Fake Facades: Transformative Murals Make Cities Vibrant

Fake Facade Murals 1

You might think you see a stone turret, a bunch of celebrities hanging out on a balcony, construction in progress or a man precariously dangling from a clock, but what you’re actually looking at is a clever trompe l’oeil work of trickery in paint. Artist Patrick Commecy heads up a team of muralists that transform facades throughout France from blank walls to wacky scenes full of life.

Fake Facade Murals 2

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The most dramatic example is a Montpelier building, the back of which is within view of a nearby park (pictured top). Worn and neglected, the structure was a bit of an eyesore as-is. Commecy’s team A-Fresco transformed it with a full faux facade including a tiled roof, windows with balconies and a small tower. The figures seen in the outdoor spaces are famous and influential Montpelier residents throughout history.

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Another project involved painting 20 pioneers of mountaineering on the side of the first Guides Office within view of Mont Blanc. The painted-on windows and balconies so closely resemble the real ones on the front of the building, it takes a minute to realize they’re not three-dimensional.

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See more of these murals, each tailored to its unique location, at the A-Fresco website (in French.)