German-born Edgar Müller shot to fame with his 3D street paintings, astonishing pedestrians worldwide with his transformations of public places. Compass spoke with the master of 3D pavement art about his work and inspirations.

Compass: When did your fascination with art begin?

E. Müller: I began drawing as soon as I could hold a brush – so my parents tell me. I was fascinated in trying out every technique I could imagine. I took a painting course when I was 14, but I could not stand for someone to tell me what to do and how to do it. Every experience, every step you take by yourself, is more productive than what a hundred art teachers can tell you.

What inspired you to focus on street painting?

E.M.: I went to upper school in a small German town called Geldern, which holds the world’s second-oldest street painting competition. I was absorbed by the transient masterpieces done with chalk on the pavement.

“My way of getting inspiration is to ask questions. What am I doing here? What can I do better? How do we create our reality? Is time linear?”

Edgar Müller Internationally renowned 3D street artist

When I was studying communication design, I made my living doing street paintings all over Europe. The experiences, the possibilities that opened up on the street, were a huge contrast to my university life. So I decided to give up studying and to go for street painting, which felt way more authentic.

How do you gain inspiration?

E.M.: What source of inspiration is more powerful, more productive than fighting inner conflicts? My way of getting inspiration is to ask questions. What am I doing here? What can I do better? How do we create our reality? Is time linear? Do I believe in God? Some think these are childish questions. But I take that as a compliment.

What effect do you want your 3D street paintings to have on people?

E.M.: Besides the personal messages, questions and sometimes answers that are found in my paintings, I like to challenge people’s everyday perceptions by changing the appearance of public places.

Why do you think street painting and 3D street painting have grown in popularity?

E.M.: Although street painting doesn’t have the illegal touch like graffiti, the art is showcased in public and a young street artists can reach their audience directly, without galleries and museums. If you ask someone on the street about 3D he will most likely mention computer games or new TVs. 3D street painting uses a totally different technique to simulate the third dimension.

What’s next?

E.M.: Ideally, I would like to create a glowing painting somewhere in the desert without light pollution so I can use the bright stars as part of the final picture.

by Amber Stokes Back to top
by Amber Stokes