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WTFIT: Dr. Bolick

By Terri Stone

We admit it: We are not nice people. Why else would we ask an artist to create something representing the word subtle and then give him a neon-yellow safety vest and other bright materials? Fortunately, Robbie Bolick (also known as “Doctor Bolick”) was up for this WTFIT challenge.

“I thought about how cities at night have bright streets and high contrast,” Bolick explains, “yet we don’t really notice that—it’s subtle. So my idea was to make an image that you might at first glance assume to be a regular photo of a cityscape, only to realize that it’s made of random objects, tape, and paint.”

Over four days, Bolick spent roughly 25 hours to build his cityscape, which has echoes of an airport at night. “The neon vest reminded me of the air traffic directors, so I was going for the tarmac look,” Bolick admits. “The lights on the track and flags were hints at an airport vibe, too.” The final construction measures approximately 1 by 3.2 yards. 

“Because I normally work in 3D software, building and photographing a model by hand was challenging. I tried so many looks and lighting setups—and lighting set-ups take 10 times longer in the real world. But this project needed to be real or your subconscious wouldn’t be fooled. I’m happy with the final result.”

To see more work by the good Doctor, visit his Behance profile and website.