Saturday, November 10, 2012

Public chalking

I don't know what the world is coming to. Anamorphosis is being done right out in public on the city's streets. And since this years theme was the circus, it featured lurid images, the ever present creepy clowns, and even near public nudity. Move over Key West and your so called Fantasy Fest, Sarasota has the Chalk Festival.

As always, I try to find a nautical item so I can pretend this is really boating related material. This year I did better than last year. Look at Tattoo Girl. A ship on her port gam, and an anchor emblazoned on the tummy. Mission accomplished.

Did I say there were creepy clowns? Check out this Pennywise looking character right out of Stephen King's imagination. "Want your boat Georgie?"

Anamorphosis is an image that appears distorted unless it is viewed at a specific angle, or with the aid of optics. In this case the image below is enhanced by using a lens. We can thank Leonardo for developing this technique in 1485. 

Most of the 3D images at the festival were easily viewed by just standing in the location on the pavement marked by the artist.

It really looked like the elephants were climbing out of the pavement and were going to ravage the crowds. The bird people looked a little to raptorial for my comfort. The image was striking to see in person, and it was my favorite of the lot.

I told you there were a lot of creepy clowns. Although this one looked benign, I can assure you that you wouldn't want to be in the hole with him. That balloon also looks a bit too hungry for my taste.

"And a balloon? I’ve got red and green and yellow and blue..." "Do they float?" "Float?" The clown’s grin widened. "Oh yes, indeed they do. They float! And there’s cotton candy..." George reached. The clown seized his arm. George saw the clowns face change. An excerpt of a conversation with Pennywise the less than fun clown.

Cylinder anamorphosis art has been around since the 17th century. You had to have enough technology around to create decent cylindrical mirrors and cones.

Frankly, I don't really know exactly how this artist created this image. The actual math involved is very sophisticated.

Possibilities are free handing the image, or using software to help create the image to sketch along with a grid layout. It is pretty amazing to see. All of the text is upside down, and backwards.    

Mythica von Griffyn is one of the more flamboyant chalk artists, and she also specializes in body painting. This is an effort that combines both of her talents. A is laying on the painting and being painted into the piece of art.

Although it doesn't look that impressive from this angle, the photos will be taken from the top of the ladder in the back ground. The small back story here is the pavement was very hot. I watched the model check the temperature with her hand and grimace each time. The compromise was to put a towel under her back, and tuck it in so it couldn't be see from above by the camera. It's all for art.

It was a lot of fun. Kate and I went on Saturday, and it was extremely crowded. The estimate was about 200,000 would attend over the four days.

The crowds were so thick, it was hard to get people cleared out long enough to get a picture. I had to do the Haldol shuffle counter clockwise with the huddled masses, and I occasionally got a window to take a pic. The bad news is if it's free in Sarasota, people come. The good news is that the early bird dinner specials clean out a good chunk of them by 4:00 pm. I returned on Monday morning early to get most of the pictures. Even then I had to be patient. It gully washed on Tuesday making clean up a little easier.


  1. Cool! I did a google search of myself and found your article! Thank you!

  2. You're welcome Mythica. I thought it was a a striking, and clever piece.


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