Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Invisible Man.

I was nearly stopped in my tracks when I stumbled across the art of Liu Bolin on wide open spaces. I immediately had to research more and found this great article on Mail Online of the UK.

Bolin is a Chinese artist whose work expresses his experience of feeling like an outsider in his own home. After graduating from school and finally finding his place as the practice of contemporary artists grew, Chinese officials began shutting down artists' studios in 2005. According to Bolin, "The situation for artists in China is very difficult and the forced removal of the artist's studio is in fact my direct inspiration of this series of photographs, Hiding In The City."

Bolin's work is an exercise in patience. Most pieces will take up to 10 hours while he stands near his background as an assistant painstakingly paints him to match his background. He says that in many situations passersby won't even notice him standing there until he moves.

What is so striking to me is how quiet his images are while remaining so profound. How many people do we pass each day in our cities that aren't painted into the background, but we treat them as if they are invisible? Liu Bolin's work really does serve to "remind people what the community we live in really looks like, and what kind of problems exist."


  1. I've never heard of him! This is really great. I had no idea what I was looking at in the first photo, and it took me at least 30 seconds to find him in the last!

  2. W-O-W! Those are incredible. I almost couldn't find him in the last photo. Shutting down artists studios?! For shame!

  3. Incredible! What an amazing idea.

  4. Nice piece of work but I am really not understanding what kind of paint he has done. How can he be so blended with the backgrounds only with paints?

    Looks like photoshop work.

  5. These are incredible! Thanks for sharing them--always fun to find new artists...
    And great job on AT! I loved your post. Any news about that?

  6. This is AMAZING... Thanks so much for sharing.

    I just stumbled upon your blog and I think it is lovely. Kudos... and I'll be back. :)

  7. The talented one is the unnamed "assistant" who does the actual painting!

  8. Expressive works but not original! and i suspect (don't know exactly when he started his invisible images)that Liu has stolen the genuinely creative works of dutch artist Desiree Palmen. Her works are truly amazing! she photograghed the scenes then painted them onto the fabric to make the camouflage suits for her art work.

  9. "...Liu has stolen the genuinely creative works of dutch artist Desiree Palmen"

    I doubt very much if Liu and his assistant have ever heard of Desiree Palmen let alone steal her work!

  10. Nnothing in this world is ever original. Many people have the same ideas, and many never do anything those ideas. On the other hand many do do things with those ideas. Just because two artists share similarities doesn't mean anyone was copying anyones.

    Get over it people. Nothing in this world is ever truely 100% original.

  11. These are photoshopped.

    Another internet hoax.

    The man painted his body and clothes all 1 color, takes a picture of himself, then uses photoshop to extract the color leaving only the shadows on his body. Then he overlays the shadow over any image in photoshop and warps the image so that it appears to be 3d and on his body. A person with real paint on his body would not have the same gray shadows everywhere. It's quite easy to do in Photoshop.

    Come on people, don't be so gullible.

  12. Nvm I take it back. After seeing these in higher resolution, I've concluded they're real.
    His assistants are pretty good.

  13. Liu Bolin, the living steganogram. A man who can literally paint himself into a corner.


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