Urban Camouflage: Liu Bolin, The Invisible Man
Article by Steph, filed under Street Art & Graffiti in the Art category.

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In a world of Photoshop and special effects, artistic craft wrought by hand is getting harder to come by. But Liu Bolin doesn’t need any fancy technology to produce the jaw-dropping illusion of invisibility – his urban camouflage photography is all paint and pure talent.

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The Beijing-based artist spends hours studying his chosen locations and painting himself and other subjects, while carefully taking perspective and texture into account for spectacular results that render them almost invisible.

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But Liu’s work is more than just a cool-looking feat of trompe l’oeil. In the past, works depicting anti-government imagery, including some in which his Chinese subjects are in the grips of police officers, have resulted in the Chinese government shutting down his art studio.

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“In my photography, historical statues, costumes and architecture become symbols of that which confines us,” Liu says. “I am expressing the desire to break through these structures. I portray subjects that seem to disappear into these structures and become transparent. The subject is released from social constructs and he is free.”

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“Living in the red hot China, I feel that I am not in control of my own life. However, I have an indescribable burning desire inside of me. Art is a weapon that helps us untangle the chaos in our lives. I hope that my artworks can calm people down during this period of constant change, but at the same time, inspire people to re-evaluate our environment and reconsider the problems arising in our society. In this transition period, I can hear the voice of Hamlet whispering, “for in the sleep of death, what dreams may come.”

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