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German contemporary artist 1010 (pronounced ten-ten) made a splash in Atlanta last month when photos of his commissioned mural Paradigm Shift circulated with viral speed across the internet. The mural, painted near the clouds atop Downtown’s Peachtree Center mixed-use development, warrants a double take. It looks like a monstrous hole opening on the building’s roof and was intentionally painted to create the optical illusion of a deep cave.

The artist (Instagram: 1010zzz), it seems, revels in anonymity. He keeps his real name private, won’t answer questions and doesn’t allow any photos of himself, just his art. ArtsATL’s inquiries to 1010 and his manager went unanswered. No matter. His murals still have viewers wondering, “How’d he do that?”

"Paradigm Shift" mural Atlanta.

In its earlier stages, the “Paradigm Shift” mural looked like this. (Courtesy of Living Walls)

Paradigm Shift was completed with the help of the Atlanta nonprofit Living Walls, which uses public art as a social and economic engine, with an assist from Atlanta muralist George F. Baker III. Unfortunately, it’s visible only from private offices at Peachtree Center or from the air.

BACKGROUND:

1010, who’s 40, was born in Poland and moved to Germany as a child. He lives and works in Hamburg, traveling the world — Asia, Europe, North America — to paint his abstract 3-D murals. His work requires a lot of space. Most span 40,000 square feet and use more than 100 gallons of paint. He employs similar techniques to paint gallery-size canvases with acrylic and hand-cut paper, his media of choice.

STYLE:

The murals are created with a gradient of colors and shapes. Darker colors are painted in the center of the mural, and lighter colors layered on the edges provide the visual effect of pulling viewers in. 1010’s work can be found around on building walls, highway roads and rooftops worldwide.

1010 painted this mural in Panama City, Panama.

WHAT’S NEXT:

The enigmatic artist announces, “Get Ready . . . Something Really Cool Is Coming Soon” on his website. Characteristically, he gives no details, not even a hint. If you wish to follow his cryptic, nomadic journey through the art world, it’s best to follow him on Facebook or Instagram.

BE THE FIRST …

ArtsATL has been doing this street art column at least two Thursdays a month for nearly a year, and we have yet to hear from a single reader. See something you like? Something we should know about? Have an opinion or suggestion? Please email kathy@artsatl.org. This column is done largely in collaboration with Art Rudick and his Atlanta Street Art Map. It will return on January 16, after the holidays.

 

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