by Kerry Rutkowski
Have you ever walked down the street and suddenly gasped because you thought you were about to fall down a crack 60 feet deep? But then you take a second glance and realize that all you saw was chalk? These dimensional types of drawings you see are called 3D chalk art. More commonly known as 3D pavement, street, or sidewalk art, these impressive pieces of work are two-dimensional drawings that are created on the physical street, displaying a three-dimensional optical illusion from a definitive perspective. They are extremely realistic, sometimes jaw-dropping, and will most certainly stop you in your tracks.
The founder of 3D sidewalk chalk art, Kurt Wenner, uses chalk and pastels to create images that apply mathematical continuations of perspective, which gives viewers the illusion of three-dimensionality. Although this type of art is considered modern art, its origins are rooted in the Renaissance Age. Creating chalk drawings on sidewalks was practiced regularly by Italian vagabond artists. These artists would travel from festival to festival, making religious works of art from brick, charcoal, colored stones, and chalk.
Although 3D chalk art first gained popularity roughly 600 years ago, it has gained the most attention commercially in this century. Brands such as Snapple, Visa, Heineken, and Ikea, just to name a few, are using 3D chalk art to create awareness for products and heighten engagement at events and on the streets. Not to mention, it’s become a popular outlet for up-and-coming artists to gain exposure and create buzz around their names.
Check out some awesome 3D chalk art in NYC and around the world here.