Kurt Wenner's one-of-a-kind hyperbolic
While studying in Rome, I was invited to climb the scaffolding in several churches to see the ceiling frescos up close during their restoration. I was even lucky enough to touch the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. I noticed when viewing many of the ceiling frescos the figures used a technique called anamorphism to elongate the figures. This particular kind of geometry makes an image look correct when viewed from a specific point, such as the church floor far below the painted surface.
When I took up pavement art, it occurred to me that images on the ground had the opposite problem as those seen on church ceilings. I began adjusting the proportions of my compositions to accommodate the wide-angle viewpoint. Since I knew the back of the eye is a curvilinear plane and having developed a similar geometry while working at NASA, I was able to formulate a new geometry for my images to appear correct when viewed from a select point.
Through the use of this invention, I can make images in small spaces appear to have great depth. This technique I call “3D Pavement Art” creates a harmonious balance between the painted surface, the participants interacting with the artwork, and the surrounding environment.
— Kurt Wenner