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The artist who turns people into paintings

By Mairi Mackay, CNN
  • Washington-based artist Alexa Meade paints people to look like paintings
  • Results of the former Obama staffer's work are walking, talking optical illusions
  • Meade says her experiences in politics helped shape her work as an artist
  • Meade: "What one experiences cannot always be interpreted at face value"

(CNN) -- These paintings are perfect for fickle art lovers: Once you tire of them, just ask them to walk away.

Artist Alexa Meade's subjects are painted people that look like they have just stepped off a canvas.

Instead of using acrylic paints to create portraits of people on canvas, the Washington-based artist paints people and objects to make them look like 2D paintings.

The result is walking, talking optical illusions, 3D paintings that confuse how the eye processes objects in space. But, look carefully at the photographs and it is possible to see an unpainted hand or an eyeball that makes the illusion a little less convincing.

A former staffer on Obama's presidential campaign, Meade has no formal art-school training. She says her projects "spin reality," and that her experiences in politics have helped shape her work as an artist.

"What one experiences cannot always be interpreted at face value; seeing is not necessarily believing," she said.