All art is at once surface and symbol.
Those who go beneath the surface do so at
their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril.
It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.
Beware, my body and my soul, beware above all of crossing your arms and assuming the sterile attitude of the spectator, for life is not a spectacle, a sea of griefs is not a proscenium, and a man who wails is not a dancing bear.
Aimé Césaire, Notebook of a Return to the Native Land
For more photos and videos of Leon’s surreal street art, follow @leonkeer on Instagram.
Dutch artist Leon Keer (@leonkeer) plays with distortion and perspective to create anamorphic street art — pictures that are drawn on pavement and floors that give the illusion they are three-dimensional, but only when viewed from a certain angle. “The concept behind my artworks is often presented as a playful, recognizable image placed in another context,” Leon explains. “I try to take you, as a spectator, away from everyday life. In that way, you are able to look differently at the street and the city you are living in.”
Leon says he is constantly working on improving his techniques — from figuring out the right distortion and alignment to bettering his use of shadows and highlights. He says he does feel vulnerable showing his abilities out in the open, but says creating something live is also what he enjoys the most. “The tension of working on the streets got me hooked,” he says. “Despite what the viewers tell you, you have to stay focused and criticize all your efforts. This challenge works as a kind of adrenaline for me.”
All art is at once surface and symbol. Those who go beneath the surface do so at their peril. Those who read the symbol do so at their peril. It is the spectator, and not life, that art really mirrors.