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Masters of Deception:
Escher, Dalí & the Artists of Optical Illusion
by Al Seckel

  • Hardcover, 320 pages

  • Publisher:  Sterling (Sept 1, 2004)

  • ISBN1402705778

Optical illusion art, created by such innovative artists as M.C. Escher and Salvador Dali, confuses the eye with visual paradoxes, from vibrating effects to moire patterns. Bring together a remarkable tapestry of words and illustrations, Masters of Deception celebrates more than 400 years of the art form that defies expectation. Some of the finest and most prominent optical illusion work in a range of genres can be seen together for the first time in this unique retrospective. One of the most unusual and distinctive painters in the history of western art, Giuseppe Arcimboldo is best know for composite portraits made up of varied natural and manmade objects. Viewers of Dali’s dream-like work each find different meaning in his imaginatively hidden surreal images. A master at illustrating figures, situations, and processes that can’t possibly exist in the real world, Sandro Del Prete challenges how we usually view an object or scene. Escher’s work appeals to both mind and soul, whether it’s “Ascending and Descending,” which depicts an impossible staircase or “Day and Night,” perhaps the most admired example of tessellating and morphing figures and tiling the visual plane. Scott Kim’s “Ambigrams,” Guido Moretti’s “Transforming Sculptures,” and Rex Whistler’s “Inversions” are among the other masterful illusions featured in this wide-ranging volume. The brilliance of perfect optical illusions come strikingly close to life in this stunning work of art. From Escher to Muniz, Dali to Gonsalves, the world’s masters of visual and perceptual illusions are showcased for your delight.

The artists featured (full biographical information about each artist and their works) are given in each chapter devoted to the featured artist. The artists are: Giuseppe Arcimboldo (Composite Portraits); Salvador Dali (Visual Surprise); Sandro Del Prete (A Change of Perspective); Jos De Mey (Paradoxical Worlds); M.C. Escher (Master of Mind and Soul); Shigeo Fukuda (Visual Scandal); Robert Gonsalves (Magic Realism); Mathieu Hamaekers (Optical Constructivism); Scott Kim (Ambigrams); Akiyoshi Kitaoka (Illusion Op Art); Ken Knowlton (Mosaic Portraits); Guido Moretti (Transforming Sculptures); Vik Muniz (A Change in Medium); Octovio Ocampo (Metamorphic Art); Istvan Orosz (Anamorphoses); John Pugh (Trompe L’Oeil); Oscar Reutersvard (Impossible Figures); Roger Shepard (Mind Sights); Dick Termes (Spherical Worlds); Rex Whistler (Inversions). The book also contains an introduction that covers the historical tradition of illusionary art.

Needless to say, there is a tremendous amount of unpublished works and images in this volume. Many artists are featured here for the first time in print. There are just TERRIFIC illusions in this book!

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