felice varini

Before you even bother guessing: no, the following photographs are not the product of advanced photo editing – in fact, many of them predate Photoshop by decades. They are simple spaces designed with a particular effect that can only be properly experienced from a single perfect point of view.

anamorphic art
anamorphic art from the side

Seen from the right angle these spectacular painted surfaces shot by photographer Felice Varini seem as if they must be overlays – but any shift in viewer stance immediately reveals their actual complexity.

geometric illusion art
felice varini perspective

Painted perfectly onto layered, detailed, raised and embossed surfaces the achievement of each new illusion of perspective is an incredible task absent modern interior design computer programs.

felice varini large scale work
felice varini painted castle

While some of his works exist in outside built environments or interior public spaces, many of them are also located on the walls of simple domestic places – homes, condos, apartments and even parking lots.

One of the most fascinating things about this designer/artist/painter/photographer is the way in which his optical illusion wall artwork has at once remained consistent but also evolved dramatically over the decades – he has stuck to this singular focus on perspective and geometry but has explored a vast array of design ideas within these seemingly simple concepts, and employed his anamorphic techniques to everything from private interior decor to public installation art.

felice varini image

Here’s what Felice has to say about his work, from an interview with Poetic Mind:

“When I begin to paint I never think about the viewer. The viewer does not affect the way I start the work. The viewer will become part of the work once it is done and he can watch the painting. Even then I can not tell you what he will see, because I do not know where he is standing and what is the view point from which he is watching the painting.”

graphic illusion art

“I start my works from one vantage point, which is simply the height of my own eye level. This is only a starting point, a way to begin. I plan the work using sketches, pictures, camera, or just in my head. And I work with the space, considering the relationship of my view point with the space as well as the geometry of the space itself. Then I make the painting.”

“Once the painting is done it starts an independent life, having a relationship with the space, which has nothing to do with me or the viewer. It is a direct relation that the painting has with the space, in a kind of an abstract reality.”