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This Optical Illusion Art Will Expand Your Mind

Stare long enough and you'll figure it out.

The Waterfall (Turning River Street Into a River). Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. 2007 © Edgar Müller

The Waterfall (Turning River Street Into a River), Edgar Müller

Müller’s 2007 artwork is both a play on words and an anamorphic street painting in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada, where the viewer needs to stand in the right spot to get the correct perspective and illusion.

Teatro alla Scala. 2010 © Liu Bolin

Teatro alla Scala, Liu Bolin

Now you see me, now you don’t: This 2010 artwork hides a patron among the plush seats.

Siete Punto Uno (7.1). Los Gatos, California, 1990 © John Pugh

Siete Punto Uno (7.1), John Pugh

Los Gatos, California suffered a severe earthquake in 1990; the two jaguars in the optical illusion art refer to the city’s name (“the cats,” in Spanish) and to Tepeyollotl, the Aztec god of earthquakes, echoes, and jaguars.

Where Are We? Parc de Bagatelle, Paris, 2010 © François Abélanet

Where Are We?, François Abélanet

The geese are perhaps less confused by this 2010 anamorphic art illusion, as viewed from the front in the Parc de Bagatelle, Paris.

Rembrandts with Rembrandts. 1992 © Julian Beever; Courtesy of Rembrandt, Royal Talens, The Netherlands

Rembrandts with Rembrandts, Julian Beever

This 1992 trompe-l’oeil pavement drawing was created with anamorphic technique, where the illusion includes a box of pastels that appears to have depth.

Optical Illusions by Paul M. Baars, Abrams © 2014

Optical Illusions

For more unbelievable illusions, pick up “Optical Illusions” here.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest