You’ve undoubtedly seen it before somewhere on the web, or maybe even real life. The 3D sidewalk chalk art, also known as street art or street paintings that looks amazingly real. Artists across the world practice the trade today but few know that forms of street painting trace their origins back to Britain as far back as the 1700s.
The 3D art itself is two dimensional art often drawn on sidewalks that when viewed at a certain angle appears to be three dimensional and creates an optical illusion that is stunningly real.
In 1984 leading street artist Kurt Wenner invented 3D pavement art as a result of being inspired by anamorphic art – or one-point perspective art that is viewable only from a specific angle. In doing so he had to invent an entirely new geometry to make his sidewalk art work the way it looks today. Many of the other famous names of sidewalk art, including Edgar Muller, Julian Beever and Manfred Stader trace their beginnings back to Wenner.
Today these talented street painters or chalk artists often gather at festivals visited by hundreds of thousands of people across the globe to display their talents and admire fellow artists’ abilities. We’ve put together a few of the most famous street painters as well as 101 of the coolest 3D chalk art paintings we could find.
Famous Street Artists
All of the street painters below are extremely talented at sidewalk art but also artists by their own right. We’ve included some of their best street paintings as part of our list and listed their bios and websites below – check them out!
Kurt Wenner – Father of Pavement Art. Educated at Rhose Island School of Design and previously worked for NASA. Asphalt Renaissance is Wenner’s book that showcases his work.
Manfred Stader – Another early artist on the scene, German born and raised Stader continues to be one of the best at the craft today.
Leon Keer – Learned his trade painting murals for multinationals and today this Dutchmen is a leading 3D sidewalk artist of world wide fame.
Julian Beever – English artist who has practiced the trade since the mid 1990s. His book, Pavement Chalk Artist, features much of his work from around the world.
Edgar Müller – German street artist renowned for his abilities and was first artist to create a street painting that changed from one image to another with the change of light.
Joe Hill – Famous artist who holds record for largest and longest 3d artwork (Reebok Crossfit in gallery below) and has worked with brands across the world. Also is behind the 3D Joe and Max website.
Nikolaj Arndt – Nikolaj was born and educated in Russia but currently teaches in Germany. Despite teaching he still is a leading 3D artist that has worked around the globe.
We’ve tried to include all the artists whose work might be included below. Let us know in the comments if we missed any so we can give them a shout out!