What Sort Of Wizardy Is This?!: Shadow Sculptures

March 9, 2012


Artist John Muntean makes wooden sculptures that, when lit from the proper angle, cast realistic human (or animal) looking shadows on the ground despite the sculpture looking like a misshapen turd. Plus each block has three different shapes it can create. SORCERY!

A Magic Angle Sculpture appears to be nothing more than an abstract wooden carving, skewered with a rod and mounted on a base. However, when lit from above and rotated at the magic angle (54.74º) it will cast three alternating shadows. Every 120º of rotation, the amorphous shadows evolve into independent forms. Our scientific interpretation of nature often depends upon our point of view. Perspective matters.

Oh man, I put on a shadow puppet show once. First I made a face that looked like it was talking. Then I did a horse. Then I unzipped my pants and whipped out my-- "GW!!" Haha! Well it's true is the thing. The ladies at the old folks home were into it. "They didn't realize you had your wiener out, did they?" Zero clue. Most of them were asleep and the one that was awake thought I was making a chipmunk.

Hit the jump for several worthwhile videos -- seriously, just hit the jump and watch them, they're cool.

John's Youtube Channel (with even more)
Multi-Perspective Shadow Sculptures Cast a Different Light on Art [technabob]

Thanks to Karsten, who claims he can make a pretty convincing eagle shadow puppet. Ooh ooh -- let me see! Pffft, that looks like a falcon.

  • lordcalvert

    I remember first seeing this concept in 1980 on the cover of the Douglas Hofstadter novel "Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid" where there were wooden sculptures where when the light shone on them from different angles, made shadows of the letters E, G and B 

  • grimbldoo


  • Carver Low

    Am I the only one who immediately thought of the shadow puzzle from Uncharted 3?

  • Emmitt Morgans

    *Sean Connery impression* You must believe, boy, you must... believe!

  • dd Whee

    cow cow cow is just a statue of a cow.

  • Guest

    Sun, Moon, Star is pretty much my favorite. Ah such awesome work here.

  • n_a_a_s

    the skewered jumper is pretty cool

  • Thirst!

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