There”s a new term in the art world you need to know: anamorphosis. Anamorphosis is the practice of strategically placing objects so that when viewed from a certain angle, they create an image. From that angle, they can turn into portraits and other works of art. From any other angle, though, they revert to just being a pile of junk.

French artist Bernard Pras is recognized for being the leader in this field. He uses just about anything to create his interactive sculptures including toys, household items, fabric, dust and garbage. The placement of everything is exacting, even if it doesn”t look that way at first, and the result is surprisingly accurate to the original pieces Pras works from. He works with recognizable subjects, namely the seminal works of famous artists, that almost everyone can pick out immediately, such as Salvador Dali”s and Vincent Van Gogh”s self portraits, Hokusai”s wave, and the Uncle Sam poster.

Vincent Van Gogh

After the famous portrait of Louis XIV. We don”t know if incorporating toilet paper is a statement, or just conveniently white and fluffy.

Uncle Sam

A recreation of The Great Wave Off Kanagawa by Hokusai

Denim and furniture create this rendition of Vincent Van Gogh”s At Eternity”s Gate. While the image appears to be vertical, it”s an illusion created by laying the items on the floor across a room, and then viewing the assemblage from a particular angle.


Snow White

Here”s what Snow White looks like from the side. Her vertical figure is actually made up of objects spread across a horizontal plane.

While a lot of these are kind of fun, anamorphosis can take on a somber tone as well, such as in this recreation of Andrea Mantegna”s Lamentation of Christ.

Lamentation viewed from other vantage points. The piece takes up the entire room, and in doing so, also distorts the viewer”s perception of space.


Salvador Dali

The portrait from a different angle.

Due to his unusual and labor-intenstive work, Pras has gained quite a following. You can check out some of his other anamorphic pieces, as well as some more traditional work, on his website.

Via DeMilked