Real-Life Invisibility Cloaks
By Ransom Riggs
Dutch artist Desiree Palmen is no wallflower, but she knows a thing or two about blending into the background. That's because her latest project is literally aimed at making people disappear -- in plain sight. What we mean is this:
Countless painstaking hours go into hand-painting the cotton suits she creates, meticulously crafted to blend into their surroundings. She got the idea, she says, from an increasing paranoia about 24-7 "Big Brother"-style surveillance: "I wanted to make a suit for the non-criminal citizen whose house is being watched 24 hours by street surveillance cameras. I'm also responding to a wish to disappear."
An interview with the UK's Daily Mail reveals more about her technique:
It takes hours for her to paint the suits. First she takes photographs of the scene then, back in the studio, she meticulously transfers the detail on to the cotton suit with acrylic paints. The match of colour, texture, light and hue is extraordinarily accurate but the artist remains modest. "It's never perfect," she said. "But when it works that's enough for me. I like the fact people can see it's a real person in a suit and not a fake digital image."
For more on Desiree Palmen, check out her website. And for more uncanny art, check out my blog entry on hyperrealist sculptor Duane Hansen.