Asphalt Renaissance: The Pavement Art and 3-D Illusions of Kurt Wenner

Kurt Wenner, with B. Hansen and M. Hospodar. Sterling, $24.95 (300p) ISBN 9781402771262
Throughout the ages there have been spectacles of temporary art, in which entire cities were transformed with triumphal arches, obelisks, fountains, newly painted buildings, and trompe l'oeil walls. During these celebrations, street painters worked in chalk, sawdust, colored glass, birdseed, sand, and even flowers, producing temporary works which only lasted for the duration of the festival. The annual competition at Grazie de Curtatone, near Mantua, which has become the home of pavement art, is where the Santa Barbara-born, classically trained Wenner discovered his calling. In 1982, Wenner first discovered street painting when he arrived in Italy to expand his studies. Here, he relates the story of how he developed into the world's best-known pavement artist, adopting a non-linear perspective into his art. Employing techniques once used in cathedrals and palaces, his pictures make you feel as if you're falling into them. These anamorphic pictures have changed the world of street painting and expanded its reach from small towns in Italy to cities from Japan to the U.S. Extensive illustrations of his work will lead readers to marvel, and perhaps seek out one of the exhibitions or competitions now found across the globe. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/2011
Release date: 08/01/2011
Genre: Nonfiction
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