Just Above Sunset
Volume 5, Number 10
March 11, 2007

Trompe-l'il

 The world as seen from Just Above Sunset -

"Notes on how things seem from out here in Hollywood..."

Trompe-l'il and Other Madness

Trompe-l'il is of course one of those French terms one can throw around. We're talking optical illusion in what seems to be a realistic painting - as in tromper, to deceive, and l'il, the eye. You've been had. It's kind of a joke on strict realism - there's more here, with samples, and the note that trompe-l'il was (and is) often employed in murals, "and instances from Greek and Roman times are known, for instance from Pompeii." And there's Hollywood. Trompe-l'il is employed in Donald O'Connor's famous "running up the wall" routine in Singin' in the Rain (1952). At the end of the "Make 'em Laugh" number he runs up a real wall, then he runs towards what looks like a hallway painted on a wall, but when he runs up this it's a large trompe-l'il mural. He crashes through it. Whatever. The inside joke is that the song is a fake too, a shameless rip-off of Be a Clown from the movie The Pirate (1948). Nothing is ever what it seems.

Here's trompe-l'il at Venice Beach, Thursday, September 21.

Trompe-l'il Mural, Venice Beach
Trompe-l'il Mural, Venice Beach

Other murals of note - like western line-dancing meets Van Gogh's Starry Night, at the Beach -

Mural, Venice Beach
Mural, Venice Beach
Mural, Venice Beach
Mural, Venice Beach
Mural, Venice Beach
Mural, Venice Beach

If you use any of these photos for commercial purposes I assume you'll discuss that with me.

These were shot with a Nikon D70 - using lens (1) AF-S Nikkor 18-70 mm 1:35-4.5G ED, or (2) AF Nikkor 70-300mm telephoto, or after 5 June 2006, (3) AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor, 55-200 mm f/4-5.6G ED. They were modified for web posting using Adobe Photoshop 7.0

The original large-format raw files are available upon request.

[Trompe-l'il]

Last updated Saturday, March 10, 2007, 10:30 pm Pacific Time

All text and photos, unless otherwise noted, Copyright © 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 - Alan M. Pavlik

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