Lenticular art prints, though they have been around for a long time, are still little known as an artistic medium. Only relatively contemporary advances in digital printing and computer graphics software have made it widely achievable at the high quality standard, and scale, demanded by most professional artists. Every year sees a few new and fascinating lenticular art projects though, and 2021 was no exception.
Beyond art, of course there were conventional uses of lenticular print as well. The Rolling Stones released a 40th anniversary edition of the album Tattoo You, including a special lenticular edition version of the original album artwork. The movie poster for John Carpenter classic The Thing was also given a 3D lenticular treatment in advance of the film’s 40th anniversary in 2022; but we’ve seen these things before over decades of lenticular merchandising, so where was the real creativity this year?
A large scale lenticular mural in Salt Lake City, USA
Murals are an interesting form of lenticular art, applied to large scale walls and buildings as contemporary street art it often takes the form of a classic corrugated double portrait, however some use the architecture on a suitable building differently.
In May, a new lenticular mural was revealed in Salt Lake City, Utah; when viewed from the front, the building looks like any other modern apartment block, however protruding structural beams across the frontage provide a painting surface. When viewed from a side angle, a large scale mural of the local mountain peaks and a pink flamingo is revealed on the structural beams that join with a large mural on the side wall of the building.
Created by artist Phillip Adams, it commemorates a local hero; an escapee flamingo, from a Salt Lake City aviary, that spent the next 17 years wintering in the area after evading recapture.
Helmut Lang adds lenticular print to a range of fashion clothing
A new collection was announced by fashion designer Helmut Lang in June; in collaboration with conceptual artist Hank Willis Thomas’ lenticular typography work “It’s All About You / It’s Not About You”, which Lang visualised across a range of t-shirts, hoodies, and dresses.
The project offered the design team a chance to get creative with replicating the lenticular print viewing experience on a fabric, and came up with a range of solutions. Some utilise a classic lenticular printing type process to ensure the typography reads differently depending on which angle you view it from, whilst other pieces work with sheer fabrics printed inside and outside.
Both Lang and Willis commented on the collaboration playing with the idea that art can shift perspectives, and people find a need to understand that the position they view things from, can profoundly affect what they see.
Dali protege Louis Markoya unveils solo show with lenticular at it’s heart
Louis Markoya worked closely with Salvador Dali as his protege for around six years, and has built up a considerable body of work over the course of his career, the best of which is featured in a retrospective solo show announced at the Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art in Florida in September.
Paintings, sculptures, and a 3D film are all featured in the art gallery show, but it was his 3D lenticular artworks which gained much of the attention. Markoya started using lenticular while he was working with Dali, who had experimented with holography and 3D glasses technology and suggested working with lenticular as well. Markoya’s work draws on his experience as a research scientist and engineer, and plays with fractal geometry, maths, surrealism and modern mysticism to explore the human mind.
Having taken a long break from art, huge advances in lenticular printing drew him back to it around a decade ago, and he began working with three-dimensional depth and movement effects with his fractals and graphics to create quite stunning images.