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Calligraphic Street Artist Astro Creates Optical Illusions in Urban Spaces

Few things please us more than the exciting feeling of an artist whose works are inspired by another form of artistry, but that still have their own unique twist. Art that harnesses the beauty of another medium within its own completion is particularly pleasing to observe and witness. That’s exactly what we see in the gorgeous urban paintings of French street artist Astro!

Urban calligraphic optical illusion murals by Astro 1

If you’ve ever seen his works before, you know that Astro’s intricate street paintings and wall murals were originally quite inspired by gorgeously looping calligraphy. He may not be actually creating artistic written word like calligraphy experts do, but his paintings are developed along the same curves and angles as the writings of traditional calligraphic penmanship.

Urban calligraphic optical illusion murals by Astro 2

Calligraphic style and personality

Like any good artist, however, Astro has developed and evolved his style over time. Many of his murals communicate a different painting style without losing the elements that made his work unique in the first place.

Urban calligraphic optical illusion murals by Astro 3

Since his earlier days in street art, Astro has begun exploring a very modern, more geometric style of painting. Although he still uses his original spray paint medium, he’s begun working with straight, harsh lines. Those lines, however, overlap and layer in ways that still hearken back to his calligraphic roots.

Urban calligraphic optical illusion murals by Astro 4

Beyond the new geometric elements in his work, Astro has also begun incorporating dimensional layers. This makes his murals appear as though they regress into a vacuum in the centre. The final product is so effective that observers are tempted to reach out and touch the centre, half convinced that there might really be a tunnel they can explore or an edge they can climb. In reality, the art is simply a beautiful optical illusion.

Urban calligraphic optical illusion murals by Astro 5

Recently, Astro’s calligraphic street art was commissioned by the Loures Art Publica as part of a Portuguese initiative to transform flat city surfaces into weaving, layered works of art. The designs reclaim the city of Loures from the idea of being a “concrete jungle” and instead transform its buildings and structures into a visual experience.

Urban calligraphic optical illusion murals by Astro 6

If you’d like to see more of Astro’s intricately detailed works, check out his website and Instagram page!