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Surreal Optical Illusion Paintings Fuse Two Magical Scenes into One

Magical Realism Examples

The magical realism of artist Robert Gonsalves will make you do a double take. From one glance to another, his fantastical paintings display at least two different scenes. Trees morph into ghost-like figures while bedroom interiors suddenly become a sprawling forest. In each of these confounding compositions, the line between the multiple stories is a blurry one.

There’s a sense of childlike wonder in Gonsalves’ paintings. Often, the main characters are children, and the scenes are reminiscent of the bizarre, meandering scenarios that kids make up in their head. This is directly influenced by the magical thinking of his youth. “A childhood of daydreaming and drawing,” Gonsalves writes, “has evolved into a career of making paintings that are primarily a celebration of imagination.” Although he “took a detour” into architecture, Gonsalves revisited fine art nearly 30 years ago and hasn’t looked back since.

Gonsalves’ compelling optical illusion art has found a natural place in the publishing world. His paintings have illustrated picture books called Imagine a Day, Imagine a World, Imagine a Place, and Imagine a Night. They are all currently available through Amazon.

Artist Robert Gonsalves paints magical realism. In one fantastical scene, two or more stories emerge.

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Each of Gonsalves' paintings contain optical illusions. Look closely to see where one ends and the other begins.

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These types of images have been with  Gonsalves since he was very young.

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“A childhood of daydreaming and drawing has evolved into a career of making paintings that are primarily a celebration of imagination.”

Optical Illusion PaintingsSurreal PaintingsMagical Realism ExamplesOptical Illusion PaintingsOptical Illusion ArtOptical Illusion ArtOptical Illusion ArtMagical Realism ExamplesRobert Gonsalves: Facebook
h/t [Juxtapoz]

All images via Robert Gonsalves.

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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