There is an artist we are currently obsessed with here at TAE. She blew us away with her style of creating art. At first glance, you may think the works are just normal paintings, but upon closer inspection you’ll find yourself pleasantly surprised.

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In a weird plot twist, the artist’s paintings are…paintings. Yes, those are actual people! Set against backdrops that artist Alexa Meade paints herself as well, the subjects seemingly blend in creating a 2D effect from 3D objects. The Los Angeles-based Alexa has made a name for herself in specializing on that effect, kind of like a reverse photograph.

Technically speaking, it’s called a reverse trompe l’oeil which is the art of making 3D things represented as 2D, basically working in the opposite direction to collapse depth. The result is that the backgrounds and people seem like flat paintings. The works look spectacular, and we can’t get enough of what she does!

The optical illusions are so gorgeous and mind boggling. You have to see them for yourself. Check out this video reel for her, created by Abbey Sacks:

Her tools of the trade: skin-safe acrylic paint, and human beings. Your body: her canvas. The entire scene is covered in paint to create a full illusion of a flat painting. Her innovative artistic approach leaves people speechless, and with good reason! Check out what else she can do and see if you find yourself puzzled as well:

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It’s interesting how she got into it, too. On her website, she writes, “I wanted to see what it would look like to put black paint down on shadows. Soon it evolved to painting all the colors as they existed in a 3d space on top of themselves. I realized that by painting in this style, I was able to seemingly collapse depth, making the entire scene, human and all, appear to be a 2d painting.”

As such, she hasn’t really painted on actual canvas for a long time. “The last time I painted on canvas, I was 16 years old at summer camp,” she recalls. “I don’t draft sketches for my 3D paintings on 2D canvas. When I’m conceptualizing a new composition, I like to think about the subject matter as a complete space rather than the static image.” So impressive!

When asked if she’s self-taught, her response was: “Before I started making my paintings on people, I hadn’t practiced painting in 6 years. I took some sculpture classes in college that really influenced the way I viewed space and relationships between objects. I often times draw upon my past in sculpture in thinking about how to push the concepts in my work.”

The artist is so fantastic, a couple even became engaged during one of her shoots quite recently! As they were being photographed against a piece of street art during the grueling 2-day painting/shoot, Alexa’s friend Dan Levine proposed to girlfriend Cristina Cordova. Alexa was of course, in on the secret.

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Here’s a really cool self-portrait of the artist as well! To know more about her, visit the following:
Website: alexameade.com
Facebook: /alexameade
Wikipedia: Alexa Meade
Instagram: @alexameadeart

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All images are owned by the artist. Thanks so much for reading!

h/t: 5-Minute Crafts, TED Talks, Daily Mail, Bored Panda, Tech Insider, Colossal, Marvelous, My Modern Met