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Turn the pavement into canvas

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By Kelly Dolejsi

In one image, the sunlight glares off the side of a Coke bottle, creating a blinding oblong star over the famous red label. In another, a narrow river suddenly plummets into an avalanche of white rapids. Both objects look completely believable, solid and without-a-doubt three-dimensional.

Never mind that the bottle is 5-feet tall, or that instead rushing down the side of the side of a mountain, the river and its attendant waterfall crash down the paved un-magnificent,  flat sidewalk.

Almost anyone with an e-mail inbox has seen similar chalk-drawn illusions by now: if not the Coke bottle or the waterfall, then a paper boat in a perfectly sun-dappled puddle, or a man dangling from the roof’s edge of an impossibly tall building, one that descends hundreds of feet into the formerly hidden depths of a hunk of concrete.

The art is astounding. The first time you see one of these images, it is literally breathtaking. Your lungs stop, letting your previous inhale pool in your distressed brain: “How come I can only draw doodly flowers and rainbows,” you ask yourself. Then, with unexpected horror, “That beautiful Coke bottle is going to wash away in the rain.”


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