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Masters of Deception: Escher, Dali & the…

Masters of Deception: Escher, Dali & the Artists of Optical Illusion (2004)

by Al Seckel

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
A book I can come back to time and time again, to spend many hours totally absorbed in the intriguing, surprising and entertaining illusions by the many masters of deception. ( )
  pratalife | Feb 9, 2014 |
A book I can come back to time and time again, to spend many hours totally absorbed in the intriguing, surprising and entertaining illusions by the many masters of deception. ( )
  pratalife | Feb 9, 2014 |
Beautiful coffee-table book full of the promised optical illusions of many stripes (and forks and staircases). Generally visual artists talking about their art are not very interesting, and this book’s descriptions of them do not veer from that, but there is a large selection of works from almost every one of the (all male) artists represented so it’s a good volume anyway. ( )
  rivkat | Jun 1, 2012 |
When I was a kid, we had a set of books from Childcraft, each volume of which focused on a different topic in the sciences or the humanities in a kid-friendly fashion. I loved those books immensely, but the one on art and art history I found less interesting than most of the others, with one notable exception: the chapter featuring M. C. Escher and Salvador Dali. I remember starting at those pictures for what seemed like hours, then coming back repeatedly and staring at them again. And the longer I looked, the more I seemed to see, and the more fascinated I was. Well, my tastes in art might possibly have matured slightly since I was eight, but they really don't seem to have changed that much. Unsurprisingly, then, I really enjoyed this book showcasing the work of Escher, Dali, and eighteen other artists. They vary quite widely in technique, style, and medium, but all of them enjoy playing with human perceptions in various clever ways, so it's full of visual paradoxes and ambiguities. There are illusions, impossible perspectives, images that look different from different angles or at different scales, shapes that morph and change their meaning , and all manner of other trickery, ranging from the purely technical to the indisputably artistic. Some of the illusions employed here were familiar enough to me that I no longer find them terribly interesting, but other images made me laugh or gasp as their hidden secrets suddenly popped out at me, which is rather wonderful. I think I've also discovered an instant new favorite artist in Rob Gonsalves, whose work can be seen gracing the front cover.

As well as lots and lots of pictures, the book also features a few pages of text on each artist, including a brief biography and description of their work, usually along with a few quotes from them. These are generally well done, I think, telling us just enough to enhance the experience of viewing the pictures, but not enough that it becomes tedious. Unfortunately, there seems to have been some kind of formatting or editing issue, at least with the copy I have, and a few pages scattered through the book are missing a line of text at the bottom, which is an annoying blemish on an otherwise extremely well-produced book. ( )
1 vote bragan | Sep 3, 2011 |
I borrowed this book from my library on a Saturday, read the foreword, introduction and first chapter, stopped and returned it monday morning. Because on Sunday I tracked this book down and bought it. Every chapter focuses on a different artist who uses some sort of illusion in their work, not just painters but sculpters as well. Every artist is distinct, but all are equally brilliant. Even the foreword is interesting. But don't take my word for it, find it and read it yourself (or just look at the pictures). Go! ( )
  AJ25 | Dec 2, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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Sixteenth-century Italian artist Guiseppe Arcimboldo is without doubt one of the most bizarre ad distinctive painters i the history of western art.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 140275101X, Paperback)

Rings of seahorses that seem to rotate on the page. Butterflies that transform right before your eyes into two warriors with their horses. A mosaic portrait of oceanographer Jacques Cousteau made from seashells. These dazzling and often playful artistic creations manipulate perspective so cleverly that they simply outwit our brains: we can’t just take a quick glance and turn away. They compel us to look once, twice, and over and over again, as we try to figure out exactly how the delightful trickery manages to fool our perceptions so completely. Of course, first and foremost, every piece is beautiful on the surface, but each one offers us so much more. From Escher’s famous and elaborate “Waterfall” to Shigeo Fukuda’s “Mary Poppins,” where a heap of bottles, glasses, shakers, and openers somehow turn into the image of a Belle Epoque woman when the spotlight hits them, these works of genius will provide endless enjoyment.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:53 -0400)

Rings of seahorses that seem to rotate on the page, butterflies that transform right before your eyes into two warriers with their horses, this book of optical illusions contains these examples of visual trickery and more astonishing creations by masters of the art. Originally published: 2006.… (more)

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