Painters who work on canvas and paper often try to create convincing 3D objects on a flat surface. Alexa Meade uses her skills as a painter and photographer to do the exact opposite, painting directly on 3D objects to make them seem as if they were painted onto a flat canvas.

Meade applies thick layers of paint to food, people, and other surfaces, eliminating their dimensionality and masking the natural shadows and other visual cues that tell the eyes that things have depth. The artificial shadows and reflections also come into play when Meade photographs her optical illusions because they would only work from one perspective.

The artist spoke about her process in a TED Talk back in 2013 and revealed a few secrets about this awesome series. Check out some examples above and head to her site to see more.

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[via CNN