Any work of figurative art, even a picture in a frame, employs someillusion. ~ Kurt Wenner
An American artist moves to Rome in the 1980s to follow his love of classical Renaissance techniques.
At first this sounds like just another story of an artist falling in love with the beauty of Italian traditions, but in Kurt Wenner’s plot line there is a significant twist.
Walking down the Roman streets one day Wenner noticed a man drawing on the ground in chalk. After asking what the man was doing, Wenner received a brief lesson in the history of Italian street painting. It might have ended there, except for the fact that the street artist wanted to go to lunch and asked Wenner to finish the head of an angel.
Working in chalks (now he uses handmade pastels) came naturally to Wenner. He developed his own style of 3-dimensional anamorphic street painting which gives the impression of rising and falling ground.
Thanks to his chance encounter, Wenner has made a name for the art form well beyond the sidewalks of Rome and has brought the Italian Madonnaro (street painters originally reproduced images of the Virgin Mary) into the mainstream. Not only was he featured in the National Geographic documentary Masters of Chalk, but he has also received The Kennedy Center Medallion, trained Disney theme park designers on the use of perspective, and used his street painting illusions in an Absolut Vodka ad campaign.