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Watch celebrated artist Alexa Meade transform a live model into a seemingly two-dimensional tableau. Reversing the tradition of trompe l’oeil, the Renaissance painting technique in which objects appear real, Alexa Meade painstakingly applies acrylic paint onto actual people and objects, creating illusions of seamless, two-dimensional portraits. Unified by bold brushwork reminiscent of mid-20th-century painting styles, her subjects appear flattened, as if painted on canvas, even when viewed from different angles. Meade’s work invites a deep exploration into the nature of perception, the role of photography in viewing ephemeral artworks, and the sudden intimacy of portraiture.

For thousands of years, Indian women have created these elaborate geometric designs using a variety of natural materials—flowers, spices, sand, and natural pigment—to mark auspicious occasions, celebrations, and milestones.

In May of 2012, Tibetan monks and nuns visited the Exploratorium with their exhibition "The World of Your Senses." Master Painter Jampa Choedak created a painting using thangka techniques while in residence.

This After Dark event, which explored the science behind slowing down, included artist Joe Mangrum, who created a sand mandala on the floor of the museum. In this timelapse video, shot over 8 hours, you can see the full arc of the work.