In honor of Presidents’ Day here in the United States, today’s illusion features Barack Obama, the 44th U.S. President. Both photographs of Obama look fairly normal when viewed upside down. When the images are inverted, however, it is obvious that his eyes and mouth are upside down on one of photographs and normal on the other. Why do you think that this modification is difficult to see when viewing his face upside down?
This illusion is a variation of the Thatcher Illusion (because Margaret Thatcher was the original subject used) and was discovered by Psychology Professor Peter Thompson in 1980. Thompson concluded his original article with the following:
“Further research into this illusion might help determine whether face recognition is a serial or a parallel process, is achieved by face-specific analysers searching for distinguishing characteristics or by some perceptual gestalt. It might even tell us something about Margaret Thatcher.”
This interesting sculpture called Squaring the Circle was created in 2013 by Troika, the UK-based artist group consisting of Conny Freyer, Eva Rucki and Sebastien Noel. Watch the video below shot at the Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles, California to see how these CNC bent steel tubes (measuring 54 3/4 x 54 3/4 x 30 1/2 inches) form a square when viewed from one angle and a circle when viewed from another.
The seven people sitting on the ledges of this building seem to be very confused. Are they looking out of the windows or into the center of the building? It looks like a tower or a cylinder, but if you investigate the construction you will find that it is anything but.
This striking photograph from Alexander Khokhlov’s “2D or not 2D” series looks like it could be an illustration of a woman in a comic book. Surprisingly, it is an actual model (her name is Ekaterina Ashikhmina) with her face and hair painted by make-up artist Valeriya Kutsan. This photographic series was selected as one of the “Top Russian Projects of 2013″ by Designcollector.
The video below shows some scenes of the actual face painting and post-production taking place on this model and others from this photographic series.
Robert Fathauer created this limited edition digital print titled “Looking Through Time” in 2005. It features a reversible portrait of a man that can be seen as two different faces when viewed normally and in the mirror. Fathauer found inspiration for this design in the work of Rex Whistler who created a series of very exceptional inverted faces. The photograph on the dresser features a young man with the caption “Bob at 20″. The reflected portrait shows an older version of the same man with the caption “Bob at 50″. In the span of 30 years, the man has lost all of his hair, grown a full beard, and added some wrinkles to his brow.
Regarding the hourglass, Fathauer explains:
An hourglass is symbolic of the passage of time, and appropriately is turned upside down when it is used. In the hourglass in the foreground, only a small portion of the sand has fallen through to the lower chamber, while in the reflected hourglass, more than half the sand has passed through.
This unique metal design uses a single light source and a little spin to produce a rather dramatic effect. Brusspup got the idea for this video when he was walking through Santa Monica and saw a similar effect on a spinner in a storefront. He bought it, of course, and the end result is what you see below.
This animation of an impossible ribbon was created by Erwin Bonsma. Depending on how you look at it, this ribbon can be perceived as rotating in two different ways. He credits the original idea to M.C. Escher’s print titled “Cube with Magic Ribbons” which happens to be the first drawing by Escher to feature a truly impossible object.