Artist Creates Mind-Bending Photos By Masterfully Combining Illustrations With Reality

Pietro Cataudella has a special way of remembering his favorite travel spots around the globe, and it’s not your basic selfie. In fact, it’s far cooler.

Cataudella creates a hybrid photo-drawing of his favorite landmarks by seamlessly intertwining illustrations with reality. The results will make your head spin and your imagination run wild.

The artist, who is from Pachino (Sicily) but lives in Pisa, calls his ongoing project CityLiveSketch, and the result is an awesome collection of fun images that offer a tangible bridge between reality and fantasy.

Cataudella uses pre-made connections in his mind to dream up his artwork. He takes an existing landmark – such as a building, and then thinks of something that his mind has linked to that building, or the shape of it.

For instance, this bridge reminded him of the Cheshire cat’s grin…

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And who hasn’t compared Marge Simpson’s hair with the Leaning Tower of Pisa?

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“My current pieces begin with an object, typically a building. After I find something that intrigues me, I try to think about a link between the object’s shapes and something that I’m already familiar with. This step might take up to a few hours. After that, I start creating the image, combining all of the pieces,” the artist said.

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City Live Sketch was originally launched back in 2014 in a small fishing village in south-eastern Sicily, in the province of Syracuse.

According to his website: “A simple sketch of the ” Balata di Marzamem i”, realized on a notebook and photographed in front of the represented scenario, started a project that soon would reach many new Italian cities (and not only!).”

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Overtime, his project has changed into something more imaginative.

What began as 3D sketches of buildings photographed in front of the scenes they originated, has since taken a more fantastical turn.

“When I created CityLiveSketch in 2014, I was doing clear and simple drawings of landscapes and buildings,” Cataudella shared with Bored Panda in an interview.

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“A year later, I decided to do something different,” he said.

“I began creating images in which the illustrations are only part of the full piece, modifying and completing the actual photo. After doing so, I saw everything in a new light. Now, I often see an object very differently from how it appears in reality (for example, as part of a cartoon character).”

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Cataudella’s work is completely self-taught. He’s never taken any special courses or studied illustration. Instead, he believes in the beauty of practice, lots and lots of practice.

“I have never studied illustration or any other art discipline. I learned everything I know by myself with a lot of practice, patience, and passion driving my endeavors.”

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While Cataudella prefers to travel and take his own photos, on occasion he does use royalty free photos he finds online as his canvas.

“I always prefer to use my own pictures. Thanks to CityLiveSketch, I visited a lot of places in Italy and Europe. I hope I can continue working on this project for years to come.”

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Cataudella was born in 1991 and is of Sicilian origin; he is Tuscan by adoption.

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“The objective of CityLiveSketch is to show the beauties that surround us, the symbolic places and the most characteristic foreshortenings in an alternative way, using not only simple photographs but also drawings on a normal travel notebook,” his official website reads.

It takes him up to several days to complete some of his more detailed sketches of monuments and landscapes.

For all you ‘Stranger Things’ fans…

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The talented artist continually strives to create new forms of art with even more creative twists and turns.

While his sketches used to be more simplistic, he has practiced around the clock to create more intricate details that make a building or subject stand out.

In 2016, he delivered a new category of CityLiveSketch to the world – “’fantasy’, in which the design interacts (or even merges) with the photography.”

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In 2018, he took it a step further by creating the “3D CityLiveSketch”

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CityLiveSketch has grown in reach over the last several years – Cataudella has collaborated with big brands like Yves Saint Laurent (YSL), Land Rover, Adobe, and Samsung.

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Not to mention, his unique artwork has gained attention from big publications like The Huffington Post, BBC, DailyMail, and La Republica.

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There seems to be no limit on the fun his masterful mind creates – like this replica of the Up house being swept away by a collection of balloons.

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Follow Cataudella on Instagram and Facebook