All too often have I received the forwarded email about Julian Beever and his street art. But not once did it occur to me that this was an art form that was used in times as early as the Renaissance.
Mostly I can’t believe that as an art student I never made the connection between the similarities in the Hans Holbein the Younger’s “Ambassadors” and it’s skull smudge and that of Beever’s street artworks. You’d think the fact that you have to view it from just the right angle and all that jazz would have triggered something in my mind to connect the two but no… it never did.
And of course the first time I received the forwarded email I was probably about 12 years old and had just gotten my first email account. My Mom was doing her best to send me interesting messages and forwards to actually give me a reason to check my email. I still remember looking at Beever’s work the first time and thinking it was so interesting. Wondering how he’d managed to plan out something like this I was astonished. Of course I forwarded the message to all of my friends and they all agreed that it was quite interesting. But a few months later I ended up receiving the email again, this time I didn’t read any of the text but just skimmed through the images. And as you can probably see where this is going, over the past 8 years I have received this email full of “anamorphic” images countless times and now I find myself just deleting the message as soon as I read the subject of the email.
Perhaps it was my constant decision to not give the works a second chance that lead me to not making the connection to the “Ambassadors”. After all I had grown bored with the idea of a piece of work that could only be viewed correctly from one angle. But this leads me into wondering why, beyond the artists directing the point of view of the viewer, would you restrict a piece of art so much? Why make it only view able from one angle, one spot. I don’t believe I fully understand the why behind this type of art… but I will most definitely take a closer look at the email the next time it wanders into my Inbox.