Odeith and the Rise of Anamorphic Street Art

By Emma Regolini

January 17, 2020

Anamorphism in street art refers to the intentional distortion of perspective, a type of optical illusion that is best viewed from a particular vantage point to experience the true image.

Early use of anamorphism or the ‘distorted perspective,’ dates back to prehistoric cave painting, as artists had to adapt to the oblique angles of cave structures. Over time the technique has been revived and used for different purposes suited to the climate of the era.

In the 17th century, anamorphosis was used to conceal images for privacy or personal safety or to hide secrets particularly associated with royal figures.

Anamorphism used in 17th century fine art paintings
Anamorphism used in 17th century fine art paintings

Today, artists use anamorphism by selecting a specific angle from which to view the piece in or take the best photograph, and for Portuguese artist, Odeith, this often involves calculated 90-degree angles or curved surfaces.

Image via https://www.odeith.com/
Image via https://www.odeith.com/
Image via https://www.odeith.com/

Although the style of 3D art is well established, Odeith has driven and refined the anamorphic style, playing with optical illusions by creating life-like scenes involving creatures, cars, chrome lettering and other realistic objects.

Combining mathematical measurements, shadows and at times an imitated background, Odeith achieves, what he refers to as his ‘sombre 3D,’ style.

It is easy to overlook the detail and skill of Odeith’s work until we are shown the piece from a more conventional angle before we can understand how the design is perfectly stretched and distorted to achieve the perfect shot.

The Portuguese artist is most renowned for his abandoned bus illusion mural piece, which quickly became a viral sensation. After coming across a block-like structure, Odeith eventually unveiled the incredibly realistic bus.

Odeith’s style is one, which is so unique and restrictive to imitation that his portfolio of work from over the years continues to push boundaries and inspire artists across the world.

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