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Artist creates 360-degree panoramic paintings, called Mobile Cyclorama, that put you directly in the art


  • 6 NOVEMBER 2015
























Suppose you could step inside a painting and see the world it represents—a city park, a river canyon, a skyscape of stars and nebulae. No matter which way you turn, you see the painting. It surrounds you. The brush strokes form the sky over your head and the ground beneath your feet. That’s the feeling you get from a “Mobile Cyclorama” by Raul Moyado Sandoval, who creates paintings for viewing with VR goggles or Google Street View.


“As a child, I remember observing some paintings while trying to imagine what else could be happening beyond that scene or portrait,” says Sandoval. “I always had the eagerness to gaze beyond the frame.”

He trained as a painter in traditional media, but his skills include web development and programming. “As an art student some years ago, I worked as web developer to pay for my school tuition,” he says. “From these past experiences I finally found a way to combine both fields of knowledge.”

Cycloramas—paintings that surround the viewer—enjoyed a brief period of popularity during the 1860s, allowing people to see cityscapes of places they could not afford to visit otherwise. But the rise of motion pictures soon overtook cycloramas as an entertainment form. Sandoval’s works begin in a way similar to those older paintings.


“I take some references, I draw a precise sketch of the spherical composition and then I paint directly on the tablet,” he says of his process. “Personally, I think the best way to enjoy a traditional painting is in its physical form. On the other hand, digital painting is a new medium made to be seen within a screen, originating new ways of contemplation.”

His first series of paintings depicted mostly natural settings: the night sky, mountain ranges, waterfalls and such.


He confides that he is working on a new series of pieces that delve deeper into the immersive nature of his medium. “After reading the history of panoramic painting I have continued my own research on new approaches and thoughts about the spherical projections and the composition of the universe,” Sandoval says.


“My next series of paintings seek to interpret such thoughts in a personal way. Go beyond the representation of the natural landscape to explore new dimensions of space and time.”

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