This colorful piece of art might look like a random assortment of patterns, but look closer and you may see the head of a blue wildebeest hiding in plain sight. Artist r1 recently designed and installed this hypnotic mandala-like piece, named Hidden Trophy, on a street wall in central Johannesburg’s New Doornfontein. The public artwork comprises one hundred chevron reflective street signs and was assembled in patterns inspired by traditional African craftwork.
Artist r1 chose to hide the image of a blue wildebeest within Hidden Trophy because of the animal’s long-distance migratory patterns in East Africa. The distinctive African antelope symbolizes the migrations of individuals who flock to Johannesburg in search of a better life. The vertically oriented signs suggest the outline of a blue wildebeest’s head through the subtle hints of blue, while the colorful composition creates a lively juxtaposition to the surrounding horizontal brickwork.
Hidden Trophy is strategically located at a T-intersection so that drivers would have a direct view of the installation. At night, lights from passing cars illuminate the reflective artwork and make the outline of the blue wildebeest head more prominent. The large-scale piece was bolted into place and measures five meters by five meters.
Images via r1