A wonderful illusion in the desert. The artist made it out of an abandoned barn



The abandoned barn has become a modern work of art

This is one of those stories that not only inspire, but also show that you can make something really beautiful from old, ruined buildings. This one was located in the middle of the California desert and accidentally caught the American artist’s, Phillip K Smith, eye. Using the natural rustic character of the building, beautiful landscape and mirrors, he created something truly unique.


Use of a unique landscape

Spotted by Paul K Smith, the building stood abandoned in the middle of the desert for over 70 years. Unused and lonely, with torn windows and decaying boards, it scared from afar, but also aroused curiosity. Its surroundings are truly unique – an untamed, empty plain, picturesque mountains in the distance and blue skies. The American artist decided to use all this. By embedding mirrors in the barn boards, he harmoniously brought out what is most beautiful in the surroundings.

A brilliant illusion of transparency

It must be admitted that the artist’s idea gave excellent results. By replacing each gap and rotten barn board with a properly trimmed mirror, he created a kind of illusion of transparency in the building. The landscape reflected in the mirrors takes us far, to the horizon. It is impossible to resist the impression that we can see exactly “through” the barn, although in fact we are not. In daylight the mirrors reflect the desert landscape and the sky, and as the position of the sun in relation to the barn is constantly changing, the reflections also change. As a result, the abandoned barn seems to live and breathe all of its surroundings. It is called “a living work of art” for a reason.

Colorful lights in the middle of the night

Interestingly enough, the abandoned barn also catches the eye at night. This is because Smith chose to place colored LED lights in the shutters and frames of the building. When it gets dark, the lights start to dim, which gives a unique effect. What is this project for the artist himself? ‘This project stands for slowing down, for enjoying the silence and the pace of the desert’ says Paul K. Smith about the effect he has achieved.

Are you curious what the barn looks like after the transformation? Go to the next page to see the photos.