Street Artist Turns Buildings into Gigantic Butterfly Specimen Cases

Butterfly Murals by Mantra

France-based street artist Mantra transforms multi-story buildings into gigantic butterfly specimen cases in a series of clever, trick-of-the-eye 3D murals. The enormous, hyper-realistic butterflies appear to be set within wooden-framed boxes, recessed into the side of each building. Long shadows and subtle details, which suggest a transparent glass surface, create a convincing level of depth that helps to enforce the head-turning optical illusions.

Not all of Mantra’s butterfly murals are painted outside, though, and not all are depicted as preserved specimens. Some occupy rooms within abandoned buildings, taking position against a wall, or standing out from a corner. So far, his butterflies have appeared in Spain, Austria, France, and Bogota.

Mantra’s illusory murals don’t end with butterflies either; he’s also painted cats, birds, and reptiles, as well as other insects, such as moths, beetles, and (in one instance) a monstrous spider, creeping out from a “crack” in the side of an apartment block.

Keep up to date on Mantra’s latest work by following him on Instagram.

Street artist spray-paints murals of hyper-realistic butterfly specimens.

Butterfly Murals by Mantra

In July 2017, Mantra painted this mural, entitled Yasuni’s Imago, onto a building in Thionville, France.

Butterfly Murals by Mantra Butterfly Murals by Mantra Butterfly Murals by Mantra Butterfly Murals by Mantra Butterfly Murals by Mantra Butterfly Murals by Mantra Butterfly Murals by Mantra

Not all of Mantra’s insects are housed behind glass, though…

Butterfly Murals by Mantra Butterfly Murals by Mantra

Watch Mantra create one of his illusory Murals.

A post shared by Mantra (@mantrarea) on

Mantra: Instagram | Facebook
h/t: [Colossal]

All images via Mantra.

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Emma Taggart

Emma Taggart is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. Originally from Northern Ireland, she is an artist now based in Berlin. After graduating with a BA in Fashion and Textile Design in 2013, Emma decided to combine her love of art with her passion for writing. Emma has contributed to various art and culture publications, with an aim to promote and share the work of inspiring modern creatives. While she writes every day, she’s also devoted to her own creative outlet—Emma hand-draws illustrations and is currently learning 2D animation.
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