Artists Paint Bookcase Featuring Residents' Favorite Books On An Apartment Building

This building in Utrecht, Netherlands was transformed into a giant bookcase.

Street artists often manage to transform abandoned buildings into amazing pieces of art. Dutch street artist, Jan Is De Man, however, chose an apartment building as his canvas. He makes lively 3D paintings for local communities and involves the residents in his projects. Recently, he painted a mural bookcase on an apartment building in Utrecht, Netherlands. For this amazing project, he teamed up with street artist Deef Feed.

The location was chosen before the concept, said Jan Is De Man. "I know the people who live on the ground floor very well. They've wanted a mural by my hand for a while. They also wanted to let me feel free in my design as long as it would bring something positive to their neighborhood. The first idea was to paint a smiley. A huge smiley. Because I believe people become happier when they see a smiley every day. But this idea didn't feel complete, and it felt too simple."

After studying the building, he came up with the idea for an l'oeil mural - "visual illusions in art, especially as used to trick the eye into perceiving a painted detail as a three-dimensional object. I studied the shape of the house and the location where this house stands, and suddenly the idea of making a huge bookcase hit me. I love making 3D art illusions on walls, and I like to see smiles on people's faces and this idea (I thought meanwhile) could bring all this together."

He wanted to involve the residents in the artistic concept. "We entered the community by asking people for their favorite books, and we were able to put eight languages and cultures together in the same concept. Everybody, every age, every culture, every language was welcome. The only rule I set up to participate in this art project was: no political books and no religious books. Besides that, every book title was welcome."

It took them one week working fulltime to transfer the concept from paper to the building. "think most of the time the most difficult [part] is to get the right concept, that fits the wall, that fits the neighborhood. but when you got the right idea, then there is not much difficult", Jan Is De Man said.

Liked this? Share it with your friends!