• 05.27.11

Artists Turn Streets Into Giant Works Of Op-Art [Slideshow]

Finally, some public art we actually like.

Long before Times Square got its David Hockney makeover, Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann, a pair of Swiss artists, were busy turning streets and bridges and fields around Europe (and beyond) into massive, abstract paintings.


Collaborating since 1991, they’ve filled a playing field in big, loopy chalk marks and converted an outdoor ice rink into a huge piece of Op-Art. Last year, they covered the quaint streets of Vercorin, a tiny ski village in Switzerland, in sprawling strips of bright, acid-colored paint that, from overhead, looked creepily like a giant, psychedelic spider. With each painting, Lang and Baumann, who go by Lang/ Baumann (L/B), exhibit a bold, crisp, and rigorously geometric style. In short, they’re like graffiti artists, but, you know, Swiss.

The artists don’t say much about their work (refreshingly so; we don’t think we can handle any more of the gobbledygook). But it stands to reason that their compositions are more than just pretty paint jobs. Light-colored paint reflects sunlight better than plain asphalt and thusly absorbs less heat, which must mean that all those psychedelic spider legs help the streets of Vercorin stay cool.

[Hat tip to The Dirt]

About the author

Suzanne LaBarre is the editor of Co.Design. Previously, she was the online content director of Popular Science and has written for the New York Times, the New York Observer, Newsday, I.D.