Who is Banksy? Is that his real name? Where is he from? No one knows the true identity of Banksy, but himself. The master of street art wishes to remain unknown, leaving it up to people to guess his identity. With all the years that he’s been active, people only have speculated about the artist that leaves behind amazing creations on the streets, walls, and bridges.
What Do We Know About Banksy?
Banksy is an English graffiti artist, film director, political activist, and painter. He decorates the streets with satirical artwork and subversive epigrams, depicting an element of dark humor combined with graffiti using a stenciling method. Banksy, being an avid traveler, travels around the world painting along the way.
His ability to paint 3D pictures that jump out at you is a talent not many posses. Almost all of the street art is painted using the stenciling method. On the topic of the stenciling method, it is quite the story of how he knew that he wanted to paint using this technique.
How Did Banksy Find His True Calling?
From 1990 to 1994, he worked as a freehand graffiti painter, working alongside other artists. When he broke away from the group, he discovered the stenciling method. According to Banksy, in order to hide from the cops, he hid under a garbage can, and it was then when he discovered the stenciling method.
When he began using it, he found out that he finished his drawing faster than before. At that time, he began to gain more fame for his artwork. That resulted in him employing the technique full time. Before he went out on the road to spread awareness and record his travels, he worked under contract with advertising agencies. In Bristol, he painted his first wall mural called Mild Mild West in 1997.
What Does He Create Now?
Now, he works often for himself, stenciling humorous and striking pictures paired with slogans. Through his drawings, he wants to spread the message about anti-capitalist, anti-war, or anti-establishment. The messages are drawn around few of his favorite chosen themes such as children, the elderly, apes, soldiers, and rats.
Even though his identity may never be revealed, his artwork will continue to shock and please us, but we cannot say the same about governments feeling the same way, as they are left with the duty to clean up after him.
If you want to search some of his artwork, you should Google Charles Mansion stencil, drawings on the Israeli West Bank wall, portrait of Queen Victoria, and many others.
Unfortunately, many of his artwork has not survived, having been destroyed, painted over, and vandalized. Since he sends a strong message to the group or organization he is targeting, cities do not tolerate it. They are not too keen on him defaming their streets with his artwork and order them to be destroyed. Luckily, people have captured his artwork in pictures so you will still get to see it in photographs, if not live.
Who knows? You could get lucky and get to see Banksy’s artwork!
© opticalspy 2015
In Milan, Duchy of Milan in the year 1526 or 1527, an acclaimed artist was born. You know the Italian painter by the name of Giuseppe Arcimboldo. The artist, like his father before, possessed a gift of the fine arts. With time, he become known for imaginative portraits using objects such as vegetables, fish, books, and fruits. His glory days did not come until 1592.
Giuseppe Arcimboldo—the Royal Painter
Gradually, Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s popularity in Italy had begun to grow, and Ferdinand I, the reigning king, noticed it. The king appointed him as the court portraitist at the Habsburg court situated in Vienna. Later, Maximilian II and Rudolf II approached him and appointed him as the court portraitist at Prague court.
However, painting portraits of people were not his only talents, as he served as a costume designer and court decorator. Even when he was pursuing different careers, he did not let up on his paintings.
Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s Paintings Were a Source of Mystery
The Italian painter produced several masterpieces in his life, but only the most unconventional and mysterious gained lifelong fame. His paintings on religious subjects failed to get a positive response from people, leading them to disappear entirely. His paintings that did garner a response were his portraits of human heads compromised of odd items such as plants, tree roots, vegetables, fruits, and plants.
When people saw his portraits of human heads, they left several in awe of his ability to portray something so simple in such an uncommon and different way. His work fascinated people, his fellow painters, and upcoming painters that used his work as inspiration.
Who Inspired Him?
Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s inspiration was his imagination, which he used every time he sat down in front of a blank canvas. He dug deep in the realms of his mind to create human portraits, overlapping the objects to create the shape of an anatomically correct human head. One thing people should know about his paintings is that he never used objects out of the blue, as each object was related to each other.
For instance, in his painting of The Librarian, he used objects that indicated the literary culture of that era. He used the tails of animals for beards, open book for hair, and strands of paper for fingers. Even though The Librarian was not perceived well by scholars, as they said it ridiculed their education, it is now one of his most talked about pieces of work.
Giuseppe Arcimboldo welcomed critics and did not mind the objections, as he lived to create paintings that showed the misbehavior of the elite class during his time. Through The Librarian, he wanted to depict the ill habit of rich people who collected books for the sake of it, but not to read them.
In the end, his senseless paintings made a lot of sense, as they had a deeper meaning behind the fruits, books, and vegetables used to create it. When he died on July 11, 1593, in the same place as he was born, and he left behind a legacy of his own.
© opticalspy 2015
The Hermann grid illusion, not to be confused with the scintillating grid illusion, is a marvelous optical illusion. Ludimar Hermann, who the illusion is named after, reported its discovery in 1870. He described the illusion as having the appearance of a ghost. You do not have anything to fear though, as the optical illusion is more wondrous than frightening. Perhaps, a little frightening, as it makes you see tiny grey spots jumping from place to place. What is the scary part? They do not exist, just as ghosts do not exist, unless you have proof to show us otherwise.
The Hermann Grid Illusion—Tricks the Eye
Ludimar Hermann, a German speech scientist and physiologist, noticed something extraordinary taking place before his eyes. He was quick to announce his discovery, and people were quick to listen. After the Hermann Grid illusion became known worldwide, people began to try it. The newly discovered optical illusion left people amazed, as they saw grey dots appear randomly in the white spaces left between the tiny black, square shaped boxes.
What amazed them further about the Hermann grid illusion was knowing that the grey dots they were seeing were not actually there, but their mind somehow had constructed them in their head, making them see the grey dots. The mind was up to no good, tricking the eye into seeing things that were clearly not there because when they concentrated on a white space, the grey dot vanished, just as a ghost would vanish when you catch them off guard.
What Spell Did the Hermann Grid Illusion Cast on You?
Lateral inhibition is responsible for the fading in and out grey dots in the optical illusion. More than one receptor is involved in tricking your receptive field to seeing the unseen. The receptive field is found at the intersection of the cross.
It has an increased amount of light focused on its inhibitory than the receptive field in the middle of the small black squares. This results in the response on the excitatory center of the receptive field to become stronger versus the intersection where the white cross intersects. In short, you see grey dots in your peripheral vision, even when you focus on one single white space.
So, What is the Trick?
There is no trick, just your mind playing games with you. If you do not believe it, you can stand up, move away from the computer, and watch the optical illusion. What do you see? You should be seeing grey dots even at your distance.
The Hermann grid illusion was and is still a magnificent discovery. It messes with your head in the most amazing ways. It lets you perceive images that are not there. If you have never seen a Hermann grid illusion, look at it now. Trick your mind, and then introduce others to it to trick their mind.
Do not stare at the optical illusion too long, as it makes you feel as if you are cross-eyed.
© opticalspy 2015
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