Alexa Meade (born 1986) is an American artist best known for her portraits painted on the human body. She takes a classical concept – trompe l’oeil, the art of making a two-dimensional representation look three-dimensional—and works in an opposite direction. Her aim is to do the opposite, to collapse depth and make her living models into flat pictures.The result is walking, talking optical illusions, 3D paintings that confuse how the eye processes objects in space.
Meade applies acrylic paint to the surfaces of people, objects, and walls in a style that mimics the appearance of brushwork in a traditional painting. The three dimensional scene may be approached from multiple angles and still appear to be a flat painting through the lens of the camera, without the guise of Photoshop or digital effects. Saatchi Gallery exhibition curator Christian Furr described Meade’s work as “taking it one step further than trompe l’oeil.” The effect of the optical illusion is striking. “Many of the images make it nearly impossible to find visual evidence of the secret their construction”.
Watch her on TED here