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Cubic Landscapes Are the Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

'Inception' meets B.o.B's 'Flat Earth' conspiracy in the surreal works of Petey Ulatan.

by Beckett Mufson
May 10 2016, 5:25pm

Images courtesy the artist

You don't need a totem in the fantastical worlds of Petey Ulatan, because it's obvious that these twisted landscapes are dreams. Inspired by the iconic bending city scene in Christopher Nolan's Inception and fueled by B.O.B.'s public comittment to Flat Earth Theory, Ulatan bends already stunning landscapes into physics-defying cubic formations that look like what you'd see in a Star Trek holodeck simulation if you zoomed out.

"I discovered this technique by just playing around," Ulatan tells The Creators Project. "I failed a few times at first, then I got the hang of it. It actually took me a while—about six months—to get it down to a science." To create the effect, Ulatan drops photos he's taken himself or grabbed from Google Images into Adobe Photoshop, then duplicates the layer and changes its orientation. Throw a layer mask on a portion of the image and select whatever areas you want to cubify, and you're golden. "For some images, I would mask out the sky and add another layer of another photo of a sky to create the illusion that it’s coming from one world," Ulatan suggests. He finishes each image off with filters in Adobe Lightroom to nail their dreamlike qualities.

Check out real locations in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and more made into dreams in Ulatan's images below.

See more of Petey Ulatan's work on his website and Instagram.

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