Painters and artists alike have been using optical illusions for ages. Think about it, an artist has to use his skills to fool your perception and make you believe that is painting is actually 3D. Artists use perception illusions, color illusions, and many other illusion subcategories to help fool your mind into believing what you see on a canvas.
Even though most artists use optical illusions to make their art more believable, some artists take their art to the next step by creating art with the purpose of fooling others. Take Salvador Dali’s works of art.
Notice that there are more to the images than meets the eye. My first impression of image one was that a woman was near a window. When I stepped back, I also saw the profile of a man! For the second painting I immediately noticed the black and white image of the “old woman”. As I looked closer however, I noticed that the old woman was made up of two individuals dressed in white and black.
Another famous artist known for his optical illusions would have to be M.C. Escher. The widely known illusion below is called Day and Night can you guess why?
There are many interesting features to the image above. First off, in what direction are the birds flying? What are the colors of the birds? There are two answers to that. Looking from the center to the right of the image you see white birds flying off in the darkness. However, when looking from the center to the left of the image you also see that there are black birds that fly in daylight. The birds also merge into sections of the landscape. You see these different perspectives because each bird is outlined by the shapes of other birds. As you look around, your perceptions change!
One of my favorite illusions that encompasses many of the illusions I’ve discussed over these past blog entries would have to be Relativity by Escher.
What makes this illusion so special would have to be the sheer genius and creativity that went into making an illusion of this sort. Coming from a person who has attempted at creating successful optical illusions, this image is no easy feat. View the image from top to bottom. What do you see? Where do the stairs lead? What are the figures doing? Escher tries to make us see this image in new ways of perspective using is intricate shading techniques and perspective skills.
Looking from the bottom, you see that an individual is going up a flight of stairs. To the right of him a woman seems to go down a flight of stairs that are upside down. But how could this be? Escher uses perspective to trick the mind which allows you to see different versions of the picture at once.
Tilt your head to the right. Does the perspective of the image change? you bet! Now we see a view of people eating on an outside porch-an image that was originally turned on its side. The list of illusions used in this image go on and on. Escher’s skills as an artist and an illusionist bear great examples to different illusion types and forms. We notice changes in perspective, impossible objects, and 3D illusions all in one picture. It just goes to show how easy it is to get fooled with information you see, process and try to understand with your own eyes-its mind blowing.
Other images encompass different illusion categories would be:
Do you notice anything strange about this illusion? Do you really think that you can climb a wall like this? This is an example of a perspective and impossible object illusion. Your view on the orientation of the wall changes depending on where you look at the image. The image is also impossible because it seems to be on the ground then high in the sky-which is impossible for a flat surfaced floor.
The famous illusions above are ambiguous illusions meaning that you can interpret them in more than one way. In the first illusion you can see either an old couple or two men playing music. In the second illusion you can see the profile of an old man or the images of two peasants under an arch. It all depends on how you view the images.
Your Optical Illusionist,