Kurt Wenner’s 3-D sidewalk art

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Remember when you were a child and you used to draw on the sidewalk with chalk? Or the time you went to the art museum to see all the beautiful relics of art masterpieces? Even the mind-boggling optical illusions you see in magazines and drawings can be seen as wonderful art work. Now, artist Kurt Wenner takes art to a whole new level with his 3-D sidewalk art.

The artist worked for NASA as an advanced scientific space illustrator until 1982 and is now using his artistic talents to craft 3D sidewalk illusions for the public audience.

After his departure from NASA Wenner traveled to Italy to study one of his greatest passions, classical art. In Italy he isolated himself from the current modern art in order to embrace the ideals of his favored past artists. He states in his biography site, “It seemed to me that artists of the past had abilities far beyond those of today. My curiosity about this discrepancy took me to Rome in order to seek out and master drawing and painting within the “language” of western classicism.” After Italy, Wenner traveled throughout Europe and experimented with a variety of traditional old style painting such as tempera, oil paint, and fresco. He also became a street artist and made many chalk paintings in Rome to help finance his passion.

According to his biography, his work became so popular and renown that in 1985 National Geographic chose his work as a topic for their award-winning documentary Masterpieces in Chalk. Now, for the past 30 years, this artist has dedicated his life to creating these beautiful masterpieces from Las Vegas to Rome and has even conquered London with his artwork. Wenner states on his site, “When creating a large work at a public event I am able to evaluate the reactions of large and diverse audiences. This information has provided me with invaluable lessons in human perception.”

Since his departure from NASA, Wenner has used the anamorphic art talents he has studied in Europe and combined them with geometry to create his own individualist art form, called 3D pavement art. In 2010 he created a 22 by 22 meter for the Greenpeace movement that set a world record.

Currently, the artist has a book out for his fans to enjoy titled, Asphalt Renaissance. The art book displays hundreds of examples of his past work and includes Wenner’s own commentary. You can find it in places such as Barnes and Noble and Amazon. To enjoy more of his art work Wenner has a digital gallery on his website that includes examples of his drawings, pavement art, and architectural art.

Photos courtesy of Eric Dramstad and Milton Jung via Flickr.

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