NEW YORK, NY.-
Chalk is one of the oldest tools for creating art, with its origins dating back to the prehistoric era. Since then, a selection of the greatest artists that have ever lived have used chalk to make preliminary drawings, and the likes of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci used the white form of limestone to sketch and create stunning pieces. During the last 50 years, chalk has become a primary tool for public art and especially street art. Here are some of the best chalk artists in the world today.
Kurt Wenner is synonymous with three-dimensional pastel drawing on pavements and has produced some of the most striking works of art
in the movement. Born in 1958 in Michigan, he produced his first commissioned mural as a teenager. In his early 20s, Wenner moved to Rome, where he transformed classical architecture into street art with complex and intricate chalk drawings. His work in the 1980s is often cited as the birth of sidewalk art. Wenner continues to produce excellent pieces, with his Iskander, the last king of Singapore taking pride of place in the National Museum of Singapore. He also made headlines in 2010 when he produced a huge 22 by 22-meter image for a ceremony supporting Greenpeace’s call for a ban on genetically modified crops.
Edgar Müller is another artist considered to be among the world’s best 3D illusionist street painters, and chalk is again a common aspect of his pieces. Müller uses his channel on YouTube to showcase his works. The 50-year-old German recently made history at the Sarasota Festival, where under the pseudonym “Maestro Madonnaro”, he produced a street design that actually metamorphoses depending on the time of day. The image switches from a huge giant to a fetus in a uterus. The work was completed mainly using photoluminescent paints, but chalk remains one of his most cherished tools.
Tracy Lee Stum
Tracy Lee Stum is an American artist with a burgeoning reputation for incredible chalk drawings. Stum did hold the Guinness World Record for the largest painting ever produced using chalk by a single person, and she continues to push the boundaries of what can be achieved using the colorful variants of limestone. Stum earned a bachelor’s degree in her town of Philadelphia before moving to the Florence Academy of Art in Italy, where she began working on the many exciting creative applications associated with chalk and pastel. In recent years, Stum worked with the Cannes Gold Lion team on Honda’s iconic CRV commercial and now completes multi-city campaigns for clients across the globe. Her expertise in chalk has resulted in a myriad of 3D and 4D projects for corporate PR, education sectors, and a range of public and private events.
Actor Rajiv Surendra is among a growing breed of well-known personalities who are also living double lives as chalkboard artists
. Surendra starred in the 2004 movie Mean Girls, but has since turned his hand to all things calligraphy. While his work doesn’t match the scale of that produced by other famous names here, his unique talent for text showcases another more personal side to the beauty of chalk art.
Julian Beever has been a central part of the British sidewalk chalk movement and is best known for his anamorphosis technique, which creates the illusion of three dimensions when viewing from the correct perspective. Rather than focusing merely on still work, Beever brings his chalk-based images to life by using people within his images to interact with them. This gives a sense of scale of movement that is unique to the 59-year-old, and he captures the moments with perfectly framed photographs. Beever grew up in the Midlands in the UK and began excelling in art in his late teens as he began experimenting with depth and visual perception. He uses paper to sketch out his initial ideas and then works on sidewalks via a fixed lens on a camera, which he uses to ensure that the classic rules of perspective are adhered to. Beever works as a freelance artist and has created a plethora of commissioned murals around the world. Some of his most popular works include Push the Boat Out, Swimming Pool in the High Street, and DHL Boy.
Chalk art is now a popular, mainstream medium and is not merely limited to a few world-class artists. Chalk is used by businesses as part of marketing and advertising campaigns, and is accessible for personal use at home. Chalkboard contact paper is an excellent and versatile canvas that can be applied to a wall
in the home for unique interior and décor purposes. The paper is easy to apply and remove, and has grid lines to make it easy for those of all ages to get creative. It can also be used to organize home chores and to create simple notes and reminders. This is one of the best ways to introduce younger children to art and the fun associated with drawing colorful visual images.
Chalk continues to fascinate and inspire artists to create exceptional work, and it will be exciting to see how the 3D and 4D movements evolve in the coming years and the possible ways that new artists will use chalk to support new and innovative styles and creative applications.