domenica 24 novembre 2013

Self-Moving Optical Illusion

Flying Black Bat
A new optic design for my “Super Optical Illusion” book project...

Kinoptic designs are optical illusions in which a static image appears to be moving due to the cognitive effects of interacting color contrasts and shape position. The essence of Kinoptic Art is actually to play with our optic nerves, to surprise and create the illusion of colors, dimensions or motion. Op Artist uses a palette of elements like blank spaces, XOR spaces, interspaces, interferences, space tiling and geometric patterns. Precision is also important in my creative processes: a small change in an Kinoptic Art picture can strongly modify or negate a visual effect.

The bat in the picture below seems to flutter, move and/or expand. Moreover, when you stare for a while at it and close your eyes you will see a white bat!

The bat seems to float and expand
Illusory Motion Optical Illusion by G. Sarcone
You can see more samples of my kinetic optical art here:

lunedì 30 settembre 2013

Reality Vs Illusion

What’s real? What’s not? Reality is strange—and seeing isn’t believing. When you look at an optical illusion, your brain tries to fool your eyes and what you expect to find on the page isn’t what’s there.

Apart from being both endlessly fascinating and awe-inspiring visually, the illusions contained in my new book "Go!Games Optical Illusions" also force viewers to go outside their comfort zones, challenge the nature of perception, and think creatively. Their minds have to work overtime to become more flexible. That’s what makes these 240 puzzles, ranging from simple scintillation effects to impossible staircases and concealed creatures, so absolutely addictive.

See how Santa "measures up" to his helper; the scale doesn’t seem to be telling the truth! Compare two lines: one seems longer, but can’t that really be true? Look at a triangular sculpture and figure out if it’s "impossible." Move a picture from side to side and watch it spin. Try to "remove" a magic glass from the plate, count the number of "F"s in a line (but only read it once!), and locate the main subject in the masterpiece "Las Meninas," painted by the artist Diego Velazquez.

This collection of illusions will enable you to experience the impossible and marvel at the miraculous. Enjoy!

Gianni A. Sarcone
Artist and Researcher in the field of visual perception

My book is available from:
Barnes and Noble

Optical Illusions by Gianni Sarcone


domenica 24 febbraio 2013


Ambigram-signatures by Gianni A. Sarcone
Ambigram-signatures, a photo by Gianni A. Sarcone on Flickr.

On request of my publisher, I've designed some "ambigram"-signatures to be featured in my books. Do you like them? Which one do you prefer? Any suggestion?
More info on ambigrams:
My books on Amazon:

venerdì 7 settembre 2012

Power of Love

Power of Love (1) by Gianni A. Sarcone
Power of Love (1), a photo by Gianni A. Sarcone on Flickr.

Ambigrams are graphic words or sentences that can be read in more than one way.

An ambigram may be defined as an “amphibian” word (or group of words) occupying at the same time two different reading planes of a page. The distinctive feature of an ambigram is that it remains unchanged even when inverted, or reveals the coexistence of a second word when either the page is reoriented (by rotations or reflections) or when you simply change your vantage point.

Types of Ambigrams:

The most common type is the rotational ambigram. That is a word or phrase written in such a way that it appears identical or completely different when it is read upside-down.

Also known as bilateral or mirror-image symmetry, this refers to words that can be read normally before and after reflection in a mirror.

Any ambigram where both the positive (figure) and negative (ground) space read as words.

More information

G. Sarcone

lunedì 6 febbraio 2012

The visual art of concealing (1)
Steganography” is the art and science of hiding a secret message within a larger one, in such a way that no one suspects its presence. The Swiss banknotes offer some interesting examples of steganography. In the picture below you can see the back of a Swiss ten-franc bill. The small part surrounded by the blue square contains a microtext, if we strongly enlarge it we may read a short bio of the Swiss architect Le Corbusier both in German and in Romansch:

Le Corbusier hat als Architekt Urbanist maler und Theoretiker Bahnbrechende und Visionäre Anwendungen für den Wohn- und Städtebau verwirklicht...

lunedì 5 settembre 2011

Making Optical Illusions

Reality is merely an illusion,
although a very persistent one’
Albert Einstein

As you certainly know, optical illusion is a particular style of art that plays tricks on our eyes and consequently baffles our perception. You might almost put the effect down to faulty vision, and in fact these visual tricks are sometimes used to assess the performance of the eye or the brain.

For centuries, visual illusions have been created by means of the ingenuity of the human brain and they have exerted an enduring fascination on the viewer. Since the arrival of the printing press and, later, film and digital imagery, millions of illusions have been produced in the name of art, science, education and, especially in the modern world, entertainment.

Creating a new optical illusion, or even reproducing one that already exists, may constitute a real challenge for your artistic skills, or it may simply represent an original and funny way to express your creativity. With the aid of my new book “Drawing Optical Illusions” and a little patience, you will be able to draw effective and powerful optical illusions in a reasonable amount of time.

This guide contains a collection of recent and ancient optical illusion effects, along with demonstrations and tips to inspire you to create your own work. The different optical illusions are organized by effects and applications, such as moving patterns, impossible or ambiguous figures, color effects and distortion effects, presented in a way that will make it easy for you to put them into practice.

The French painter Edgar Degas once said that art is not what you see, but what you make others see. Yet if any artwork is in itself already an illusion, then visual illusion pictures represent an art style that plays a game with our perception twice over. The illusionist artist has first to persuade the viewer that his or her depiction is real, though what the viewer sees is not the reality but a two-dimensional representation of it, made with the help of visual conventions and rules. At the very moment the viewer is going to be convinced, he or she falls into the perceptual trap of the second illusion, the real one created by the illusionist artist, plunging him or her into a state of cognitive hesitation and surprise. In fact, visual illusions are a kind of mental diversion – they capture the attention and are intriguing, challenging and fun as well. In other words, optical illusions force us to pause and question the nature of reality.

You can see and read some excerpts of my book here.

martedì 17 maggio 2011

Mask of Love illusion

Below is the optical illusion project we presented to public at the Gala of "2011 Best Illusion of the Year Contest" held at Philharmonic Center for the Arts in Naples, Florida. Actually, the pensive face in a Venetian mask holds an interesting secret. Can you figure it out?

Mask of Love illusion
Look at this mysterious Venetian mask. Do you notice something particular? What kind of emotions do its features express?
To see what is going on in the picture, just watch the video!