Speed Painting Illusion

February 27th, 2013 | Brain

Speed Painting is a little-known niche of the art world.  However, this performance by D. Westry on the Anderson Cooper Show is fantastic!  He has 1 minute and 30 seconds to impress the judges, and it looks to be off to a pretty disappointing start, but as with most activities, it’s all about the finish.

It’s interesting how our brain uses gravitational, up-down reference frames to process images.  Here’s a few optical illusions of upside-down art:

El Cosaco y El Burro

“This reversible optical illusion image on an old matchbox also contains a sly joke. The Spanish word “El Cosaco” means a mounted policeman, but it also refers to an elite Russia cavalry corps, who were thought to be heavy drinkers, so “El Cosaco” means someone who drinks heavily.

When it’s reversed, of course “El Burro” means burro or mule in English, but it’s also someone who’s an ignorant or pompous ass.

So might this be a little satirical dig at stupid drunken Russians or pompous policeman? Ponder that while you take out a match to light up your smoke.”


You can find a lot more of the matchbook art here.

Garibaldi and Stalin

This image was part of the Italian Anti-Communist propaganda. When the face of the politician Garibaldi is turned upside-down, you see that he was devoted to Stalin.

It would be cool to see a speed painting that works just as well right-side-up as upside-down.


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