We often say seeing is believing, meaning we can only trust what we see with our own eyes. But are our eyes really that dependable? Do all that we see really exist?
An ancient Greek myth tells a story of a competition between two painters: Zeuxis and Parrhasios. Grapes portrayed by Zeuxis appeared to be so real, that they attracted birds to fly over and peck at them. But when he reached over to pull back the curtains that covered Parrhasios’s work, he was surprised to find that the material was the artwork itself. Paintings that use the art technique Trompe-l'œil to represent imagery and deceive optical senses were exceptionally popular during the Renaissance.
To this day, quite a few artists are still dedicated to creating “optical illusions”. They use realism techniques to represent matters in daily life, however imitating reality is no longer the purpose of their creation, nor is it an establishment of superiority. Contemporary artists strive to use humorous, provocative or peculiar ways to challenge our versions of reality. They are no longer gratified by depicting what they observe, rather they’re much more intrigued by existing cognition and how visual senses can create optical illusions, and even the big philosophical question “What is reality?”. Artists deploy their talents and various “tricks” to tease the audience, and in their works explore how illusions can spark imagination and upturn common perceptions.
Publisher: Taipei Fine Arts Museum
Size: 20 x 14 cm
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