Artist transforms abandoned barn into an optical illusion

The abandoned barn in the desert turned into a unique project

In the middle of the desert in California, an abandoned barn has been around for years. The worn down and unremarkable building got Phillip Smith’s attention. The artist decided to transform the barn into a unique, ‘living’ piece of art.

Unique environment

The abandoned wooden barn stood in the desert for over seventy years. However simple the dilapidated barn may be, the environment in which the wooden structure stands is in any case extremely beautiful. On a large empty plain, with rugged rocks in the distance, the barn almost disappears into the surroundings. The artist Phillip Smith was able to make good use of this. Smith came up with a clever plan to merge the barn into the desert and put mirrors on the outside.

Right through it

The barn had been rotting away for years when Smith got his hands on it. He replaced every other plank with a mirror. The result is astounding: it looks as if you can look right through the barn. The roof also seems to float through the mirrors! In the daylight, the mirrors on the barn reflect the desert environment, which looks beautiful. Because the position of the sun in relation to the barn keeps shifting, the reflection also changes. As a result, the abandoned shed is now also referred to as a “living work of art”.

At night

LED lights have also been placed in the door and window frames. When the sun sets, these lights come on. The colors of the light change constantly, so that the artwork also looks different at night from every view. “This project stands for slowing down, for enjoying the silence and the pace of the desert,” says the artist about the end result.

Curious to see how the abandoned shed now looks? Read more on the next page.

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