Nico Laan

Netherlands

Photographer and designer Nico Laan has been producing independent work since the 1980s, but it was through his work as an art school teacher in The Hague, Netherlands, that he was inspired to undertake his biggest and most well-known project to date. Inspired by a student who drew a 3D cube on the beach, Nico creates vast sand paintings along the coast of the Netherlands. The drawings rely on an effect called anamorphosis—when something appears distorted until viewed from a particular vantage point—which is why he photographs them with a drone from high in the sky. Every image Nico creates is made solely from natural resources, whether it’s The Hague’s sandy beaches or lava fields in Iceland, and is designed with nature’s effects in mind, including the inevitable moment the waves or the wind take them away.

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Unexpected things keep happening, and that brings you new ideas.