Walking past this artist's portraits will blow your mind, as one face transforms to another
Sergi Cardenas/Instagram

Optical illusions are always fun to play with, and the paintings of Sergi Cadenas are no exception.

If you walk up to one of Cadenas's portraits from one direction, you'll see a face. If you walk up to it from the opposite direction, you'll also see a face—but a totally different one. Sometimes it's a young face that ages as you walk from one side to another, like this one:

Or this one:

Sometimes it's a face that has the...um...face part removed.


And sometimes it's a face that simply becomes another face.

He can even turn Marilyn Monroe into Albert Einstein.

You can see that the painting is created in verticle 3-D lines of some sort and surmise that the two different faces exist on opposite, angled sides of those lines. But how? It almost feels like magic, the way the paintings transform as you walk past them.

This image of one of Cadenas's paintings up against a mirror lets you see both sides of it at once, which is super cool.

What's particularly impressive about Cadenas's art is that he is a self-taught artist who didn't even become a painter until he was 30. He got the idea for his dual-image oil paintings from "flip images" he'd seen when he was a kid. He creates his works in his home studio in small village in the Catalonia region of Spain and uses friends, family, and neighbors as models. It takes him about a month to complete one of his paintings.

How does he create the dual images? He fills an icing bag with painter's paste and uses a decorator tip to create verticle relief lines with two 45 degree angles. (Watching a neighbor who was a pastry chef gave him the idea.) Then he sketches out the basic facial features with pencil before painting the different faces from the two different sides.

"You have to get used to the lines being broken and not continuous on the canvas," Cadenas said in an interview with dw.com. But other than that, it's like any other painting. He completes one side, then completes the other.

"It's the magic, the surprise effect that I like best," he said.

Much of Cadenas's work hangs in people's private collections, though some museums and galleries such as the Galeria Jordi Barnadas gallery in Barcelona have some of his pieces on display.


Artist Makes Portraits That Age As You Move Around Them www.youtube.com

Such great creativity and innovation, not to mention sheer talent. Here's to the artists who enrich our world with their incredible work.

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