‘This is unreal’: Chennai artist’s filter coffee painting blows away people’s mind

When it comes to puzzles and optical illusions, netizens are instantly hooked trying to unravel its mystery. However, it wasn’t an optical illusion that left all baffled online recently, instead, it was a mind-blowing painting that was too hard to believe that it wasn’t a photograph.

Chennai-based artist and photographer, Varuna Shreethar,  took social media by storm by sharing a painting of the humble filter coffee. The picture showed piping hot coffee served in a small steel tumbler, inside the dabarah saucer in which it can be cooled, a signature utensil to serve the beverage.

It all looked very real, much like a photograph captured with a good camera until one zoomed in to take a closer look at the vernacular newspaper near the coffee. Even the scattered coffee beans on the wooden table resembled the real ones and did not look like they were painted.

As many were left in disbelief, with some wondering why a simple filter coffee photo was getting so much attention, the young artist shared a timelapse video to show how she achieved the remarkable painting.

The 21-year-old artist told indianexpress.com that she has been painting from her childhood. “I think I started drawing when I was two-year-old and hosted my first exhibition at the age of four,” the self-taught artist said.

Although she has had over a dozen of exhibitions, going viral online seemed like a new experience. “When I did the filter coffee painting, I had no idea that it would go viral.”

Talking about the intricate details that mesmerised netizens, she explained, “I wanted to incorporate hyperrealism with impressionism in my art, that’s why left the texture so raw in the paintings.”

As many mistook her painting to be a photograph at the first glance, Varuna said that’s exactly what she was aiming for. “You can see the first strokes on it but at the same time, it would look like a photograph. It was intentional but no way I was trying to fool people online,” she added referring to some hate comments she received.

“My intention is not to replicate a photograph. That’s what cameras are there for, I wanted to create a painting that resembles something you love so much,” she added.

With more than 48K likes on Twitter and thousands of comments, the tweet showing the digital painting created a huge buzz online. Many showered praises on the artist for her boundless talent and skills.

“If you look long enough you will see some froth bubbles burst. That’s how amazing and life-like this is,” commented one user. “Amazing!! I almost ended up asking you: which camera and what filter?” wrote another.

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