The artist known as Julian Beever has been referred to as the “Pavement Picasso”. This nickname is well deserved because the imagery and realism captured by his chalk art is second to none. I am fascinated and inspired by this artists take on perspective. He uses the sidewalk as his medium, and chalk is his preferred artistic tool. Each one of his 3D chalk images takes an average of three days. He must maintain focus while battling elements such as crowds, and extreme weather conditions. I respect this artist for the amount of time and attention to detail spent for each image. In order to achieve perfection he uses a camera mounted on a bipod in a specific location to ensure the image appears three dimensional. He then spends a large portion of his time alternating between drawings and peering through the bipod camera to ensure the image is proportional.
The amount of time and energy spent on these images is commendable and fascinating, however, the reasons for creating his art is inspiring. Julian believes that his art is for everyone. Instead of being placed in an art gallery targeted for a specific audience his art is presented on crowded busy streets. In several of his images an audience member is a part of the three dimensional image. In fact, without the involvement of the person the image would not be as fascinating. The incorporation of audience and his altruistic nature toward his art is a true inspiration. Julian’s art is compared to graffiti, but I believe it is something much different. Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of his art is that it will not last forever. Unlike a song, painting, or film that can be restored his chalk art will eventually disappear from the elements. The image much like any living things existence is finite. This is why his art is so beautiful because it has a limited existence. The audience can experience the art as long as it survives the elements. They can take pictures interacting with the art and always have a memory of the amazing 3D image that they experienced on a random sidewalk while grabbing groceries, shopping, or sightseeing.
This website provides a brief description of the type of art that Julian Beever creates on the sidewalks of countries across the world. An article written by Sarah Loat is included which provides personal commentary from Julian explaining the process of creating his illusions, and what inspires him to create his art.
This is Julian Beever’s official website which contains all of his body of art including paintings, sidewalk art, and wall murals. This website is dedicated to showcasing Julian’s amazing artwork and contains contact information, publisher’s website, and a few self-portraits that may not be as readily accessible to the general public.
This article provides a more in depth description of how Julian creates his 3D imagery chalk drawings. It includes imagery from a camera team that captures the various steps Julian takes to create his images, and how the images progress over a three day span.