The art of deception book cover image

The Art of Deception
Illusions to Challenge the Eye and the Mind

  • 2495

By: Brad Honeycutt / Foreword by: John Langdon / Epilogue by: Scott Kim

Everything looks like something else!

Artists who create intentionally deceptive illusions—whose images astound and confound us—see the world differently. They perceive the instability of reality, and they have many “tools” at their disposal to trick us. This astonishing anthology not only captures the most artistic of optical illusions, but also brings us unique commentary about the science, technique, and philosophy behind such images. Discover amazing pictures, learn how they were created, and get a glimpse into the creator’s mind.

World-famous artists who appear here include Vladimir Kush, Bev Doolittle, Rob Gonsalves, Liu Bolin, Michael Cheval, Guido Daniele, Patrick Hughes, Carl Warner, István Orosz, Guido Moretti, John Langdon, Scott Kim, Oscar Reutersvärd, Octavio Ocampo, and Kurt Wenner. There are puzzle cards from 1880; photographs and computer-rendered designs; distorted buildings that appear to be melting; landscapes that turn into portraits; and much more. The foreword is by John Langdon, famous for his ambigrams and the inspiration for Dan Brown’s Professor Robert Langdon in The Da Vinci Code. Scott Kim, acclaimed designer who has created puzzles for a variety of computer and mobile games, including Tetris, Bejeweled, Lumosity and Moshi Monsters, provides a thought-provoking epilogue.

Prepare your eyes and minds to experience visual possibilities you’d never before imagined.

Look Inside the Book:

Author & Illustrator Bios:

Brad Honeycutt, author

Brad Honeycutt is a web developer and optical illusion enthusiast. For over a decade, he has operated a popular optical illusion website, allowing him the opportunity to get to know many wonderful artists. He works with two of the world's leading stereogram creators to help publish several books containing their 3-D creations.

Read more about Brad Honeycutt.

John Langdon

John Langdon is an artist, an independent graphic designer, a writer, and Typograhpy professor at Drexel University. He is best known for his ambigrams, most notably those in Dan Brown’s best-selling novel, Angels & Demons. John’s forte is making abstract concepts visual, almost always through the design of words, letters, and symbols.

Read more about John Langdon.

Scott Kim

Scott Kim designs puzzles and games for the Web, magazines such as Scientific American, Discover, and Games. He is the author of the books Inversions and The NewMedia Puzzle Workout, and he speaks regularly at conferences. Kim holds a PhD in Computers and Graphic Design from Stanford University. He is the master of the ambigram, and Isaac Asimov called him "the Escher of the Alphabet."

Read more about Scott Kim.



Editorial Reviews:

January Magazine

Seeing is believing, so they say. But I’m betting “they” never saw The Art of Deception: Illusions to Challenge the Eye and the Mind.

More than a collection of optical illusions (though it surely is that), The Art of Deception features painting, photography and graphic design that’s made to make you look twice. Or three times. These are works that scream out to you: “Hold on a sec, all is not what it seems.”

Take Liu Bolin’s photograph of a small wooded area near Beijing. Looks innocent enough, until you notice the sly presence of a man standing right in front of you. Is he painted to blend in? Is he transparent? Or Ben Heine’s photograph of a drawing that offers a bird’s eye perspective of a nest of what could be skyscrapers. A young man is holding the drawing in such a way that he seems to be floating above them, looking down into them. Or how about Nikita Prokhorov’s tessellation art, in which figures are intertwined in what could be endless patterns? Or Oscar Reutersvard’s impossible figure designs?

There’s really almost too much here to marvel at, and your eyes will widen to amazed orbs as you take it all in. From Punya Mishra’s ambigram of the word “good” with the word “evil” embedded inside it, to Guido Daniele’s paintings of animals on hands, The Art of Deception is a brilliant study of how artists from across the globe see and bend the world around them. It’s not so much a game, though it can be, as it is an interpretation of the world as they see it. Their juxtapositions surprise, then illuminate, and finally provide “a-ha!” moments that leave you smiling.

This wonderful book features a foreword by John Langdon, king of the ambigram, and bite-sized essays about each work of art. They don’t give the secret of the work away, but each one offers a glimpse into the mind of the artist and a peek at what he or she is trying to accomplish within each piece.


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ISBN: 978-1-62354-037-1

ISBN: 978-1-60734-796-5 EPUB
ISBN: 978-1-60734-720-0 PDF
For information about purchasing E-books, click here.

Page count: 224
7 1/2 x 8 1/2

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