Just like in 2011, let’s wrap up 2012 with some of the most mind-bending photos or artworks we came across this year. Though an illusion is defined in several different ways, we like it when it’s described as something that distorts our senses or changes our perceived reality. From clever companies to creative street artists, these were the top works that really messed with our minds.
Enjoy and make sure to click through each image if you wan to learn more.
First photo credit: Ezequiel Cabrera
10. Collapsing Elevator Floor
When LG decided that they wanted to show the world just how «life-like» their new IPS computer monitors looked, they did it at the expense of some unsuspecting elevator passengers. As innocent people entered an elevator, the lights flickered and the «floor tiles» gave away, making it seem as if the passengers were going to fall to their death! Genius or cruel? Make sure to watch the terrifying video here.
9. Floating Street Art
As an ode to Felix Baumgartner’s historic jump from space, Brisbane-based street artist Fintan Magee created this street art piece called Felix Backstroke. Painted on an abandoned convalescent home, the anamorphic artwork was also made to «highlight and draw people into to broken and forgotten places.»
8. Humongous On/Off Switch Mural
Is this the most gigantic on/off switch you’ve ever seen? We’re guessing so. Valencia-based Escif painted this gigantic mural for Poland’s Katowice Street Art Festival. Juxtaposed next to those who passers-by, the artwork looks ridiculously large. Carefully painting just a few colors, Escif gives us the illusion that we (or some sort of giant) can really turn off that switch!
7. Walkable Art Gallery Abyss
Earlier this year we came across Brazilian artist Regina Silveira’s incredible installation Depth which was displayed back in 2010 at Atlas Sztuki Gallery of Contemporary Art in Lodz, Poland. By incorporating the gallery’s architecture, particularly its windows, she created a never-ending abyss that one could actually walk on.
6. Visually Vibrating Images
Feeling a little dizzy? We don’t blame you. This year, we came across some mind-bending optical illusions that seemed to come alive! Called visual vibrations, they’re made by combining two bright colors together. Since bright colors can cause an afterimage, combining two can cause the afterimages to interfere with one other. Fascinating!
5. Boy Crossed a Rickety Bridge
Nikolaj Arndt churned out one of our favorite illusions this year that’s simply called the Bridge. It shows a young boy precariously crossing a rickety wooden bridge with a gaping hole right underneath his feet. The 3D street art illusionist is a true master at at making us believe that hidden worlds exist beneath us.
4. Crocodiles in Your Home
Russian-born artist Nikolaj Arndt painted this piece of crocodiles snapping at a person inside a home. The anamorphic artwork gave the illusion that a swampy lake existed just underneath the wooden floors. How cool would it be if this was the latest home decorating trend?
3. Crumbling Gotham City
Joe & Max are the team behind some of the best street art illusions this year. One of their biggest hits was for Warner Bros.’ release of the movie The Dark Knight Rises. Created on the streets of Madrid, Spain, it showed a bird’s eye view of Gotham City burning below while the Batman symbol shined above.
2. Building You Could Scale (Like Spider-Man)
For both kids and adults alike, the Bâtiment (Building) by Buenos Aires-based artist Leandro Erlich was a delightful, interactive illusion. Exhibited for the first three months of the year in Paris, at the art complex Le 104, the Parisian facade let visitors walk all around the outside of the building, scaling its walls and jumping from window to window.
1. Walking on Water
Who else could give us the best illusion this year than Mother Nature herself? Salar de Uyuni, the mystifying salt flat in Bolivia, takes on a giant, mirror-like illusion when it is covered in water. As the world’s largest salt flat, Salar de Uyuni is a must-visit destination for anyone who ever has a chance to visit Bolivia, especially in the rainy season.