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Street Artist Makes a Pillar Disappear With Incredible “Transparent Graffiti” Optical Illusion

This mind-blowing piece of transparent graffiti by Milane Ramsi makes a cement pillar disappear, leaving only 3D letters spelling the artist's name backwards. Where some people may see a simple concrete pillar, Ramsi spied his next canvas, completing the work in Carlsbad, Czech Republic in just under a week.

Since the image was posted on Reddit, speculation about how the illusion was created has been running rampant, but process images shared by the artist demonstrate the build up of background color to create the special effect, which works best from a single perspective. Playing with optics and perspective has a long tradition in painting—think Hans Holbein—with graffiti and street artists being no exception. Charged with working in public space and engaging with the environments, these artists often use optical illusions to great effect.

Work in progress:

Different images of the finished piece:

Image via Michael Rund

Image via Luiza Kazi

Milane Ramsi: Facebook | Instagram
via [Laughing Squid, Reddit]

All images via Milane Ramsi except where noted.

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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