John Pugh, the trompe l'oeil artist

It may look like downtrodden building as a result of an earthquake, but look again and you will see... it actually does look like a downtrodden building as a result of natural disaster. But this is actually man-made image created by John Pugh, an artist specialises in trompe l'oeil - or 'trick of the eye' - art.

These spectacular images are not the unexpected result of an earthquake. The incredibly lifelike scenes are painted on the side of perfectly intact buildings (Even that woman peering into the ruin above is not real!)

Pugh uses his skills to delude the viewer into seeing 3D scenes painted on flat surfaces. The Californian-born artist said: 'It seems almost universal that people take delight in being visually tricked.'

His works can been seen all over the world, including in the artist's home state. The 'earthquake' work shown here is located on Main Street in the town of Los Gatos and was created following a genuine earthquake in 1989.

The temple-like interior apparently exposed features jaguar gods, regarded as the creators of earthquakes by the Mayans.

Another picture is of Taylor Hall at the California State University, Chico, where Pugh studied. The mural features Doric-style Greek columns behind the seemingly shattered wall and is called Academe.

Another work, featuring a colossal wave about to crash on to a pavement in Honolulu, Hawaii, took two months of studio work to plan and a further six months to execute with the help of 11 other artists.

It features Queen Lili'uokalani, the last monarch of the Hawaiian Islands with Duke Kahanamoku - the ultimate father of surf.

The scene is so realistic that just as it was near completion, it attracted the attention of the fire brigade, which stopped its truck in the middle of traffic.

Mr Pugh said: ''They jumped out to rescue the children in the mural. They got about 15 feet away and then doubled over laughing when they realised what it was.'

This is the desired effect and Pugh enjoys the community-bonding properties of his public works.

Check out more Pugh's work here:

Source: Pugh [illusion-art]