A Piano Man, Painted in Trompe l’oeil, on a Piano

Photorealist painter Scott Glaser has spent 348 hours paying homage to Fred Patella, the renowned, mild-mannered master of putting pianos back together and making them sing.

Artists from all walks were recruited to make their marks on 88 uprights and grand pianos that were placed in New York City, grands inside and uprights outside, for two weeks this summer, available for all to tickle the keys during the second annual Sing For Hope Pop Up Pianos installation.

Homage to Fred by Scott Glaser

When Glaser had arrived at a designated warehouse to paint his piano, he watched in awe as Patella, the piano man, painstakingly rebuilt, revamped and revitalized each and every one of the pianos to be adorned by artists.

The “Homage to Fred” piano is a trompe l’oeil depiction of the inside of Glaser’s piano with Patella inside the piano tuning and tweaking. The painting literally, or surrealistically, puts Patella “in” his environment.

Glaser says every minute was worth it and the time he spent painting pales by comparison to the time Patella spent bringing the pianos back to life.

Since the project has ended, the pianos will be donated to schools, hospitals and communities.

Glaser will continue his series of trompe l’oeil paintings, placing people of all professions “in their environments” a la Patella the piano man. His next project is to capture amateur and professional athletes “in” their lockers, revealing a bit of their personalities via items in the lockers that help define them.



Interested in learning trompe l’oeil? Click here to learn more about Step-By-Step Trompe L’Oeil Projects by Leonor Rieti, Olivier d’Huissier and Fablo Rieti.

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