American artist, Kurt Wenner, has spent half his life in Italy, where he first became famous for his mind-boggling 3D chalk drawings on pavements. While street painting has been around for centuries, the 3D version is accredited to him. He first started experimenting with street art illusion in the early 80s.
The Incredible Illusions exhibition, on from 4 April to 23 July 2017 in the Jubilee Hall, Watershed, V&A Waterfront, is a mind-blowing collection of some of his finest work. Here, the 3D images are not just on a pavement, but cover large sections of the floor and up the walls.
On arrival, it seems a little boring, rather flat, and not terribly pretty. Follow the directions of the helpful guides though, which tell you where to stand, how to look through one eye – or, even better, a camera – and you’ll suddenly find yourself in a magical world that defies description.
Surfing in a bedroom, perched on a cliff in a mountainside panorama, or swinging above a fantasy garden, you can do them all in one exhibition hall. Then there are the old Masters, and a fabulous monster with scary claws and a threatening eye with which to watch you.
The exhibition is completely interactive and touching; taking pictures and generally being astounded is encouraged. It’s fun for adults and kids alike.
Incredible Illusions is on at the Jubilee Hall, Watershed from Mon to Sun 10am to 7pm (last admission 6 pm) until 23 July 2017.