These Paintings Look Normal... But You Won't Believe What Happens When You Approach Them

It draws you in.

Patrick Hughes' paintings are literally in a category of their own.


The London-based Hughes, 75, is the creator of "reverspective," an entirely different take on artistic perspective. 

In a Hughes work, the part of the painting that appears farthest from the eye of the viewer — what ostensibly represents depth in a conventional painting — is actually the part that is closest to the viewer. 

How is that possible?

It's possible because Hughes' works are actually three-dimensional. He explains reverspective here:

It's impossible to believe even when — especially when — you see it.

He explained this in-depth (pun intended) in an apparently since-deleted portion of his website, quoted in Wikipedia:

"Reverspectives are three-dimensional paintings that when viewed from the front initially give the impression of viewing a painted flat surface that shows a perspective view. However as soon as the viewer moves their head even slightly the three dimensional surface that supports the perspective view accentuates the depth of the image and accelerates the shifting perspective far more than the brain normally allows. This provides a powerful and often disorienting impression of depth and movement. The illusion is made possible by painting the view in reverse to the relief of the surface, that is, the bits that stick farthest out from the painting are painted with the most distant part of the scene."

Still struggling to wrap your head around it? Watch this.

Hughes' work continues to inspire awe and, we hope, new ways to approach art, thought, science, and life. 

Things that force us to shift perspective can be used as catalysts for new ideas, new creations, or fresh approaches.

For more from Patrick Hughes, please visit his website. The "imitators" section is particularly funny and his gallery is beautiful.

Please share Hughes' fantastic work with your friends. 


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