Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background

The photo challenge this week is to take a photo of myself, perhaps as a reflection, so that the background is more interesting than the subject.

Today I found this piece of reflective metal at the bottom of a whole-wall fresco here in Lyon, France.  So, I took the hint, took my camera and photographed myself on the street with the fresco.  My mind never quite accepted that these people were painted onto a two-dimensional surface.  Even now, looking at my photos, my eye is fooled into thinking they are real.

This mural covers the entire blind wall of the building at the corner of 49 Quai Saint-Vincent and 2 rue de la Martinière.  There are 24 historical Lyonnais characters on their balconies, going back further in time as they rise up the wall.  At ground level there are 6 contemporary personalities (not including me).  The fresco was produced in 1994/95.

La Fresque des Lyonnais

La Fresque des Lyonnais and me, street level and first floor

Here’s another view which I liked so much that I’ve attempted to blot out a nasty dark mark made by an idiot dragging a black pen or brush through all the faces.  I think I’ve improved the photo but unfortunately it’s not easy to remove the real mark from the fresco without retouching the artwork.  Isn’t it fantastic, though?  All the people to my left are painted, they don’t exist, nor does the brickwork or the doorway.

Fresque des Lyonnais et moi

La Fresque des Lyonnais et moi, street level

And one more, just because I’ve bought some important books in the bookshop, Gibert Joseph.

La Fresque des Lyonnais, bookshop on the corner

La Fresque des Lyonnais.  A painted Bernard Pivot leaving a painted bookshop, Gibert Joseph.

12 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background

  1. One of my favorite work related stories involves painting a trompe l’oiel stone arch. I thought it would look more realistic if it was a bit worn and painted in some pits and hair line cracks. Later that night, the husband of the family for whom I was working went downstairs in the middle of the night to get a snack from the kitchen. He ran back up to tell his wife that the wall on which I was painting was cracking. She ran downstairs and got up on a chair and felt the wall and said, “I think it’s painted.” The spent quite sometime trying to figure it out.

    Thanks for sharing the photos.


    • It’s always a risk to produce art in a public place; at least the fresco up the wall, higher than a human arm can reach, is probably safe from vandals. Glad you love them like I do.


    • In France it’s called tagging – graffiti vandals who spray-paint a signature or other mark on a public wall. It’s often cleaned off pretty quickly by the authorities, but on an artwork like frescoes, it’s not possible. Thanks for telling me you liked the photos.


  2. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: In the Background | From the 90's

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