When the conditions outside are right, puddles can act like windows to different worlds. Chicago-based artist Jeffrey Michael Austin likes to photograph pools of water on the street that mirror fragments of the sky and cityscape above. But when he isn’t waiting to stumble upon an artfully-placed puddle in the real world, he’s creating striking street art of his own.
These sculptures, spotted by Co.Design, combine surreal images with the ordinary sight of a trash-filled puddle. Austin uses photographic prints and polyester resin to make his puddles. They’re designed to lay flat on a street or hard floor, kind of like the fake vomit you’d find at a practical joke store, only a lot more appealing. Sometimes his puddles reflect typical images, like a cloudy blue sky, but more unusual scenes like swirling nebulae also find their way into his work. Real props, like trash and plastic cups, help to ground the pieces in reality.
Austin has exhibited his puddle art at the Luminary in St. Louis, Missouri; the University Galleries at Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois; DEMO Project and Enos Park in Springfield, Illinois; and SideCar gallery in Hammond, Indiana. You can check out some highlights from his project below and visit his Instagram page and website for more.