Join me as I share my new artwork, artistic process and new updates on events and more!

Pareidolia in Art: An Optical Illusion You’ve Experienced But (probably) Never Heard Of

source:  TwisterSifter

Ever since I was a kid I was always interested in optical illusions and tricks of the eye. I was fascinated by the ambiguity and making sense of it all. That fascination has continued into my adult life with the interests of pareidolia, that is, seeing animals faces and objects out of patterns.

Pareidolia In Art

And when it comes to creating art, I am not alone in this exotic way!


Giuseppe Arcimboldo was an Italian painter who used assembled animals, books, fruit, flowers, fish, and vegetables to create imaginative portraits of people.

Artists like Salvador Dali have cited the groundbreaking painter's Composite Heads as a major source of inspiration. But it was Museum of Modern Art director Alfred H. Barr's inclusion of his works in the 1930s exhibition Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism that re-introduced the world to Arcimboldo's originality and influence. Retroactively, art historians dubbed the Renaissance Mannerist the grandfather of Surrealism.

"Purple Urchin M3"

Modern Mandalas

Examining pareidolia in my art


Pareidolia in Modern Mandalas

As for pareidolia in my art, these Modern Mandalas are simply a result of repetitively mirroring images. This cognitive type of optical illusion is effective at recreating the psychedelic experience through pareidolic symmetry.

Whenever you mirror something geometric patterns are bound to arise.

Fantastical creatures and more

And as such, the mandalas conjure archetypes such as aliens, angels, demons, fantastical animals, insects, and the alike.

It is worth mentioning that these images of pareidolia in my art are created by mere chance and are not created intentionally. It is the viewers’ imagination that keeps creating almost unlimited interpretations and variations that seemingly morph and flow — the more you look at the art.

Viewing these mandalas is like taking a journey into the multiverse and/or even different dimensions of perceived reality.
— Cameron Emmanuel