Archive for bridget riley

Just an Illusion

Posted in ART, ART HISTORY with tags , , , on September 26, 2010 by echostains

I had listened to an old 1982 video and putting it on my family blog to illustrate an experience I was writing about when it gave me an idea for a post on echostains!  The music video is by ‘Imagination’ and it’s called ‘Just an Illusion’ (I’d forgotten how good they were:))  Then I thought of artists who use illusion in their work.

The Hallucinogenic Torreador 1969

The first artist I thought of was Salvador Dali.  He liked to slip hidden images into his work.   They usually take the form of faces, figures and sometimes animals.  The Hallucinogenic Toreador (1968 -1970) has all three.  By combining surrealist symbolism with optical illusion Dali creates his own visual language.  The scene set in a bull ring includes a portrait of Gala his wife, a  bulls head either drinking from water or in its own blood.  The pool of water (or blood) in the lower right of the picture shows a yellow raft. Lots of dreamlike symbols in this painting to be found.

zebras 1938 Vasarely

The constructivist practises in Walter Gropius Bauhaus school in Germany invented ‘Op art’.  The term made its way into Times magazine for the first time in 1964 though Victor Vasarely (b. 1908 – 1997 Hungary) had painted his famous zebras in 1938 (there are quite a few versions of this).  Theres a biography of this wonderful artist, who people call the Father of Op Art here


Bridget Riley is famous for her Op Art.  Optical art makes use of illusions.  The works are abstract and play with our perceptions.  Lots of warping, swirling, bending and movement are the keynotes to this type of art.

Bridget Riley Squares

Bridget Riley ( b. 1931 London) has been celebrated for her contribution to optical art.  Her paintings are vibrant and challenge the viewers perceptions.  this is what she said about one of her paintings

‘the eye can travel over the surface in a way parallel to the way it moves over nature. It should feel caressed and soothed, experience frictions and ruptures, glide and drift…One moment there will be nothing to look at and the next second the canvas seems to refill, to be crowded with visual events.’

I have seen quite a bit of Riley’s work, which although I admire it immensely – always make me feel a bit giddy or ‘seasick’ especially when seen en masse 🙂  Optical illusions are still going strong.  I particularly like this one of Jesus.  You stare and stare at the image then look at a blank wall, or sheet of paper.  Jesus appears like a ghost!  I got the image from this excellent site thanks!

jesus Optical image

Thanks to mmusicool for the video!

Dali Hallucenegenic Torredor image from here read about it here

Vasarely images from here  and here Riley Squares image from here and her quote from here

Theres a wonderful Optical Illusion website here – with some very unusual optics…:) HERE



The Mona Lisa Poetry Challenge is still on my other blog Bookstains and open to all!  Just click Mona

Transcription page 39 Opt for the Optical Illusion (which is just that)

Posted in ART, TRANSCRIPTION with tags , , on May 2, 2009 by echostains

Continuing with my transcription of Paula Rego’s ‘Snow White and her Stepmother’, page 39 continues to explore possibilities with format.




Metalic pen on black card explores unusual possibilities: looking for ways to take the transcription forward.




Page 40, I attempt to do a Bridget Riley – and fail!  Riley is famous for her Op Art style.