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Artist Anne Klump Uses Trompe L’oeil to Beautify Austin

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From faux marble cars to apartment makeovers, this local artist is breathing new life into old pieces.

By Shelby Woods, Photos courtesy of Anne Klump

For 20 years, Anne Klump has been producing art in Austin. Her passion for art stems from her desire to create beauty.

“I want to make things better,” she tells Austin Woman, swiping through pictures of her work on an iPad.

Klump is a sculptor, painter and interior designer with a wide range of pieces, from a sculpture of President Barack Obama to decorative paintings on caskets. She studied architecture in school but felt like it was only “10 percent creativity” with a heavy emphasis on numbers, so she switched to graphic design. However, she grew tired of sitting in front of a computer all day.

“I’m a people person, which is rare for an artist,” Klump says. “My problem is I’m always distracted.”

While Klump works in a variety of mediums, one of her specialties is trompe l’oeil, a French technique that translates to “deceive the eye.” Klump uses the optical-illusion method to bring out the beauty of mundane, worn-down pieces.

“I just find a way to make things work,” Klump says. “I find a way to make things prettier.”

Klump has decorated apartment complexes, spruced up sidewalks and embellished bathrooms, turning the smallest spaces into Greek-palace lookalikes. She once painted her black SUV to resemble dark-green marble, and the job was so impressive, she was hired to paint a motorcycle the same way.

Klump says she has been creating art since she was 4 years old.

“I just can’t help it,” she says. “If it doesn’t move, I’ll paint it.”

In contrast, Klump doesn’t move until a client is happy with her work. Word of her talent spreads among her satisfied clients, and she always wants to leave a positive impression.

“I like to make people’s lives better. It makes them happy to see beauty,” she says.

Despite Austin being a hot spot for creatives, art is a tough business here. Klump’s policy of perfection doesn’t always work out well for her hourly. However, she says she could never imagine doing anything else. Klump loves every aspect about art, including the impact it has on a community.

Klump’s artwork is present throughout Austin, and one woman even credits Klump with the sale of her house.

“I had done decorative painting and interior design for this client, and when she was selling her house, she asked me to help stage it,” Klump says. “She sold her house in three days for $20,000 more than she expected.”

Klump ran into that client 15 years later and she recognized Klump as the “woman who helped her make $20,000 on her house.”

Keep Austin Weird might be an infamous city slogan, but Klump lives by a different motto: Keep Austin beautiful.

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