Underground Illusions: Anamorphic Parking Lot Turns Flat Paint into Sculpture

You’re driving through an underground parking garage when suddenly, the colorful geometric shapes splashed all over every surface pop out into three dimensions. Try not to crash your car! When optical illusions line up right, they can be really disorienting, and it’s always cool to see them carried out on a large scale. Argentinian artist Elian Chali got to take over an entire parking lot in the Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc region of France, transforming it into a trompe l’oeil canvas.

“This artwork, which uses basic geometry and primary colors, makes use of the architectural factors where it inhabits,” says Chile. “Each element adopts a new function and the space becomes a huge sculpture. The relationship with the environment is not easy to achieve, therefore not only the walls will be intervene, but the painting will invade everything that you find in your way in order to offer to the users of the parking, the possibility of breathing inside a work of art.”


It’s a pretty cool effect, with some triangles stretching dozens of feet and crossing ceilings, support pillars and walls to end on the floor. Presented by 2KM3 Contemporary Art Platform and curated by Hugues Chevallier and Zoer, the piece comes together as an optical illusion when you hit just the right spot while driving through.

Chali is known for applying his signature vivid style to buildings around the world in the form of massive murals, often taking up entire multi-story facades. Each one takes its respective environment into account in its composition, paying homage to the history of the building and its setting, the materials it’s made of, and the ways in which it has aged or weathered. Keep up with his work on Instagram.