In some of these photos below you’d think some natural disaster had shaken away the walls of these buildings to reveal architecture hidden for thousands of years. But these spectacular images are not the unexpected result of an earthquake. Artist John Pugh is world famous for creating incredible wall murals that give the illusion of a three-dimensional scene behind the wall the art is painted on. Pugh has been creating his murals since the late 1970s and his particular mural style sparked the term known as “Narrative Illusionism”. Check out some of his creations below:


Taylor Hall at the California State University in Chico, CA. Those Doric-style columns are actually nothing but paint. This was John’s first major commission, done in 1980.

Fremont Aqua Adventure Water Park in Fremont, CA.

The attention to detail is astounding in this mural painted on the side of Del Oro Theater in Grass Valley, CA.

A musical mural at the side of a building in Hermosa Beach, CA.

The visitors lobby of the Juvenile Hall in Sacramento, CA.

So that’s what the inside of the Skyline College in Burlingame, CA looks like.

Even the woman and dog peering into the building is part of this mural.

A sci-fi mural created for Moore Technologies in San Jose, CA.

A very detailed piece painted on the wall of the lobby of the Kaiser Permanente building in Santa Clara, CA.

A masterpiece of a mural on the boardwalk in Santa Cruz, CA.

Not just a ship in a bottle, but a whole bay in a bottle. Santa Cruz, CA.

John Pugh working on the details of one of his amazing murals.

These are simply amazing, wish I had 1/256th of his creativity. If I’d ever come across one of these on the street, I’d probably try to walk through it like a fool. For many more incredible murals check out John Pugh’s website.

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