Know what is Trompe-l’oeil? It’s an art technique that uses realistic imagery to create a 3D optical illusion of a 2D object. The pioneering master of this form of art is John Pugh, who likes to call himself trompe l’oeil artist, muralist and optical illusion painter. His 3D wall murals are incredible artistic expressions that are both aesthetically and intellectually challenging, often fringing upon the philosophical and the spiritual.
Devoting almost 30 years to this art, Pugh has pioneered his signature style of Trompe-l’oeil called ‘Narrative Illusionism’. It’s not only the 3D gimmick that enamours his art to people but his imagination in creating them that instantly engages the mind. The infusion of historical, mythical and social elements in his art challenges one to find deeper levels of meaning.
Says he about his art, “It can link people together, stimulate a sense of pride within the community and introduce the viewer to new ideas and perspectives.” According to him, public art is a very powerful form of communication, but it needs to be genuine to satiate the public craving, and should in no way be commercial.
It’s no wonder that he has earned international recognition. He continues to captivate his audience with his large-scale deceptive trompe-l’oeil murals that ‘trick the eye’ into believing what is not! His large-scale murals, that have a global presence, adorn spaces in Taiwan, Mexico, New Zealand, the US, Canada, Mexico, Barbados, Japan, Taiwan, and others, both in public and private domains.
Born in 1957, Pugh started creating murals since the 70s. He graduated in arts in 1983 from the California State University, Chico, California. In 2003 he was conferred with the Distinguished Alumni Award. Currently, this mural artist is based in Truckee, California and enjoys a sizeable following on the social media.
Pugh says, “Ultimately the goal with the mural is to conjure fresh feelings and perceptions, and evoke a sense of connectivity with the mural, within us, and the world around us.”