Working in a myriad of mediums, California-based creative Damon Belanger is known for his eclectic oeuvre. While he dabbles in everything from package design to culture-inspired paintings, his most recent endeavor is a playful street art project that gives ordinary objects silly and surprising shadows.
Belanger was commissioned to adorn the streets of downtown Redwood City, California, with 20 fanciful public pieces. By painting faux shadows on the sidewalk, he has transformed the seemingly ordinary city into a whimsical wonderland. Using public features like benches and bicycle racks as inspiration, the artist creates peculiar shadows that breathe new life into the city’s overlooked sites. In Belanger’s world, a mailbox is actually a smiling monster, a parking kiosk is transformed into a monkey on a pedestal, and a city map is revealed to be a robot.
To create each curious piece, Belanger first chooses the object that will cast the “shadow.” He then creates a chalk outline of a character, strategically angling it in such a way that resembles a real cast shadow. Once he is pleased with his sketch, he uses dark grey paint to fill it in, and—voila! An everyday fixture becomes a quirky character, proving that any public space can be an artist’s playground!