A beautiful sinkhole has popped up beneath a busy highway in Paris, but don’t be alarmed—it’s a trompe-l'œil. German artist 1010 painted this enormous optical illusion, titled the Le Périphiérique, that, from above, looks like a giant gaping crater. The incredible colorful artwork was made with over 400 liters of paint and completed in less than a week.
Galerie Itinerrance commissioned 1010, who teamed up with construction company SEMPA, to paint the 4,500-square-meter Le Périphiérique across eight traffic lanes. The optical illusion was created with approval from local officials on a stretch of highway currently closed for renovation. The virtual crater measures approximately 120 meters in length and 30 meters in width. Multiple overlapping colors and the alternating layers of bright colors with darker shades give this painted abyss its sense of realism.
Due to its large size and placement, the artwork can only be viewed in full from the tallest nearby buildings or from a helicopter. However, the artist isn’t worried about lack of exposure; he says people around the world will see pictures Le Périphiérique thanks to social media. The ephemeral Le Périphiérique will be demolished once workers replace the roads with new asphalt in the coming months. The stunning piece is 1010’s largest artwork to date.
“I like to play with the perceptions of human beings,” said the 36-year-old artist to the Wall Street Journal. “Sometimes we think something is static but it’s not. If you change the perspective you see it in a different way.”
Images via Galerie Itinerrance