DOWNTOWN — A Bridgeport artist has turned dozens of Chicago landmarks into intricate mazes for a newly released book.
The book, "Start to Finish Chicago: Windy City Mazes," includes depictions of the Lincoln Park Conservatory, the Art Institute's lions and the Field Museum.
Matthew Haussler, the artist behind the mazes, has made a name for himself by creating record-breaking and extremely detailed mazes that show off Chicago's sights.
"There's so much variety and so many different views and landscapes and cityscapes, it was kind of a no-brainer to me to focus on what I see every day," Haussler said.
It took Haussler six months to make the 45 mazes featured in the book. He included icons most will be familiar with (like Cloud Gate/ "the Bean"), as well as spots near to his heart, like a view of the Aragon from the Red Line. Haussler took in that view every day for a year while living and working in Uptown, he said.
And though the mazes are art, Haussler designs them to be entertaining: Each can be solved (solutions are shown at the back of the book), colored in or enjoyed as is.
"I like to watch people get a little bit of excitement in and watch their interest be piqued when they look at my work," Haussler said.
Some people can go through the mazes in a few minutes and say they're too easy, Haussler said, while others find them too difficult. It's hard for him to judge the intensity since he makes them, but they are are more difficult than what you'd face on a restaurant placemat, he said.
Still, he promised, "They're not as hard as they look."
Haussler has made mazes as art since 2009. Though he does draw people and animals (one of the book's mazes features a Lincoln Park Zoo zebra), he said buildings are "a little more fun."
Haussler also makes maze books for children and he's working on mazes that show scenes from Chicago's "sister cities," including Galway in Ireland.
People have asked Haussler if it bothers him that people see his art as a game, he said, but he likes that people find his work entertaining.
"You're supposed to enjoy it. [It's] supposed to be fun," Haussler said. "Making a hobby to a career is what everyone dreams of."
Here's a look at some of the mazes in the book: