Tunnelvision – Columbia, South Carolina - Atlas Obscura
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Columbia, South Carolina

Tunnelvision

This psychedelic tromp l'oeil seems to be beckoning drivers to crash into a wall. 

Inspired by a dream, one South Carolina artist created the otherworldly mural known as Tunnelvision to create the illusion of a road to another world.

Painted on a large blank wall abutting a downtown Columbia parking lot, the convincingly realistic art is the work of South Carolina artist Blue Sky, who also created the nearby Busted Plug Plaza and Neverbust Chain, equally oversize works of public art. At 50 X 75 feet large, the painting shows a craggy portal to a world under a different moon which, if it were real, would be large enough to drive a large car through. The painting creates an optical illusion of depth using the tromp l’oeil effect, and thanks to repeated additions and touch-ups by the artist over the years the veracity of the scene does not seem to fade but actually improve.

Despite constant close calls, there have been no reported accidents involving the convincing piece of fantasy. However with Blue Sky’s continual upkeep and perfecting at the site, it seems like only a matter of time before some escapist driver finally succumbs to Tunnelvision and makes a break for it. 

Good news! This landmark is a two-for-one, because Tunnelvision is literally located in the same parking lot as Busted Plug.

Know Before You Go

Taylor and Marion Streets, just a few feet away from the Busted Plug.