning yourself as part of the illusion. Also, how you said you were not interested in art too much, but I think this is an art form that many people could enjoy even if that is not something that normally interest them. Also, its an art form that is very convenient to visit, being right there in the streets I thought it was a very interesting choice to show this art work and also put a spotlight on art that is outside of a museum.

  7. Art like this is marvelous. It must take an awful lot of time, talent, and perfection to create such a mind blowing piece. The fact that its done on the street is even more amazing because streets do not have a perfect surface, so in order to get such an allusion on such an imperfect surface is something that really boggles my mind. The colors really draw the eye into each and every detail bringing all together. 3-D street art is definitely something i wouldnt mind seeing in this lifetime.

  8. I love seeing these kinds of street art. They are so well done, they blow your mind once you get to see the right perspective. What I like most is just that it is so dreamy. It seems so unreal that it becomes real. I have seen plenty of 3D street art online but never in person, I would love to see them though. What other people said, its so interactive with the viewer that someone just can’t ignore it. Often times people see works of art and they ignore it or just keep walking but this catches the eye of anyone. 🙂

  9. I think this kind of art is very interesting and creative. Like you pointed out, it gets people engaged and its a fun work of art to pass by. What i like about this form of art is that it is very creative and it looks special and different. Its very vibrant and it stands out from a lot of other art forms. I think that works like this take a few weeks or maybe a month to complete. I could imagine that pieces like this take a lot of effort and work and are especially difficult to make if they are in public places like a side walk. I have never seen 3-D art in person but i’m sure it would look really interesting up close.

  10. I really love street art of all kinds. It’s a nice surprise and escape while out with a mind full of things that need to be done and places to go. I think it must take days to complete one of these paintings because of the detail to make them so convincing and realistic. That said it amazes me that an artist would go through all that for something so short-lived. It is an experience for the few people who see it in person then it just fades away. The short life, I think, makes it a special. It will most likely will never be repeated in the same way.

  11. I think this kind of art is so interesting and fun. I didn’t realize it was paint I was thinking it was chalk art but it was cool to see the pictures of the artists actually painting it. I have no idea how long something like this would take but I’m sure its something that needs to be planned out before painting it. I like seeing the pictures of the different steps it takes to create such a wonderful eye popping piece. This type of art is such a modern fun style and I love looking at all the pictures. Ive never actually seen 3D art in person but maybe one day I’ll get the chance.

  12. Their all fantastic! Better then graffiti on the walls. The artist really put a lot of detail to the painting to make it feel so realistic and give it that , but also to entertain themselves. I never seen a 3D street painting, but would defiantly love to see one. My questions to this is how log does it take the artist to complete a project like this?

  13. I have never seen this before, its so cool. Now I want to play Pac Man and go white water rafting! By the detail and how well it is done it probably takes a while. Wonder is the artist looks at the weather forecast before creating one of these because I assume rain would wash it away??

  14. I would see these images of Face book or any other websites and I would think” How can one make something like that on streets and make it look so real?” i real enjoy looking at 3D images specially when this work in done streets or walls. I really want to see these kind of art work in real like and take pictures.

  15. This blog makes me want to go on a search for this art works. You would think being around since 1980s you would think seeing them around would more common. Haha I like the idea how the artists decided to blow it up and make it a life size to make it more interesting.

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