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'Graffiti Rockers' Cover São Paulo in Uplifting Optical Illusion

It isn't the first time artists have sought to brighten up the slums of São Paulo by painting them in bright colors, but the Luz nas Viela (or "Light in Alley") project may very well be the first to rely on optical illusions to get its message across. These murals by Spanish art collective Boa Mistura—whose name comes from the Portuguese for "good mixture"—form words like "beleza" ("beauty") and "firmeza" ("determination"), affirmations that float in midair only when viewed from exact the right spot.

The group of five self-described "graffiti rockers" enlisted the community to help them carefully paint their one-word messages in stretched-out text, using the city's narrow and winding streets to their advantage. At least in pictures, the bold, thickset text really does seem to pop out, and, if nothing else, the neighborhood of Vila Brâsilandia got a good deal more colorful.

It's all vaguely reminiscent of the French street artists who used the same perspective-based effect to transform abandoned buildings. Though their colorful restoration of the architecture in France's Saint-Étienne is, admittedly, much less inspirational and much more whimsical.

· Floating Graffiti Participatory Favela Project by Boa Mistura [Design Boom via Gizmodo]