The Portals

The Portals
Ever receding portals open up within horizontal bands of painted textures.
Portals, porticos, places, perspectives.
A stack of four horizontal bands creates the illusion of walls, floors, and planes transporting the viewer into faraway imagined places.

The Portals

This entry is a response to the call for Trompe-l'œil artwork for the Imago in Villa Competition in Castelnuovo Val di Cecina, Italy.

Receding horizons appear within horizontal stripes of paint

This proposed mural celebrates the traditional technique of creating a painterly illusion of depth on a two-dimensional surface – while simultaneously maintaining the surface tension of the flat plane.

The tension between an illusory depth and flat surfaces parallels an emotional tension between reality and the imagined spaces we recall with nostalgia. The nostalgic gaze is inherently a form of projection, not unlike Trompe L'Oeil. As viewers, we are drawn into a scene that involves the real, the projected and the imagined – much like the nature of memories. 

4 horizontal bands of paint reveal a receding series of spaces

The painting is organized into four horizontal bands, each painted to represent elements such as walls, floors, and landscapes. At the same time, the four horizontal bands can be seen as continuous stripes of painted texture. The visual alignment of the bands maintains the integrity of the surface's flatness while drawing the viewer into the perceived depth of the scene. The work invites viewers to simultaneously experience the reality of the mural as a flat surface and the illusion of a deeper, three-dimensional space.

This approach repeatedly transports the viewer's eye in and out of imaginary space and 'surfaces' the juxtaposition central to Trompe L'Oeil. The mural becomes a metaphor for memory – layered, textured, imbued with desire and longing, yet ultimately bound by its own conceit.

A vertical interruption of the blue portal

The work is a playful exploit of the world of illusion. With an Escher-esque spirit, it celebrates the visual trickery of representational artwork. Maintaining the flatness of the 2D plane while engaging in the depth of a 3D illusion, surfaces the tensions and paradoxes inherent in our multi-dimensional experience of the world.

Visual Explorations

The following images and mock-ups are created from a pastiche of sources, including AI-generated content via Dalle and ChatGPT and composited from material found on the web. They serve as sketches, renderings and illustrations of a project concept and of an emergent work in progress.



Drawn Borders