One of work art, but a million ways to experience it. Anamorphic art can never bore you. When you look at from up close, far away, from an angle, you will get a different experience. That's the magic of anamorphic art.
“A distorted or monstrous projection or representation of an image on a plane or curved surface, which, when viewed from a certain point, or as reflected from a curved mirror or through a polyhedron, appears regular and in proportion; a deformation of an image.”
– Webster’s 1913 Dictionary
Deriving from the Greek word ‘transform’, Anamorphosis is a perspective technique used to trick the eye. There are two main types of Anamorphic illusions - the perspective (oblique) and the mirror (catoptric).
Artists began to inject anamorphosis into their work during the Renaissance period and the earliest known example of Anamorphic art is titled ‘Leonardo’s Eye’ by Leonardo da Vinci, which appears in Da Vinci’s ‘Codex Atlanticus’ (1483-1518)
Artists experimented with the formation of the two anamorphic illusions by using distorted lenses, paint and canvas, photography, cylindrical mirrors and even rooms.
One of the more spectacular aspects of anamorphic art is that it can be applied to all styles of art crossing from drawing and paintings, to sculpture and installations.
In more recent years, artists have used anamorphosis in public artworks. Michael Heixer created the ‘Complex One’ (1972-1974), an earth and concrete structure in the Nevada desert. Japanese artist and graphic designer Shigeo Fukuda, created anti-war and environmental issue posters and sculptures using anamorphosis and wrote several books on the subject of optical illusions.
Arguably the most famous anamorphic painting would be ‘The Ambassadors’ (1533) by Hans Holbein the Younger. Depicting two wealthy men standing side-by-side, the painting appears to portray an unusual grey-white smudge on the carpet in front of the two men. It’s only as the viewer walks to one side of the painting and changes their perspective that the smudge reveals a human skull.
‘The Ames Room’ (1946) by Adelbert Ames is commonly recreated in art and is used in cinema for special effects. The purpose of the Ames Room is to distort the perspective of a person or objects who are in the Ames Room.
Salvador Dalí practices a lot with Anamorphic art but ‘La Crane’ (1972) was his most popular cylindrical mirror creation. The cylindrical mirror is placed vertically next to a flat, distorted image, in this case a skull. The viewer would then look at the image reflected in the cylindrical mirror, where it no longer appears distorted.
Here at UP & COMING ART, we’re all about promoting unique art and what’s more unique than a piece of anamorphic art?
We proudly represent Dutch anamorphic artist Gerke Rienks, who specifically practises the anamorphic style, paper cuts. This particular style is commonly associated with Pop Art and the process involves slicing an image into strips and reassembling it. Alternatively, artists may paint the lines using acrylics on canvas, such as the Rienks creations.
Gerke Rienks’ subject-of-choice is usually famous icons such as Amy Winehouse, Johnny Cash, Kate Moss and Madonna. So, if you’re looking for an icon to hang on the wall or you just love the idea of owning a piece of anamorphic art, check out our selection below.
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