Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Spot the 'invisible' men and women in artist's amazing photographs

In the natural world, the chameleon blends in perfectly with its background.

In the urban jungle, Desiree Palmen decided to attempt the same visual deception.

And as these pictures show, the effect is amazing.

Miss Palmen, a 44-year-old Dutch artist, uses a method that requires a huge amount of effort and attention to detail.

She makes cotton suits and paints the camouflage on by hand, painstakingly matching it to the chosen background. Either she or a model then poses in the suit in the chosen place.

The scenes are photographed and filmed and then put on display.

"People always react strongly when they see my work," she said.

"They have mixed reactions: confusion, surprise and interest."

She added: "Mostly people like the idea of wearing garments that make them invisible."

It takes hours for her to paint the suits. First she takes photographs of the scene then, back in the studio, she meticulously transfers the detail on to the cotton suit with acrylic paints.

The match of colour, texture, light and hue is extraordinarily accurate but the artist remains modest.

"It's never perfect," she said. "But when it works that's enough for me. I like the fact people can see it's a real person in a suit and not a fake digital image."

She regularly displays her works on the streets of Jerusalem, Rotterdam and Berlin.

She has produced exterior and interior shots - in the latter she blends in with a bookcase, a desk and a flight of stairs.

She got the idea for her unusual art from the increasing use of "Big Brother" surveillance.

She said: "I'd like people to consider what it means to let the government control our daily lives.

"When we are controlled we hand over our individual responsibilities to the state. I wanted to make a suit for the non-criminal citizen whose house is being watched 24 hours by street surveillance cameras. I'm also responding to a wish to disappear."

Miss Palmen, who studied sculpture at The Academy of Art in Maastricht, sells her pictures for around £1,500.

She has enjoyed success at dozens of exhibitions around Europe but has yet to bring her work to Britain.

She finds that children are often fascinated by her work.

"There was one little boy in Jerusalem who kept coming back to the camouflaged figure over and over again," she said.

via thedailymail

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