SERIOUS TALENT

Seen this optical illusion?

An impressive trompe-l-oeil fresco painted in the coastal city of Boulogne-Sur-Mer was recently crowned France’s most beautiful street artwork for 2020.

Every year, a popular French portal dedicated to urban art hosts a national competition to crown the nation’s most impressive street art. Thousands of votes are cast, and for last year, the title went to an amazing artwork created by Spanish street artist Gonzalo Borondo, on the city’s rue Jules Baudelocque, last summer. From the right angle, it looks like an elaborate metal gate, with detailed bas-reliefs on either side, but a closer look reveals it to be just an optical illusion.

Located on this grand staircase on rue Jules-Baudelocque in a traditional district of Boulogne-sur-mer, Borondo’s fresco is meant to be an allegory of life, according to Abid Amziane, the head of the city’s street-art festival.

“You first see a closed door, and you may think that in life everything is closed. But by going up on each step, you reach stages, like consciousness, or free will. And at the seventh and last level, you understand that life has just started, and that you should never let go,” Amziane said.

Interestingly Gonzalo Borondo’s street artwork is unfinished. Because of the rain, the Spanish artist could only work his magic for four days, instead of the planned seven, so he is expected back this year to finish the masterpiece. If it already looks good enough to win the prestigious Golden Street Art prize, I wonder how it’ll look when it’s done.

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