Optical street art of Julian Beever

Julian Beever is a street artist who takes advantage of the way the brain understands the world to create some amazing artwork.

The brain works out our 3D experience of the world from the 2D light patterns that fall onto our retina at the back of the eye.

This process takes advantage of many of our implicit assumptions of the world, such as the fact that textures will fade as they go farther away, parallel lines will tend to converge in the distance and that objects will seem larger the closer they are.

beever_swim.jpg

Julian Beever’s art uses a knowledge of these processes, so when seen from a certain angle, the pictures fool the visual system’s inbuilt processes to produce a false sense of depth.

beever_swim_wrongview.jpg

When seen from an alternative angle, the illusion breaks-down, and it’s possible to see how the artwork was created.

There’s plenty more examples of this amazing effect on Julian’s pages that are well worth checking out.

Links to Julian Beever’s homepage and street art page.
PDF of notes on ‘An Introduction to Visual Perception’.

3 Comments

  1. Posted June 23, 2005 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Optical street art

    MindHacks is a pretty cool site and this article about the Optical street art of Julian Beever is a good example….

  2. christian
    Posted June 25, 2005 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    I can’t get over these street art images – they’re amazing.

  3. Posted June 27, 2005 at 10:25 pm | Permalink

    Julian Beever – Pavement Drawing Illusions

    Julian Beever creates pavement drawings that give a false impression of depth and realism. He skews his images in such a way that when viewed from the correct angle, the brain interprets the drawings as three-dimensional. His technique is closely rela…


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