Introduction – Cognitive Illusions

The way you look at an object can affect how you see it. Sometimes there are two images in the same picture, but you can only see one at a time so your brain chooses one (when it deals with too much information).
Cognitive “illusions” rely on stored knowledge about the world (depth, rabbits, women) and are also under some degree of conscious control (we can generally reverse the perception at will).

One of the best known surreal artists able to create such illusions is Octavio Ocampo. Here is just one example of his art:

Octavio Ocampo Calvary

Oleg Shuplyak – new Octavio Ocampo

These amazing oil paintings by Ukrainian artist Oleg Shuplyak show remarkable double images hiding behind dramatic scenes and tranquil landscapes. Through carefully placed objects, characters, colouring and shadows, a second image is cleverly concealed within the first. Often his pictures depict famous historical figures like Charles Darwin, Vincent van Gogh and William Shakespeare.

The works are similar to those of the famous Mexican artist Octavio Ocampo, who is well known for evocative paintings in which detailed scenes weave together to create larger images. Ocampo has dubbed this the metamorphic style, and in his works the second image can sometimes be so subtle it is hard to discern without squinting. Shuplyak, by contrast, makes the second image so easily recognisable that observers can miss the original.

Born on September 23, 1967, in the Ternopol region of the Ukraine, Mr Shuplyak studied architecture at the Lviv Polytechnic Institute. His passion was always painting, however, and he has used the technical precision of an architect to create these intriguing optical illusions.

Double Dutch: This painting shows two portraits of post-impressionist Vincent Van Gogh, one of which is used to create the nose of the main image

Here’s looking at you, kid: Surrealist Salvador Dali, a fan of optical illusions himself, has now become one


Leafing you in disbeleaf: Two birds, two very different techniques in creating them


Mind games: This painting, titled Voyeur, shows Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, peering over a lake


Imagine: Beatles legend John Lennon emerges through this clever montage of images by Ukrainian artist Oleg Shuplyak


Evolving picture: On The Origin Of Species author Charles Darwin is formed using a brick archway, a country scene, a lady reading and a mysterious cloaked figure


Alexander Vasilyevich Suvorov, the fourth and last generalissimo of the Russian Empire who died in 1800


Back at ya: Mr Shuplyak gives himself the special treatment

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