Paradoxical Elastic Squares

A math-magic article I wrote for the German magazine Zeit Wissen: with the 13 triangular and square pieces (fig. 1) it is possible to form two large squares shown in fig. 2. Though the second large square has an extra piece the dimensions of the squares seem to be the same! Can you explain why this is possible?

This puzzle is available as greeting cards from my online store.

Moona Lisa

In 1997, I remixed the Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting Mona Lisa into 142 perfectly spaced color beads placed at the intersections of an imaginary two-dimensional triangular network. Close up, the picture of the set of beads makes no sense, but if you see it from a distance you will perceive (or at least ‘guess’?) the portrait of Mona Lisa, the most famous Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting.

hidden mona lisa
Hidden Mona Lisa (1997), © Gianni A. Sarcone

My dossier on visual illusions

Focus is an Italian monthly popular science magazine published in Milan, Italy, with which I have collaborated for more than 10 years.

Focus Magazine issue #336 featuring my article and my optical illusions has been released on October 2020. It contains my special 10-page dossier on visual perception with over 13 original visual illusions of my creation and their related explanation.

The cover also features a special effect I designed for Focus: as you read the main title, the cover image moves and, curiously enough, the title changes if you look at it closely (ILLUSIONI) or from a distance (COSA VEDI?).

Focus Mag cover

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Amazing Illusive Bookmark

Here is a neat optical illusion project I was commissioned by “Art of Play“. From one perspective, the grooves in the metal die-cut bookmark seem to be an abstract design but place the pattern against a solid background and a familiar figure pops into view!

Available from: https://www.artofplay.com/products/einstein-bookmark

NEW! “Illusion d’Optique” Magic Playing Cards

Limited Signed Edition (100 samples)
For Art, Math and Magic Lovers!

Order now your exclusive “Illusion d’Optique” playing card deck designed by illusion Master Gianni A. Sarcone!

Packaging printed with optical ink and placed in a protective transparent plastic case.

54 eye-popping optical illusions to play and to experiment with! Continue Reading

The Importance of Dots

It is often the little things that are the basis of progress… So let me tell you a little story about the tiniest thing on earth: the dot.

Thousands of years ago, a man in his solitude scanned the night sky and saw all those dots shining like so many still fireflies and, perhaps for fun, he decided to join them together to form shapes. This is how zodiac signs and astronomy were born.
Far away, in ancient India, the dot symbolized beauty and the eye of knowledge. But even more, the dot they called “shunya-bindu” represented what we nowadays know as zero. It was first a placeholder and then a fully fledged number, for when it is added to the right of the representation of any given digit, the value of the digit is multiplied by ten. This is how our current numbers and decimal numeration system were born. Continue Reading