Look Again: 10 Optical Illusion Artists

Damien Gilley, a multi-disciplinary artist from Portland, uses colored tape and contact paper to create dimension on flat surfaces and walls. He carefully measures and calculates his designs to fit each place where he builds his work. His geometry makes flat surfaces appear deep and spacious.


1. Damien Gilley 

We were originally captivated by Argentina-based Leandro Erlich's mirrored street art installation in Paris. Some others dangled from a Paris flat's third-floor windows, while others climbed roofs and sides. A life-sized building facade was built on the ground, and a big mirror projected the image. His sculpture “L’ultime Déménagement,” a gigantic building facade segment attached to the ground by a ladde, is another.


2. Leandro Erlich 

Self-taught Malaysian illustrator Tang Yau Hoong creates bizarre, conceptual pictures using negative space and light. He plays with light to transform cities into nature.


3. Tang Yau Hoong 

Ideas matter more to Erik Johansson than moments. The Swedish-born, Berlin-based photographer and retoucher makes detailed photograph illustrations with bizarre themes and weird environments.


4. Erik Johansson 

Working as a “photographer’s assistant, tree-planter, carpet-fitter, art teacher, English teacher, street entertainer and Punch and Judy Man,” Julian Beever found his calling as a leading chalk artist who makes terrifyingly genuine street art. Walk past one of Beever's pieces and you could be teetering atop a Time Square building or sitting on a terrifyingly steep ferris wheel.


5. Julian Beever 

Thomas Barbéy creates bizarre scenes from his vacation photos from the past two decades and often combines two photos from decades apart. He prefers 35mm and employs an enlarger and darkroom for photo illustrations. Barbéy's imaginative images show tiny skiers sliding down a bed sheet, piano keys blending into zebra stripes, and a hilltop castle over Niagara Falls.


6. Thomas Barbéy

Oleg Shuplyak's dreamy paintings resemble ancient landscapes or portraits of artists, writers, and others. Second, the optical illusions are both—classic landscape scenery and figures are expertly designed to resemble eyes, noses, lips, and hair to their larger equivalents (Vincent Van Gogh, Charles Darwin, and John Lennon).


7. Oleg Shuplyak 

Edgar Mueller creates anxiety in flat, public locations by painting over them to modify their look. Mueller's works transform a street into a massive fractured glacier, a calm river into a waterfall with a 90-degree plunge, and a street into a huge lava pit.


8. Edgar Mueller 

Felice Varini's paintings appear to be photoshopped geometric patterns over interiors, living places, and buildings. From another angle, they look like scattered pieces painted randomly. Varini fools the sight into seeing a whole item by anamorphosis. Varini painted beautiful anamorphosis circles above a Swiss Alps town in “Cercle et suite d’éclats”.


9. Felice Varini 

Ramon Bruin, a Dutch airbrusher, creates elaborate optical illusions that pop off the drawing pads. Anamorphosis is used to distort Bruin's drawings to produce a 3-D effect.


10. Ramon Bruin 

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