5 Artists Show You How Magic Is Weaved Into Art

Deception, deceit or in lay man’s terms, ‘hanky panky’–these are the words we usually associate with magic. It is used to entertain audiences by staging tricks or creating illusions of seemingly impossible feats using natural means. Right in front of our eyes, a rabbit appears out of a hat or a living body is sliced in two. Our earliest experiences with magic began with Harry Potter, when the spell ‘Wingardium Leviosa’ levitated a light feather but left our mouths wide open, gaping in complete awe.

Now what if these magic tricks could create traditional art? What if reality is altered right before your eyes to create a ‘hanky panky’ with some paints and crayons to completely blow your mind? What if it captures our imagination and twists it into a tangled mess of awestruck nerves. What if?

Both art and magic are phenomena of representation, a language or expression, revealing a story in itself to grab and retain the attention of the viewer. They require a skilled mind armed with a vibrant and inventive imagination and of course, diligence and perseverance. The created piece should have the power to take us on an emotional journey that should be able to stimulate anxiety and jubilation.

Today, we will let you in some of the secrets of these brilliant minds, but on one condition. Traditional magicians’ law prevented them from revealing the methods behind their tricks to the public and in the similar way we entrust you with the enactment and continuity of the above mentioned law. So let’s begin.


Robert Gonsalves

Optical Magic is the use of optical illusions to swindle you and to question your eyesight and reality itself and Robert Gonsalves is a master of this trickery. His interest in art began at an early age, which is why he became comfortable with painting such complex misdirections. He had already experimented with technique, perspective and architectural art by the age of 12.

The beautiful and mind-bending illusions in Canadian artist Rob’s paintings have a fun way of twisting your perception and causing you to question what in his paintings, if anything, is real.

Most of his stunning paintings have an unclear boundary between the multiple stories they tell, which forces the viewer to jump back and forth between them – like an optical illusion that changes every time you look at it.


Robert Gonsalves

Robert Gonsalves

Image courtesy– Bored Panda



Hans Holbein the Younger

What German born sixteenth century artist Hans Holbein the Younger has used in his painting ‘The Ambassadors‘ is the trick of anamorphosis–a distorted projection or perspective requiring the viewer to use special devices or occupy a specific vantage point to reconstitute the image.

In Holbeins’ painting, a distorted shape lies diagonally across the bottom of the frame. Viewing this from an acute angle transforms it into the plastic image of a skull. While the skull is evidently intended as a ‘vanitas or ‘memento mori, it is unclear why Holbein gave it such prominence in this painting. One possibility is that this painting represents three levels: the heavens (as portrayed by the astrolobe and other objects on the upper shelf), the living world (as evidenced by books and a musical instrument on the lower shelf), and death (signified by the skull). It has also been hypothesized that the painting is meant to hang in a stairwell, so that persons walking up the stairs and passing the painting on their left would be startled by the appearance of the skull.

This mystique and mystery which surround the painting is not very different from the mystery that reeks out of a well-devised magic trick!


Hans Holbein the Younger

The Ambassador

Hans Holbein the Younger

The anamorphic skull

Image courtesy– Wikipedia



Shamus Clisset

Shamus Clisset toys with the space where science meets magic in his large-scale, 3D rendered images, transforming everyday objects into hyper-real visual explosions. His exhibition ‘Space God / Magic Guy‘ takes inspiration from science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke, who posits that magic is science we don’t yet understand. He believes, “What is imaginable but also inconceivable is most magical of all”.

Clisset explores this domain of familiar but not understood objects floating in an alternate, virtual reality. He creates totems to technology, examining their utilitarian abilities as well as their supernatural ones.

Basketballs, soda cans, kitchen knives and cleaning detergent float in the artist’s own digital arena. Through virtual landscapes, Clisset activates the magical properties of the things that surround our daily lives, exposing the magic that trickles through our computers, kitchens and closets.

On being asked what he defines as the difference between science and art he says;

Seems like kind of a huge question for me to really do it justice, but I think one way I would see it is that science is logical explanation while art is superstition. Artists make their own kind of logic, not necessarily based on finding correct solutions, but interesting possibilities. I think a lot of my favorite artists are working on explaining phenomena that they themselves created.

He believes that his show deals with magic, the supernatural and science fiction more than any actual science. He brings out a very interesting relation and unveils how technology is no less than magic. He says that technology at our fingertips far surpasses most people’s abilities to fully understand its capabilities. We know the basics of what it is intended to do, and how it helps our lives, but very few of us grasp the specifics of how it actually works. That creates an almost religious (or at the very least, superstitious) relationship with technology for most people.

The ones who design, understand and control the hardware and software become the mystical creators or artists of this tech reality. This makes them magicians and gurus of the technological world; often just doing tricks, but some with real vision for shaping the future.


Shamus Clisset

Gundam Head (Gold Card God)


Raining Knives

Image courtesy– Huffington Post


Adrienne Kammerer

Every picture tell a story and that picture is worth a thousand words. Adrienne Kammerer has used this power wielded within art to unveil a mystical story. She draws her inspiration from a childhood rooted in fear and superstitions and conjures up memories of the past while offering a subtly dark humor indicative of their present existence.

The story Adrienne has portrayed through her magnificent graphite drawings is an ongoing narrative exploring the history of magic set in a fictitious past. Through beautifully-rendered figurative portraits and environments, Kammerer intuitively combines historic folklore with documented and imagined instances of magic, mythology and the occult.


memento mori



Image courtesy– Beautiful Decay


Julia Vystokoyava

Art to artists is a medium to bring to life their desires, fantasies and deepest dreams, which makes it no less than magic. Julia Vystokoyava, a 24-year-old illustrator from Krasnoyarsk, Russian Federation stirred life into the fabled kindest and most beautiful animals of the mystical ‘Sherwyn’s Forest’, seemingly present in the Kingdom of Haul, a vast land which stretches hundreds of miles from the Cimexian Ocean in the south to archipelago of Flane’s Whip in the north, with her detailed black-and-white illustrations.

Featuring 50 woodland creatures (and some humans too), the images from ‘Sherwyn’s Forest’ look like ones that belong in a strange and magical children’s book of fairytales. These ethereal illustrations have a uniquely beautiful style, with a real sense of magic to it.





Image courtesy– Neonmob


So there you have it, hopefully these artworks have been successful in working their magic on your minds and have twisted reality to give you a spectral and stunning perspective of the world around you!