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Eye to Eye

Our newest design obsession involves combining trompe l'oeil furniture with super-realistic wall art.

Trompe l'oeil, of course, is a type of art or design that looks like something it isn't. French for "fool the eye," trompe l'oeil is perhaps best explained by way of Pere Borrell del Caso's 1874 painting Escaping Criticism, with an artist jumping out of a frame.

Furniture in the trompe l'oeil style can be incredibly clever, like Nendo's clear plastic chairs finished with varnish to look like they're disappearing. Or Fernando Brízio's "What You See Is Not" cabinet--a vinyl decal that looks like a side table with an actual drawer extending from the wall, ideal for a book or two.

The reason we like the idea of trompe l'oeil furniture paired with realistic art is that the mash-up is the opposite of what most people's brains have come to expect. Usually it's the art that's visually tricky and the furniture that grounds us in reality. Once the mind settles on what it's seeing, ie, abstract furniture paired with realistic art, the scene becomes cleverly amusing.

Here at Green Box, check out our selection by Judith Jarcho. She's got lettuce leaves that will make your mouth water and weathered barns that'll make you think you hear a chicken clucking. Displayed over a piece of trompe l'oeil furniture, this canvas wall art will prove that you not only have impeccable taste, but a sense of humor as well.


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