A friend recently introduced me to the work of David Zinn, an Ann Arbor based commercial artist, who in his spare time goes out with a box of chalk and creates the most wonderful images on the street, simply for the fun of it.
Typically his street art-work consists of whimsical visual jokes making use of street furniture, bricks or any other fixed object on the street as you will see in the images below. Apparently he has been happily drawing on pavements and similar since about 1987, and has frequently been a feature of the various street festivals they have there, more about these in the videos below.
As he is actually a commercial artist, he obviously earns his living from the various creations that he makes, not least being these superb (but temporary) chalk drawings. So he photographs them and turns them into books, calendars and other such useful things, which he then sells via his website.. So if what you see here amuses you, drop by his site and see if there is anything there you would like to own, and make him into a happy man by so doing. Here is the link you need to achieve that:
OK, so enough of his blurb stuff, what does his work actually look like? Well here is a small sample of the thousands of images he has created over the years on various pavements all over the world.
So now you have a reasonable idea of his work, and have met his main character, the charming Sluggo – that sort of green creature with eyes on stalks. Sluggo, and a flying pig named Philomena are two creatures who figure very largely in Zinn’s work, and are justly both famous and much loved in Ann Arbor where they appear at very regular intervals on the streets.
To give you an even better idea of how David works, here are a couple of videos showing him at his work, both on anamorphic images (ones that appear to be 3 dimensional if looked at from the correct angle) and simple visual jokes.
One thing that charmed me about these videos is to see how small children react to coming across him at his work. They are obviously fascinated, and slowly creep nearer and nearer to him as he creates his images. David acknowledges them, and occasionally chats with them, but generally merely acknowledges them and carries on, as they watch with total concentration. A delight to see.
So now you have an idea about how he works, this next video is more of an interview, so you can watch him actually creating one of his images, but also philosophizing about it all as he goes…
So, now you have seen, and I hope, enjoyed the work of David Zinn. There is no end of his work on Youtube and the internet in general, so you have oodles of happy grazing ahead of you if you like what he creates…. Have fun!