Illusive Color Mixing

When your brain lies… There is NO yellow, nor red, nor green in the picture below! The only real colors are blue, cyan and magenta. Scientists and artists call these color induction effects “simultaneous color contrast” and “color assimilation”.

Concept taken from my book “Drawing Optical Illusions” (2010).
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Math-Magic Vanishing Space

Qaudrix puzzle 1

Inspired from the astrological tables, here is a new puzzle of my creation designed according to the ‘Golden Number Rules’, which is reflected in the proportion of each single piece of the game. Thanks to the balanced dimensions of its pieces, this puzzle acquires some intriguing magical properties!

This “math-magical” puzzle is composed of a tray in which the pieces are assembled.

Quadrix puzzle 2

Puzzle Quadrix (aka Quirinus), © 1992, G. Sarcone.

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Subliminal Faces

This series of works questions the many cognitive aspects of faces’ recognition. People often see hidden faces in things, clouds, landscapes, or in architectural structures… Finding the latent or virtual image hidden in the manifest image is a mental process related to the concept of the “lost object” used in psychoanalysis. As an artist, I enjoy including subliminal messages or figures in my work. My paintings, photographs and collages play on the foreground and background relationship of our visual perception and represent common or iconic faces the viewer has to rediscover.

The Master of Numbers
Collage – mixed media, 2006

Photomosaic portrait of Albert Einstein made with random photographs of numbers.
It is only when the viewer moves away from the image that the portrait of Einstein appears. It is the distance that creates and unveils the truth, because everything is relative as Einstein once said and everything depends on the context, the environment or the point of view.

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When Optical Art Meets Illusion

Some simple geometric patterns and designs, when repeated, can induce strong illusory shape distortions. Thus, visual misperceptions are very common in the op art world.

If dark and clear rectangular tiles are arranged in a checkered fashion, as shown below, there is obviously no illusion, but wait, just add at the intersection of these tiles some transparent dark and clear square patches, et voilà, magic appears!

So, transparencies can produce apparent linear distortions. The parallel red lines in this example look like being convergent / divergent.

ZigZag, 2003
Available as prints and canvases from my online gallery
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Op Art On Metal (2)

A visual surprise is hidden within this magical bookmark I created for my partner Art of Play. From one perspective, the grooves in the metal die-cut card seem to be an abstract radial design but place the pattern against a solid dark background and a familiar portrait emerges.

Can you guess who’s this female Mexican artist who once said: “Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.”

Bookmark available from Art of Play.

Frida Kahlo
FK bookmark available from Art of Play.
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Op Art On Metal

Below are two neat optical illusion projects for which I was commissioned by “Art of Play”. From one perspective, the grooves in the metal die-cut bookmarks seem to be an abstract design but place the pattern against a solid clear or dark background and a familiar figure pops into view! These bookmarks are a sliver of wonder that hides between the pages to guard your place in any story.

Everything is relative with this magical bookmark of my creation depicting the famous theoretical physicist. Engraved with one of Einstein’s most famous quotations: “The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and science. He to whom the emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand wrapped in awe, is as good as dead; his eyes are closed.”

Einstein bookmark – 1
Available from Art of Play: https://www.artofplay.com/products/einstein-bookmark
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Amazing Brightness Constancy Effect

Look carefully at the saw-tooth wave patterns on this picture. Is the background of the picture uniformly gray or are there different shades of gray?

Kolozanges (2013-2021), © Gianni A. Sarcone

Brightness constancy makes some vertical strips look darker, when in fact the gray background is all the same shade of gray.

This op art work is available as prints and canvases from my official online Gallery.

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.