John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
The mural only makes sense from a certain angle.
Good street art makes you think. Really good street art, in the case of Fintan Magee’s new piece in Belgium, makes you think you’re about to be stepped on by a giant carrying a weird cube on his back.
“Moving the Pointless Monument” is a mural Magee executed on a stack of shipping crates for the Brussels-area North West Walls. From many angles it looks like a jumble of vegetation and body parts. But when viewed from the right spot, the pieces come together to form a hard-hatted man lugging that “pointless monument,” which looks like a box of stalactites.
Magee, the so-called “Australian Banksy,” has dabbled in trompe l'oeil art before—witness these oversized kids netting realistic clouds, or this group of hikers appearing to navigate a building. But “Monument” might be his most ambitious, convoluted effort yet. Check out the painting process (and if you like this sort of thing, find other examples in nearby Hasselt and in San Francisco):