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10 Mind-Blowing Illusion Paintings That Make You Look Twice

10 Mind-Blowing Illusion Paintings That Make You Look Twice

In life and in art, perception is reality. Things aren’t always what they seem to be… or are they? Over the years, artists have tried to used the power of illusions with mind-blowing paintings to challenge the human mind. Their works often leave us in awe, as we are left to ponder on the details of creating such strong and enlightening images.

Some images have a distinct mental twist to them, while others are only for entertainment. No matter what, there is no denying the artistic creativity of a mind-blowing painting that makes you look twice.

Here are ten mind-bending works of art from artists spanning several generations that will cause you to question reality. These artists use architectural precision and creative license to show you a world of impossible realities. Enjoy the Surrealism, Magical Realism and Optical  Illusions created by artists ranging from Oleg Shuplyak to M.C. Esher.

1. Tomek Sętowski

Tomek Setowski - Tutt'Art@ (16)

    Tomek Sętowski is a Polish artist known throughout the globe for his distinctive and dream-like style called “Magical Realism”. His art is filled with whimsical fairy-tale characters and beautiful women set among glittering cities floating high in the sky or deep underwater – sometimes both.

    http://www.tuttartpitturasculturapoesiamusica.com/2011/06/tomek-setowski-poland.html

    2. Oleg Shuplyak

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    13-oleg-shuplyak-illusion-two-birds

      Oleg Shuplyak is a Ukrainian surrealist artist who has mastered the the art of optical illusion. He  places characters, objects and coloring strategically throughout his scenic oil paintings to create two layers of images. He is famous for his surrealist depictions of historical famous figures, including Van Gogh, Darwin and Shakespeare.

      http://webneel.com/oleg-shuplyak-illusion-painting

      3. Robert Gonsalves

      magic-realism-paintings-rob-gonsalves-13__880

        Canadian artist, Robert Gonsalves, uses his skill as an architect to perfect his art of illusion. Gonsalves uses precision and imagination to turn everyday scenes into magic through the style of Magic Realism.

        http://www.boredpanda.com/magic-realism-paintings-rob-gonsalves/

        4. M.C. Escher

        slide_239193_1236489_free

          One of the most famous artists of illusion was Dutch graphic artist, M.C. Escher (a.k.a. Maurits Cornelis Escher). Through the medium of woodcuts, mezzo-tints and lithographs, Escher applied his knowledge of mathematics, architecture and geometry to create impossible and seemingly infinite constructions.

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          http://www.mcescher.com/

          5. Jos de Mey

          melancholy-tunes-winter-day

            Look closely at this painting by Flemish-Belgian artist, Jos de Mey. The wall is seemingly parallel to the viewer while the columns are definitely not. For the majority, he used acrylic paintings to create his artwork and primarily featured depictions of impossible objects in a photo-realistic style. He is also well known for borrowing characters from other artists such as Magritte, M.C. Escher, or in the image above, Bruegel.

            http://www.artsology.com/optical-illusions-art.php

            6. Julian Beever

            c9

              Contemporary artist Julian Beever uses the medium of chalk on public sidewalks to create one-of-a-kind, mind-bending illusions.

              http://julianbeever.net/

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              7. Salvador Dali

              Cinquenta Imagenes Abstractas by Salvador Dali OSA372

                Spanish surrealist, Salvador Dali, was one of the most prominent artists in his field. His grandiose and eccentric behavior could only be outdone by his wild and imaginative art.

                http://www.salvadordali.com/

                8. Michael Parkes

                Parkes_Michael-Desert_Dream

                  Michael Parkes’ brings to life breathtaking and romanticized dreamscapes. This American artist now resides in Spain where he works with painting, stone lithography and sculpture to create amazing Fantasy Art and Magic Realism.

                  http://theworldofmichaelparkes.com/cm/Home.html

                  9. Giuseppe Arcimboldo

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                  images

                    Giuseppe Arcimboldo was an Italian artist from the 1500’s. He was a master at tricking the eye reimagining everyday objects such as fruit, vegetables, flowers, books and even fish to create the illusion of faces. Arcimboldo arranged the produce with precision that the painting still gave a very recognizable likeness to the actual subject of the painting.

                    http://www.giuseppe-arcimboldo.org/

                    10. Vladimir Kush

                    27

                      Russian born artist, Vladimir Kush refers to his work as “Metaphorical Realism” as his oil paintings merges images to create fantastic, colorful imagery. Kush now lives in America. His art is on display in galleries throughout the U.S. He prominently creates seascapes and water images, though he also in known to blend images of animals and inanimate objects.

                      http://vladimirkush.com/Editions/

                      Featured photo credit: http://nuffer.name/gallery/March-trip-to-Mexico/optical_illusion_painting via nuffer.name

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                      Last Updated on November 12, 2020

                      5 Reasons Why Being a Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect

                      5 Reasons Why Being a Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect

                      As a perfectionist, do you spend a lot of time “perfecting” your work so that everything comes out the way you want it to?

                      I believe many of us are perfectionists in our own right. We set high bars for ourselves and put our best foot forward to achieve them. We dedicate copious amounts of attention and time to our work to maintain our high personal standards. Our passion for excellence drives us to run the extra mile, never stopping, never relenting.

                      Dedication towards perfection undoubtedly helps us to achieve great results. Yet, there is a hidden flip side to being perfectionists that we may not be aware of. Sure, being a perfectionist and having a keen eye for details help us improve and reach our goals. 

                      However, as ironic as it might sound, a high level of perfectionism prevents us from being our best as we begin to set unrealistic standards and let the fear of failure hold us back.

                      Below, we’ll go over some of the reasons why being a perfectionist may not be so perfect and how it can inhibit you from being the best version of yourself.

                      Why Perfectionism Isn’t So Perfect?

                      1. Less Efficiency

                      As a perfectionist, even when you are done with a task, you linger to find new things to improve on. This lingering process starts off as 10 minutes, then extends to 30 minutes, then to an hour, and more. We spend way more time on a task than is actually required.

                      In order to be truly efficient, we need to strike a balance between the best we could possibly do and the level of “good” a specific project requires. No one will expect perfection from you because it will ultimately be impossible to attain. Do the best you can in a reasonable time frame, and allow yourself to put it into the world.

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                      2. Less Effectiveness

                      We do little things because they seem like a “good addition” without consciously thinking about whether they’re really necessary. Sometimes, not only do the additions add no value, but they might even ruin things.

                      For example, over-cluttering a presentation with unneeded details can make it confusing for listeners. Jam-packing a blog layout with too many add-ons can make it less user friendly. Sometimes, consistency is key, and if you continuously change things, this will become much more difficult.

                      3. More Procrastination

                      Our desire to “perfect” everything makes us overcomplicate a project. What’s actually a simple task may get blown out of proportion to the extent that it becomes subconsciously intimidating. This makes us procrastinate on it, waiting for the ever “perfect” moment before we get to it. This “perfect” moment never strikes until it is too late.

                      Instead of overthinking it, set small objectives if you have a big project ahead of you. This will help you tackle it step-by-step and complete it before the deadline.

                      If you need help tackling procrastination, check out this article.

                      4. Missing the Bigger Picture

                      As a perfectionist, you get so hung up on details that you forget about the bigger picture and the end vision. It’s not uncommon to see better jobs done in pruning the trees than growing the forest.

                      Take a step back and remind yourself of your end goal. Try setting a timeline to help yourself stick to the work that needs to be done without ruminating on things that could be improved.

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                      5. Stressing Over Unfounded Problems

                      We anticipate problems before they crop up, and come up with solutions to address these problems. It becomes an obsession to pre-empt problems. As it turns out, most of these problems either never surface or don’t matter that much.

                      When Perfectionism Becomes a Problem

                      The problem isn’t perfectionism specifically. Perfectionism helps us to continuously strive for excellence and become better, so it can really be a good thing.The problem is when setting high standards turns into an obsession, so much so that the perfectionist becomes neurotic over gaining “perfection” and refuses to accept anything less than perfect. In the process, s/he misses the whole point altogether and does damage to their mental health. Such perfectionists can be known as “maladaptive perfectionists.”[1] Maladaptive perfectionists spend so much time setting high expectations and striving for perfection that they increase levels of depression and anxiety. 

                      Diagram showing how a healthy perfectionist and a maladaptive perfectionist respond to failure.

                        The answer isn’t to stop being a perfectionist or high achiever. It’s to be conscious of our perfectionist tendencies and manage them accordingly. We want to be healthy perfectionists who are truly achieving personal excellence, not maladaptive perfectionists who are sabotaging our own personal growth efforts[2].

                        How to Be a Healthy Perfectionist

                        1. Draw a Line

                        We have the 80/20 rule, where 80% of output can be achieved in 20% of time spent. We can spend all our time getting the 100% in, or we can draw the line where we get majority of the output, and start on a new project.

                        Obsessing over details is draining and tedious, and it doesn’t help us accomplish much. I used to review a blog post 3-4 times before I published. All the reviewing only amounted to subtle changes in phrasing and the occasional typos. It was extremely ineffective, so now I scan it once or twice and publish it.

                        2. Be Conscious of Trade-offs

                        When we spend time and energy on something, we deny ourselves the opportunity to spend the same time and energy on something else. There are tons of things we can do, and we need to be aware of the trade-offs involved, so we can better draw a line.

                        For example, if some unimportant blog admin work takes an hour, that’s an hour I could spend on content creation or blog promotion. Being conscious of this helps me make a better choice on how to spend my time.

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                        3. Get a View of the Big Picture

                        What is the end objective? What is the desired output? Is what you are doing leading you to the overall vision?

                        As a perfectionist, to make sure my attention is set on the end point, I have a monthly and weekly goal sheet my blog that keeps me on track. Every day, I refer to it to make sure what I’m doing contributes to the weekly goals, and ultimately the monthly goals to keep me on track.

                        4. Focus on Big Rocks

                        Big rocks are the important, high impact activities. Ask yourself if what you are doing makes any real impact. If not, stop working on it.

                        If it’s a small yes, deprioritize, delegate it to someone else, or get it done quickly. Seek out high impact tasks and spend time on them instead. Knowing the big picture helps you know the big rocks that contribute to the end goal.

                        5. Set a Time Limit

                        Parkinson’s Law

                        tells us work will take however long we want it to take. If you give yourself 4 hours, you will finish it in 4 hours. If you give yourself 3 hours, you will finish within 3 hours. If you don’t give yourself any time limit, you will take forever to do it.

                        Set the time limit and finish the task by then. There can be a million things you can do to improve it, but you have to draw the line somewhere.

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                        6. Be Okay With Mistakes

                        Part of the reason why a perfectionist obsesses over their work is because they want it to be mistake-free. However, trying to achieve 100% perfection is highly ineffective. If we’re busy perfecting this thing, we can’t get to other important things.

                        Realize that making mistakes is a trade off we have to embrace. The more we open ourselves to making mistakes, the faster we can get down to learning from them, and the quicker we can grow.

                        7. Realize Concerns Usually Amount to Nothing

                        It’s good to plan and prepare, but there comes a time when we should let things roll and deal with problems as they crop up. Being overly preemptive makes us live in an imaginary future versus in the present.

                        This doesn’t mean you don’t care. What it means that most of the things that do crop up can always be controlled on the spot, without worrying about them beforehand.

                        8. Take Breaks

                        If your productivity is waning, take a break. Resting and coming back to the same thing later on gives you a renewed perspective and fresh focus.

                        The Bottom Line

                        Perfectionism doesn’t have to be the enemy. If you’re a perfectionist, you can use it to help you be better at what you love to do. However, there’s a time and a place for it, and it’s important to learn strategies to start overcoming perfectionism when it becomes an obsession.

                        Instead of doing work perfectly, do your best and move on. This will help you go farther, faster.

                        More on Being Your Best

                        Featured photo credit: Elsa T. via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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