Sidewalk chalk

By Brad Diamond
April 6, 2006

A Pavement is all that is needed for United Kingdom-based artist Julian Beever to make a masterpiece. That and some chalk of course. A 47-year-old globetrotter who trained at Leeds College of Art in the UK, Beever has been boggling peoples minds with his street art for the last 16 years.

“It usually takes around three days to do them, depending on the complexity of the drawing,” Beever said in an interview in January. Complexity is definitely a word that many associate with his work.

The human brain comprehends our 3D experience of the world from the 2D light patterns that fall into our retin. Our untrained eye allows textures to fade as they go farther away, parallel lines to converge in the distance and objects to seem larger the closer they are.

Beever simply uses deception to create false impressions of depth and realism. Well, not simply. Our brain then interprets these drawings as three dimensional when we view them from a certain angle.

“I like it because you can do a big image relatively quickly, much more quickly than an oil painting. And people on the streets can see the results straight away,” Beever added.

What started out as an attempt at some quick cash, has turned Beever into a British celebrity.

“I think it’s a really interesting and different form of art,” said Ashley Kiehner, a sophomore English major. “I can’t believe that it’s merely chalk on pavement,” she added.

Beever continues to baffle skeptics across the world. He has already worked in the UK, Belgium, France, Holland, Germany, Australia and the United States, and his popularity continues to grow.

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Posted to the web by Brandon edwards

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Brad Diamond

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