Thursday, May 14, 2009

Trompe l'œil it isn't but the eye still loves to be fooled

Trompe l'œil is a way to fool the eye. When done well by experienced and talented artisans, you could easily walk into a flat wall instead of the inviting lane that is tempting you to move ahead and stroll. You could almost smell the flowers and feel the crumbling stone of the doorway. It can be so realistic that, literally, your eye is fooled by the use of perspective and the artist's incredible skills and materials. It works and it's truly amazing when you encounter the technique in a chapel, home or office. Trompe is gaining in favor for wealthy homeowners who want something very special, different and transforming. A dark corner can easily become a meandering lane in Paris or any scene one can dream. The artists will execute it to extreme realism, near perfection. What does the incredibly skill of a Trompe artist have to do with a block wall painted to appear to be a beach scene complete with swaying palms and surf crashing onto the sand? Not much at all. Nothing really, except at first glance your eye was confused, fooled and your brain had to make the correction. What is real and what is not? What are you looking at? At this small, out-of-the-way deli, surrounded by tall condos and asphalt streets and parking lots, there are a few real palm trees in pots and a lot of fake painted concrete blocks. The optical illusion this deli owner was striving for worked in Rome, Greece and succeeds in these modern times in corporate office towers and in some magnificent homes of the wealthy. Does it work here? Does it add to your dining experience? Would ordering a bottle of house vino or another beer help as you formulate your answer?

4 comments:

B Squared said...

I think they add so much to an urban area. Concrete, stucco, enough already. A little color adds life. But I could use another libation.

Lois said...

I think it's beautiful!

Jacob said...

You're right; it took a couple of seconds before I realized it was a painting...in fact, my first thought was, that's a nice painting, while believing it to be a photograph.

How do you feel, now, Frank, that you've totally confused me! ;-)

Frank said...

So ofter we walk into a themed restaurant and an entire wall is painted showing the "old homeland" of the owner. In this case the wall faces a parking lot and is right off the ship's channel and port. It might fool someone after way too many cold ones but otherwise it was just a way to paint their wall...not beige. The photo is the brst way to fool the eye, not seeing in in the flesh. (I wonder how the food tastes?)