Photos of Diet Wiegman’s Mind-Blowing Shadow Sculptures

02 Shadow Dancing ©Diet Wiegman

Voted “The Most Brilliant Artist of the Netherlands” in 2009, Dutch artist Diet Wiegman is a master of his craft. But of all the amazing creations he has to his name, his work with light and shadow is most breathtaking. Using garbage, pieces of glass and other rubble, he creates a sculpture that, with the help of a light source, projects a beautiful image onto a wall.

You can stare at the photos for a very long time (trust us, we have) and it still won’t make sense that a carefully arranged pile of recycled items can produce Michelangelo’s David. Or that a pile of broken glass and a few other items can somehow produce a beautiful image of a sunset.

Although we have cause to be jealous of Wiegman’s work, it’s worth keeping in mind that he’s been doing this for a while. He created his first shadow sculptures all the way back in 1965. But the message behind most of his shadow and light work has remained simple: creating “ideal beauty” from “trash.”

Here is a selection of his most impressive work, courtesy of the Diet Wiegman Archive:


03 David deformed ©Diet Wiegman 1983

06 Dutch Landscape 1987 ©Diet Wiegman

04 Venus on fire 1984 ©Diet Wiegman

05 Dialogue between two chairs 1993 ©Diet Wiegman


07 Geedy Consumption ©Diet Wiegman 1993

09 Misty Eyes 1989 ©Diet Wiegman

10 Off Balance ©Diet Wiegman

11 Rembrandt illuminated ©Diet Wiegman

16 Self-reflection ©Diet Wiegman

13 Sisyphus 1992 ©Diet Wiegman

14 Untitled ©Diet Wiegman

15 David 1983 ©Diet Wiegman

12 Shadow out of shadow 1986 ©Diet Wiegman

17 Exhibition Metamorphoses ©Diet Wiegman

Wiegman is an accomplished artist in almost every respect, but it’s these shadow sculptures that have earned him international acclaim. And yet, this pioneer of the technique doesn’t believe that he’s creating shadows per se: “I did not invent the phenomenon shadow,” says Wiegman. “I just make holes in the light.”

To see more of Wiegman’s work or learn more about this incredibly talented “art omnivore,” head over to his website by clicking here.

(via MetaFilter)

Image credits: Photographs by Diet Wiegman Archive and used with permission.

  • Yves


  • Matt

    Those are hard to belive.

  • beautox

    I lived in Rotterdam about 20 years ago and came across a shop window full of his work. In particular I remember seeing the triangle that projects a circle. It’s staggering when you see them in real life.

  • TKE


  • Michael Palmer

    Damn impressive!

  • MikeAlgar42

    I was just about to write how I’ve seen some of Tim and Sue’s ones that are similar, then realised that it is in the similar stories bit of the page.

    Still some excellent work and incredible lighting positioning.

  • MMielech

    So who exactly hands out “The Most Brilliant Artist of the Netherlands” award?

  • Adam Cross

    the classical statues are my favourites, really awesome =D

  • ProtoWhalePig

    Amazing. Doesn’t have much to do with photography, though.

  • MMielech

    Really? Light and shadows? What am I missing here? You define photography, please.

  • VicVader

    Yeah, I’m not thoroughly impressed. They’re cool, sure, but most brilliant artist? That’s a bit of a stretch. Just a bit.

  • Gijs

    He does other things besides these ‘shadow sculptures’, you know? I don’t think these sculptures single-handedly got him the award.

  • Ragazza Milano XincontriAdulti

    great publish, i surely enjoy this web site, keep on it.

  • Photo Sculptures

    I really enjoyed reading this blogpost, keep on writing such interesting posts.