The Illusionist: Felice Varini

Felice Varini

Felice Varini

Felice Varini

Felice Varini

I had been under the assumption for a long time that the work of Felice Varini was a recent phenomena. And, after further research, the Swiss artist has been around and doing his thing for over thirty years now.

The artist is known for his site specific geometric paintings, which he has done on building exteriors, inside of rooms, hallways, staircases–basically, any architectural surface. His works with projections and stencils to create these illusions, which require a very specific point of view in order to “see” the art. Otherwise, the piece is fragmented and seems to be weird, even ugly, shapes thrown around a localized area.

Like site specific artists Christo, Andy Goldsworthy, and James Turrell before him and current street/graffiti art alike, Varini’s work melts buildings and spaces into each other through art. In his work, he uses shapes outside of the local architectural vocabulary to bind all these structures together. He has his hands in a lot of pockets, borrowing a bit from the old and a bit from the new, creating these cross-referencing pieces.

His work is incredibly surreal and terribly fun, very reminiscent of those Magic Eye illusions of the nineties–but without the required squinting and eye crossing. I would love to be able to see one in person, as I am most definitely sure that they are quite the mindfuck.

Photos from unurth

2 Comments The Illusionist: Felice Varini

  1. naomi March 28, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    I love him, i looked through his entire collection of works. the evolution over time is amazing, because it is so small, but everything becomes so perfect.


  2. jay March 29, 2011 at 5:26 AM

    I got to see him give a lecture last year in France and his explanations about the process behind the scenes is pretty interesting.

    As one can only imagine doing such projects takes a lot of time to get the ball rolling regarding authorizations.
    He’s got an awesome team working with him for the installations and the whole thing is super advanced technically.

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