Liu Bolin, the Invisible Artist

Look closely at this photograph – can you see the man who blends into the background? That man is the artist Liu Bolin. He paints himself to “hide” within his photographs. I just watched this interesting newsclip about Bolin and his work. I think it’s pretty creative stuff. You can read more about the ideology that underlies Bolin’s art (and see more pictures of his work) in this article.

I like how these photographs emphasize the idea that a person is affected by his/her surroundings. I latch onto that idea more than any of the political ideas that influence Bolin, although I think that his artistic/political protest makes sense.

What do you think?

  • heidenkind says:

    I think it's really cool. I'm not sure it's as deeply meaningful as he'd like us to think, but it is definitely cool.

  • ixoj says:

    Interesting. I'd love to walk past while he's working on one of his projects and see him half painted.

  • e says:

    Wow, the pictures in that article are really cool. The one where he's by the cannon, and the one where he's by the graffiti-covered wall are pretty darn impressive. That would take a lot of work and a lot of patience.

    I liked that the article said it usually takes about 10 hours to get everything right. I like it when articles put into perspective how hard something can be.

    Now, in terms of his artistic statement, I think he really is making a statement. The man is from China — talk about the poster-child place for oppression for thinking outside the box. Good for him for using the frustration of not fitting in into something different and interesting. I really can relate to that and appreciate it. Plus, it makes for some really cool pictures.

  • Olive Tree Guitar Ensemble says:

    Hi, it's a very great blog.
    I could tell how much efforts you've taken on it.
    Keep doing!

  • Christina Park says:

    Liu Bolin has been doing his Hiding in the City series since 2005. It started as a political commentary on the tensions between the Chinese government and their people and the identity an environment gives an individual and vice versa. Liu Bolin will be exhibiting at Eli Klein Fine Art in New York from June 29 – August 28, 2011. Eli Klein Fine Art represents him exclusively in North and South America. More images can be found on

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This blog focuses on making Western art history accessible and interesting to all types of audiences: art historians, students, and anyone else who is curious about art. Alberti’s Window is maintained by Monica Bowen, an art historian and professor.