We've shown you impressive anamorphic illusions in the past, but the work of Felice Varini brings the medium to an unprecedented level of grandeur. For decades now, the Swiss artist has been creating some of the most remarkable perspective-dependent illusions on Earth, painting rooms, buildings, and sometimes entire city squares with ribbons of color that make little-to-no sense – until the viewer finds herself in precisely the right location.
Varini describes his work in a great 2012 article over at GWARLiNGO:
If you draw a circle on a flat canvas it will always look the same. The drawn circle will retain the flatness of the canvas. This kind of working is very limiting to me, so I project a circle onto spaces, onto walls or mountain sides, and then the circle’s shape is altered naturally because the ‘canvas’ is not flat. A mountain side has curves that affect the circle, and change the circle’s geometry. So, I do not need to portray complicated forms in my paintings. I can just use the simplicity of forms, because the reality out there distorts forms in any case, and creates variations on its own accord.
The GWARLiNGO article cited above features a number of fantastic examples of Varini's creations, as does this post featured today at Visual News. For the most impressive look at his work, however, we recommend visiting Varini's website, where you'll find an extensive visual chronology of his oeuvre, dating all the way back to 1979. (Each square links to another page, where you can see an enlarged picture of the painting from the "correct" vantage point, as well as several photos taken at a location from which the piece looks fragmented and random.)
We've included a few of our favorite examples below, but check out Varini's page for the full experience.
2013 - "Onze disques pour onze carrés"
2012 - "Double trapèze pour quatre triangles"
2005 - "Entre ciel et terre"
1999 - "Encerclement à dix"
Many, many, many more examples of Varini's work on his website.