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See Inside Scientific American Mind Volume 24, Issue 1

Artists Play With Light and Shadows to Trick the Eye

Trompe l'oeil illusions challenge your perception
Behind the Curtain

The Flatiron Mural is artist Derek Besant's milestone outdoor public trompe l'oeil mural for the city of Toronto in Canada. The back end of the Gooderham Flatiron Building, a magnificent 1893 Victorian triangular structure with turrets and coned rooflines at the heart of Toronto's Theatre District and St. Lawrence Market, was knocked down to create a park, and five windows were punched into the firewall facade, creating an aesthetic problem. “My solution was to apply aspects of the surrounding five blocks of architecture into a sculptural facade that appears to be a giant curtain,” Besant says.

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