Friday, June 4, 2010

Optical Illusions in Art

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We love it when the picture plays with our mind

To achieve different angle, illusion or an unusual effect with only two-dimensional picture is a challenge many photographers and artists can't seem to pass by. The three-dimensional sculptures can increase the "I simply can not believe this is real" effect. But in every occasion we keep asking ourselves how the trick was pulled off, and such mind-games appear to be a part of the magic.

"The House, that Swift Built"
(image credit: Anna Gunter)

(image credit: Josh Sommers)

(image credit: Josh Sommers)

(images credit: Istvan Orosz)

But did you know that some illusions can actually be constructed in real life?

(image credit: Shigeo Fukuda.html)

Aldo Cavini Benedetti made the working model of M. C. Escher's "Ascending and Descending" using a toy "Geomag" constructor set:

(image credit: Aldo Cavini Benedetti)

The video is almost out-of-this-world:

The "Impossible Triangle" is also possible to make, see the instructions here - with a printable template from that site, anybody can make it!

(image credit: Scott Henderson)

Almost real:

(image credit: Simon Scott)

Illusions in Art

One certain way to prompt the viewer to look twice in the picture is to create a "topsy-turvy" images, meaningful in both orientations.

Transformations! -

(image credit: Sandro del Prete)

Hidden figures:
A new meaning for "suggestive" painting -

(image credit: Sandro del Prete)

(image credit: Sandro del Prete)

This "Tree of Faces" is a classic:

Animal "matryoshka":

Mona Lisa:

This is a screenshot from the movie "Alexander". An interesting effect, but perhaps not that many people notice:

The following images are without credits, so please help us to locate the originals:

(image credit: Jonathon Bowser)

(image credit: Octavio Ocampo)

Impossible geometry

These artists can not revise the foundations of perspective and geometry, but they certainly fool the eye of a viewer:

(art by Dirk Huizer)

(image credit: Sandro del Prete)

(image credit: Sandro del Prete)

(image credit: Hermann Paulsen)

(art by Zenon Kulpa)

(image credit: Natalia Ivanova)

"The Magic Window" by Istvan Orosz

(image credit: Istvan Orosz)

Paintings by Flemish artist Jos de Mey continue in the "old Belgian masters" traditional style, only they clearly show impossible landscapes:

(images credit: Jos de Mey)

Other "impossible art" painters:

(image credit: Irvine Peacock)

(image credit: Irvine Peacock)

(image credit: Walter Wick)

Great "recursion" effect:

(image credit: Norman Parker)

Original creator of "impossible triangles" (1934) - Oscar Reutersvärd, Sweden.
Wrap your mind around this geometry:

(images credit: Oscar Reutersvärd)

Dmitry Rakov went even further, creating "impossible alphabet":

and "impossible labyrinth":

See another incredible figures alphabet on this page.

Here is one interesting puzzle:

(image credit: Gianni Sarconi)

If your kid has some trouble assembling the toy, maybe he's got instructions like this:

(image credit: Govert Shilling)

Snakes on a... thing:

(art by Peter Raedschelders)

Life imitates illusion

Do you remember M. C. Escher's "impossible staircases"?

well, somebody found the similar structure somewhere in Russia:

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