Damon Belanger, an artist from Redwood City, California, has taken to the streets of the city to make surreal street art. Instead of normal sidewalk painting, Belanger has taken to working with shadows, literally. He has created shadows sprouting from everyday objects on the city’s roadways.
The artist has created shadows of a variety of objects and animals, including monkeys, cats, and aliens, among others. To make his shadowy sidewalk art he starts by stenciling in the outlines of the shadows he is seeking to create. He finishes by painting them dark grey, which gives them their shadowy appearance.
Belanger is not the only one who creates such artwork. Dos Jotas, from Madrid, Spain, also makes shadowy art along people’s everyday walks, and even on the walls in the city. His artwork takes advantage of shadows cast on the walls in the city, with some only being visible in the evening hours. Plus there are many others in cities around the world who use their skills to create beautiful works of art using shadows.
Check out the artwork for both of these artists and prepare to be fooled and amazed.
1) Damon Belanger
Here is artist Damon Belanger next to some of his artwork in Redwood City, California. It’s amazing how much his artwork looks like real shadows playing across the sidewalk. The only limits to what he paints are his imagination.
2) Dos Jotas
Artist Dos Jotas from Madrid, Spain draws his art on the walkways and walls of the city, especially across footbridges. Here is just one example of some of his artwork on the many walkways throughout Madrid, a dancer doing a handstand.
3) Skateboarder 1
Here is more of Dos Jotas’ work. This skateboarder is riding across the walkway on the back wheel of his skateboard. The dog in the picture seems to be wondering what exactly is going on.
4) Rollerblader 1
Here is some more sidewalk artwork from Dos Jotas. His art tends to focus on various activities that people across the city take part in, including skateboarding and dancing. In this instance, he has drawn the shadow of a person on rollerblades.
5) Train Ride
Here is some more artwork from Damon Belanger. In this piece of sidewalk art, Belanger has drawn a train moving across the tracks attached to a nearby fence. all of the strange figures in his train cars appear to be happy with where they are going.
6) Train Ride at Night
Here is the same artwork, except in the evening. Notice how the paint seems to work regardless of the lighting to make the sidewalk art appear like shadows. You also get a better idea of what the surrounding area looks like.
7) Don’t Lose Your Head
This sidewalk shadow art by Damon Belanger is of a robot that has removed its head. It is drawn as the shadow for a bus route map of Redwood City. Riding the bus might seem hectic at times, but you shouldn’t lose your head over it.
8) Skateboarder 2
Here is another Do Jotas piece. In this one, the skateboarder is attempting a flip trick with his board. The realism of this piece of artwork just goes to show the artist’s familiarity with his subject matter.
Here is another piece of artwork from the sidewalk painter from Madrid, Dos Jotas. This piece captures the skill of the street dancer as they do a windmill spin using their legs. The artwork captures the skill of such dancers perfectly.
10) Rollerblader 2
Here is some more rollerblader shadow art from Dos Jotas. This person seems to be jumping from the top of the walkway to the level surface on the other side. This shadow could also be attempting to touch the arch overhead.
11) Robot Band
Here is another piece by artist Damon Belanger. This one depicts a robot band standing atop the posts of this bike rack. Notice the little musical notes in between the band members.
12) Johnny Appleseed
Here is a neat affect using shadows paired with painted items instead of the other way around. Notice the seeds on the wall which are transformed at night as the street lamp casts the statue’s shadow upon the wall.
13) Robot Bike
Here is a terrifying robot dog/bike that seems to chase bike riders down the sidewalk. You can tell it is electric by the tail which has a plug on the end. Hopefully, the robot dog/bike does not have that much of a charge.
14) Pole Shadow Men
These posts have been painted to look like they are casting the shadow of men. It is an interesting affect, one that can almost make you think that there is more than meets the eye here.
15) Hopping Along
Another piece of artwork by Damon Belanger that depicts a happy, little character hopping along this solitary bike rack along this city street. It’s amazing what an artist can create with some paint and a little bit of an imagination.
16) I, Robot
This street sign has become a robot, with the help of some details added to the wall beside it. It must take a good eye for artwork and composition to come up with ideas such as this.
17) Monkey See
This monkey is probably scratching his head trying to figure out what he is looking at. Maybe he can’t figure out what he has that he can pay, seeing as he has no pockets. Maybe he can pay in bananas.
18) Palm Tree
Notice the sign that the tree sprouts from. It reads, “Nothing can replace a tree.” Of course this is true, but you can’t fault the artist for trying. I guess the next best thing to a real tree is the shadow of one.
19) Bench Cat
This bench has magically become a cat. Look how supple and feline it looks. I wonder if the bench would object if you took a seat, or it might even reach out and give you a love pat (read scratch), as cats are known to do from time to time.
What beautiful flowers. Too bad they are not real. If only real flowers smiled like that. I know that would be creepy but I do think the world would be a better and happier place if they did.
21) Working on the Railroad
These shadow robots are working so hard. Too bad they will never get anywhere, doomed to roam the same piece of track for all of eternity. Created by Damon Belanger, this piece of sidewalk shadow art is similar to some of his other works.
This drawing takes advantage of the shadows in the area to make it look like the skateboarder is zooming up an incline. I’m curious as to what will happen when he reaches the top, though I guess we will never truly know.
23) Bike Trick
Here is another one by Dos Jotas, this one of a bicyclist performing a trick on a bike. This looks like the same area where a lot of the artist’s other work appears.
The bears painted on this wall look like they are behind bars. This is due to the florescent lights casting light through the bars from above. It just goes to show that you don’t need much light to create such effects.
25) Monkey Do
Here is another monkey sidewalk painting, this one sitting there minding its own business. It almost looks like this monkey could jump down from its pedestal and run off down the street.
26) Book Bench
The ground behind this bench has been painted so that when the shadow from the bench is cast upon the ground it looks like an open book. And not just any book, but the Bible from the Christian religion.
27) Mailbox Monster
Here is another picture of the mailbox monster without artist Damon Belanger. It does really look like the mailbox has come to life and wants to grab a hold and eat pedestrians as they pass by, or at least their mail.
28) The Before Picture
Here is the picture of the same mailbox before the sidewalk shadow art was completed. You can still see the stencils laid out that the artist used to get the exact shape he wanted on the sidewalk surface.
This wall art takes advantage of the shadow cast by the nearby object at night. The artwork creates the illusion of favorite Peanuts character Snoopy sleeping on top of his dog house.
While it looks like this wall art depicts someone falling through the air during the daytime, it is only at night that the true genius behind the painting is revealed. When the sun goes down, this falling person instead becomes an acrobat doing a handstand.
31) On the Pier
This artwork makes it appear as if these skateboarders are skating down a pier or boardwalk. It is revealed only at night, which probably means that most people who see it miss this aspect of the artwork altogether.
32) Beam Me Up!
In this wall art, the artist took advantage of the way the shadows fell upon the wall. They placed the alien spacecraft perfectly to look like it was projecting a beam down to the ground to pick somebody up.
33) Laying Down the Stencils
Here is a picture of sidewalk artist Damon Belanger at work. In this picture he is laying out the stencils for the shadow effect he wants to create before getting started.
34) Damon Belanger at Work
Here is Damon Belanger after he has laid out the stencils for his work of art. Once laid out, Belanger then paints the area using grey paint to create the shadow effect. If all goes as planned he has a nice addition to his portfolio of artwork.
35) The Finished Product
Here is the finished product, as Damon Balanger looks on at a job well done. He must be very passionate about his work to first come up with it and then see it to fruition.
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If only we all were as talented as the previous artists. In truth, we all have our own special talents, whether that is in art, sports, or one of the myriad of other pursuits available. The most you can do at any given time is to share your talents with the world around you, just like these artists have.