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The Art of Deception: Illusions to Challenge the Eye and the Mind Hardcover – October 7, 2014
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Seeing is believing, so they say. But I’m betting “they” never saw The Art of Deception: Illusions to Challenge the Eye and the Mind.
More than a collection of optical illusions (though it surely is that), The Art of Deception features painting, photography and graphic design that’s made to make you look twice. Or three times. These are works that scream out to you: “Hold on a sec, all is not what it seems.”
Take Liu Bolin’s photograph of a small wooded area near Beijing. Looks innocent enough, until you notice the sly presence of a man standing right in front of you. Is he painted to blend in? Is he transparent? Or Ben Heine’s photograph of a drawing that offers a bird’s eye perspective of a nest of what could be skyscrapers. A young man is holding the drawing in such a way that he seems to be floating above them, looking down into them. Or how about Nikita Prokhorov’s tessellation art, in which figures are intertwined in what could be endless patterns? Or Oscar Reutersvard’s impossible figure designs?
There’s really almost too much here to marvel at, and your eyes will widen to amazed orbs as you take it all in. From Punya Mishra’s ambigram of the word “good” with the word “evil” embedded inside it, to Guido Daniele’s paintings of animals on hands, The Art of Deception is a brilliant study of how artists from across the globe see and bend the world around them. It’s not so much a game, though it can be, as it is an interpretation of the world as they see it. Their juxtapositions surprise, then illuminate, and finally provide “a-ha!” moments that leave you smiling.
This wonderful book features a foreword by John Langdon, king of the ambigram, and bite-sized essays about each work of art. They don’t give the secret of the work away, but each one offers a glimpse into the mind of the artist and a peek at what he or she is trying to accomplish within each piece.
About the Author
Brad Honeycutt is a web developer and optical illusion enthusiast. For over a decade, he has operated a popular optical illusion website, allowing him the opportunity to get to know many wonderful artists. He works with two of the world's leading stereogram creators to help publish several books containing their 3-D creations. Brad is also the author of EXCEPTIONAL EYE TRICKS and the co-author of THE ART OF THE ILLUSION with Terry Stickels.
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One drawing/picture, for example shows the back of a girl's head with the part in her hair lined up and juxtaposed ahead of a footpath, giving a new "bend" to perspective. Entries are generally arranged in clusters by artist, most in full color. One of the better "optical" or "modernist" art collections I've seen, and mostly relatively recent (2010 on).
It's so much better to have them on tangible paper than to have them only on a harddisk in a virtual form. Altough the motion illusions seem
to be working better on a lit screen.
However, the major bonus, I think, is to have some background info on the artists who created these pieces of art. It's really very informative
and enlightening to read something about their views, inspiration and techniques. Thus far, a lot of illusions on my pc had been fairly anonymous.
Not anymore, thanks to Brad Honeycutt's book.
So, in short, I'm really pleased to have this book added to my collection of illusion material! A musthave for all lovers of optical magic!
P.s.: Also check Vin Konings Google+ for some more crazy stuff!
The book's 224 pages, hardcover, and uses nice thick paper. 200 images are included.
The artworks featured are a mixture of paintings, photographs, occasional sculptures, 3D chalk painting and other creations. Some of the more prominent artists included are Erik Johansson, Ben Heine, Oscar Reutersvard, Tracy Lee Stum, Vladimir Kush, Rob Gonsalves and Bev Doolittle, to Istvan Orosz, John Langdon, Scott Kim and more.
I had fun going through the work, marvelling at the creativity involved in the conception and creation. There are simple optical illusions made of just line drawings to complicated staged photographs. Some pages have me staring at them for minutes trying to figure out the illusions involved or trying to see the images in a way to reveal other hidden images, e.g. finding an image in a painting of repeated patterns.
There is a lot of creativity involved and this is one book that will delight those who like images that play tricks on your eyes.
The author has a blog called An Optical Illusion where you can even check out more illusions.
(See more pictures of the book on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)