To what extent can optical illusions confuse our brains and our perception of reality? And what exactly is reality, anyway? Our human brain may be the most perfect and complex organ, but it's easy to bamboozle it with the help of various optical illusions. You can see it for yourself in the Old Town Square, opposite the Astronomical Clock. A world of illusions has been built here, called the Illusion Art Museum. LP-life.cz has set out to explore this place, and believe it or not - it really messed with out heads!
Right at entrance to the museum, we got our first shock. As you step in, a large painting appears in front of you, with St. Wenceslas jumping out of it on a horse. Beneath it, there's a falling floor and you know that jumping to the other side will be a matter of life and death. Of course, it's all make believe. This museum is full of illusions, and if you're active on social media, you can get here photos that look like newspaper from Harry Potter. During your tour, you'll come across similar "living" paintings several times. My personal favorite was the painting where I could kneel down and be knighted by a princess. But the most popular place to take photographs was a large canvas that made you look like you'd grown angelic wings when you stood in front of it. You may have already seen that photo somewhere and wondered where it could be from.
In the museum you can see works by Patrik Prošek, paintings by Zdeněk Daňek or Jan Jírovec or street art installations by David Strauss.
"All exhibited illusory works in our country are the work of renowned artists who use various artistic techniques. Most of them are unique in their technology, or are directly behind its creation,"
told us Jakub Bechyně, the artistic director of the museum.
Dvořák hidden in the piano!
I admit that personally, I was most excited about the exhibits that are located on the second floor. I was completely captivated by the portrait of a girl smoking a cigarette, which was made up of 2,555 hearts of various sizes and colors. I also really enjoyed the anamorphic installations of two of our leading Czech composers Bedřich Smetana and Antonín Dvořák. At first glance, you definitely wouldn't recognize the portraits of the two gentlemen, because they consisted of all kinds of music related junk. But as soon as you peeked through the magnifying glass, two talented artists would appear in front of you in their full beauty. I have come across similar spatial installations in the museum several times and I must admit that I wouldn't mind looking at them for several hours. Equally interesting was Tomáš Baťa, composed of several dozen sneakers, and Nikola Tesla, whose portrait was made up of various electrical machines.
During the tour of the museum, I also had the opportunity to reveal a couple of images hidden in 3D stereograms. The top floor is dedicated to stereoscopy and its history. I came across a couple here who were trying paint love messages with light on a special luminescent canvas.
"We really enjoyed it here. Even though we're in our early thirties, we went wild like kids here,"
a couple of visitors admitted to me.
Even though I had to dash through the last floor of the exhibition and didn't have time to go too crazy there, I didn't mind at all. I brought home a unique experience as well as a head full of questions regarding about how far illusory art will develop in the future and how easily the human brain can be deceived.