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Optical Illusions

Oh mirage, mirage! Isn't it fascinating how the mind can play tricks on us? We see the world through our precious eyes yet... in their own way. It can be easy to forget that our brains are only reconstructing a reality. But between the real and the imagined, are we always sure that we are leaning in the right direction? Doubt sets in, and illusion is created. Artists love to appropriate these optical illusions that play tricks on our intelligence. Doubt therefore becomes the centrepiece. Incomprehension of the situation drives our logical minds to construct a reassuring and coherent image.

Let's take a short trip back in time to understand the origins of optical illusions. During the age of Antiquity, architectural mastery attests to the knowledge of optical illusions in everyday life. The Parthenon's slightly curved construction lines corrected a natural optical effect with the result of appearing perfectly straight. This technical awareness allowed humans to appropriate spaces, play with depths and modify reality… While leaving the playing field open for artists to use at their leisure!

So illusions of impossible forms then came into existence. So much so that intelligence surrenders itself to the incomprehensibility of the different parts of the drawing or painting with which it is confronted. These impossible forms appeal to the paradoxical perspective, much exploited by Maurits Escher. His work centered around objects born of numbers and mathematical formulas such as the Penrose Staircase, an infinite staircase.

Here we have the meeting of art and mathematics. The infinite shapes of geometry allowed for the creation of works whose visual instability and movement throw the brain off balance. Hence the emergence of Op Art or Kinetic Art, based on the aesthetics of movement. Victor Vasarely, Alexander Calder and even Wojciech Fangor created paintings, sculptures and drawings in the image of the changing and unstable world. The placement of colour is essential here. For Carlos Cruz Diez, colour is a reality in its own right that affects humans, their moods and their perception of the world.

Accessible to a large audience due to their spectacular nature, optical illusions are social artworks. Following an experimental approach, artists offer the public experimental works whose admiration creates an environment conducive to play and reflection. Thus optical illusions have called into question the very function and status of a work of art. They have animated previously plain walls, opened up new dimensions and hypnotised any audience that observes them.

Their originality will please the youngest as well as the wisest among us. There is no doubt that optical illusions will animate your interior. Choose your colours according to your mood and travel into art's most psychedelic universe!

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