TITLE: Anamorphosis

Technique: brush and spray painting


LOCATION: Rue du Marais 5


Covering two facades of number 5 rue du Marais, this mural by Peeta is an anamorphosis, a distorted image designed to be viewed from a precise angle. Indicated by a yellow circle traced on the ground, the ideal place to admire this work is some fifty meters from the building, in front of number 66 rue Girardet. From this vantage point, the optical illusion is perfect, and the shapes painted by the artist emerge from the walls. The windows become panels of parallelepipeds suspended in the void. The illusion of three-dimensional shapes is particularly striking when the light intensity is roughly the same on both facades, when the sun is south-west of the building (around 1 p.m. in summer), or when the sky is cloudy and the sunlight diffused. Then the north-east corner of the building magically disappears.

To create perfect anamorphoses, Peeta uses photogrammetry. Photogrammetry is a technique for digitizing reality. It consists in creating three-dimensional models of physical objects from simple photographs of the same objects. For the creation of this fresco, Peeta first came to Le Locle to take numerous photos of the building from different vantage points. Then, back in his studio in Campolongo Maggiore, near Venice, he imported these photos into photogrammetry software which, using complex algorithms, combined them to calculate the dimensions of the building and produce a three-dimensional (3D) model.

There’s no better way to realistically simulate 3D shapes than with color shades. Rather than using brushes, the easiest and quickest way to paint gigantic shades is to spray paint on the facades. To do this, the artist is armed with some twenty spray guns, each fitted with a tank containing one liter of a specific color. This process is faster, more economical and environmentally friendly than using spray cans.

Thanks to his immense talent and a healthy dose of elbow grease, Peeta succeeded in transforming this building with no particular architectural qualities into an exceptional work of art. This monumental achievement alone sums up the extent to which the exomusée has changed people’s perception of the Mother Municipality of the Neuchâtel Mountains. For despite its many qualities and the fact that it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, because of its architectural heritage, which stems from the watchmaking industry, this charming little town was often portrayed as an unattractive town. Since it became a mecca for urban art, these unfounded criticisms have dried up.

Of course, you can’t measure a city’s attractiveness in the light of tourist attractions. But the many flattering reviews in the media are helping to restore the town’s reputation. And it’s true, that every year, thousands of tourists leave Le Locle with stars in their eyes after visiting the exomusée (as well as the town’s 3 other museums). Some visitors have told us that after visiting the exomusée, they’ll never see Le Locle in the same way again. This, of course, delights Peeta, whose task consists of questionning the way we perceive reality.

© exomusée – September 2023 – Redaction: François Balmer – Translation: Wolfgang Carrier

Rue du Marais 5



(source: artist’s website)

Manuel Di Rita, also known as Peeta,  is a graffiti artist since 1993 currently living in Venice. He is a member of the EAD crew (Padova, Italy), FX and RWK crews (New York City) and has participated, over the years, in festivals and art shows all over the world. His work explores the potential of sculptural lettering and anamorphism, both in painting and in sculpture.

In my pictorial, sculptural and mural compositions, the geometrical shapes I design behave as they interact with the surrounding environment. In particular, when painting on walls, my aim is to create a dialogue with the structural and cultural parameters of the surrounding context, either architectural or not.

Initially, my works only realized the sculptural quality of individual letters, namely the ones that spelled out my own moniker, Peeta. Progressively, the fusion between traditional lettering and three-dimensional style has given life to a unique kind of visual rhythm. Today, through my anamorphic works, I redesign the volumes of any surface involved, thus causing with my paintings a “temporary interruption of normality” by altering the perception of familiar contexts and so raising a different understanding of spaces and, consequently, of reality on a whole.

Metaphorically, I intend to neutralize preconceptions and urge the emergence of new perspectives. Anamorphism totally embodies the intent, always pivotal in my production, to reveal the deceptiveness of human perception, the fallacy of narrow and fixed points of view through visual tricks which, proceeding from the attempt to confer a three-dimensional semblance on a pictorial representation, ultimately reveal their will to deceive.

Due to my turn towards anamorphic painting, I choose to transform my traditional shapes in order to let them interplay with standard modules of architectonic structures, often changing them from irregular and smooth to geometrical solids.

Constantly running in parallel with my mural and painting activity, the role of sculpture comes to be essential for my overall production as it represents for me a direct contact with three-dimensionality in order to understand the rules of light and shadows and to reproduce them.

> Link on Peeta’s website

© exomusée – August 2023 – Redaction: François Balmer – Translation: DeepL


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