The Upshot

The man who isn’t there

You might say that Liu Bolin likes to blend in.

But the Chinese artist does more than just wear camouflage pants and stand next to a bush. With the help of some assistants, Bolin paints himself, head to toe and unassumingly just stands there--in grocery stores, next to piles of coal, on staircases, you name it. And, unless you look really closely, you'll miss him entirely--which is pretty much the point.

It turns out that the process of making oneself truly invisible is quite painstaking. According to a report in the U.K.'s Daily Mail, Bolin spends hours perfecting his poses to ensure that he'll mesh with his background. Bolin then stands "in front of backdrops with a team of two assistants to paint the camouflage on his clothes." The "camouflage" can be anything, so long as Bolin segues seamlessly into the backdrop.

Aside from looking cool, Bolin's work does have a deeper meaning. Again according to the Daily Mail, the living sculptures are "designed to show how we all can just disappear in today's mass production world." And how! The photo of Bolin standing in front of a grocery store shelf full of soda cans and bottles is full of color, shading and shadow.

Bolin, who has been at this for several years, has built up an impressive portfolio. A gallery of his work can been seen at Eli Klein Fine Art. You can check out the full collection of photos here. You can see a slideshow of some Bolin's most impressive work in the slideshow below.

Click image to see more of Bolin's disappearing act

Liu Bolin/Eli Klein Fine Art

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