John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
An artist created the immense, realistic candies using “anamorphic distortion.”
Little gummy bears are squishy and cute. Blown up to immense proportions, they become disturbing—carnival-colored grizzlies threatening to topple over and absorb a bystander, amoeba-style, into their gelatinous bodies.
The specter of sofa-sized gummies loomed at the recent Malta Street Art Festival, which brought more than two-dozen urban creatives to paint stuff like a freakish eye, a phantom in a box, and, uh, Gollum. The Netherlands’ Leon Keer executed the faux candy using chalk and a technique he calls “anamorphic distortion.” From ground level they look like indistinct blobs, but from 100 feet up they seem three-dimensional, prime for slapping and watching the sweet protoplasm jiggle.
In a dark twist, what we might be looking at is a homicide scene. Keer describes the artwork this way: “Gummy bears gather around their just-deceased green friend.” Arriving in Malta next: a swarm of hungry, barge-long ants?