A visitor examines the sidewalk artwork "Grand Canyon Illusion"… (Joel Kramer / AP )
Adding to the already vertiginous thrills that can come with a visit to the Grand Canyon, artist Kurt Wenner has taken the natural wonder to a new, disorienting level with a recently opened installation at nearby Tusayan, Ariz.
Appropriately called "Grand Canyon Illusion," Wenner's piece that recently debuted at the canyon's visitor center near the south rim allows visitors to interact with the canyon's head-spinning depths while never taking their feet off the pavement.
Initially created with pastels and transferred to more permanent digital prints, the work spans a section of the courtyard's floor and up a wall, giving viewers the illusion of tip-toeing from sandstone spire to spire while looking down a trail spiraling into the apparent distance below.
Wenner got his start creating chalk and pastel renderings on the sidewalks of Rome in the 1980s as part of the city's madonnari street artists, and since then he has created pieces that have been seen around the world, including at the Pasadena Chalk Festival, which celebrated its 20th anniversary this year.
"This particular art form has all kind of uses, in a sense that it's so broad in the demographic, the kinds of people it gives joy to and its applications," Wenner told the Associated Press. "It's wonderful seeing it blossom into this global phenomenon."
"Grand Canyon Illusion" will be on view at the visitor's center through October, and while there are other ways to get a bird's-eye view of the canyon's depths, this smaller-scaled option sure seems a lot less stressful.
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