Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Reccuring Typographic Tendency

Within the research I gathered on the trends involving anamorphosis and tricking the eye, many individuals use methods such as sculpture, physical space, architecture, and some sort of grid to give structure to the creation. This provides a recognizable form for the viewer to understand the structure, but surprises them with a hidden technique or message. I would describe this form simply as an illusion. This is exemplified through, not only the creation of anamorphic type that appears two-dimensional, but also with optical illusions that reverse the process and create a two-dimensional form that appears to be three-dimensional. Forms that take on this trend often make use of consciously placed lines, gradients and color. This is most easily exemplified through the relationship between black and white creating the illusion of depth. Much of the optical art movement began in the 1960s with painters such as Bridget Riley and Peter Sedgley that, although somewhat removed from the psychedelic art movement of the 1960s, used many of the same principles that applied to the group such as repetition, patterns, morphing, contrast of color, or the illusion of depth. On the reverse end, work from artists such as Felice Varin in the 1970s began using existing space and depth to create the opposite effect. This movement applied those same principles; morphing, contrast of color, repetition and pattern. However, this is not necessarily a new trend of the 20th century. The technique has been employed by various artists throughout history that have distorted figures to create the illusion of proper proportion. Examples of this inlcude Andrea Pozzo's ceiling on the church of St. Ignazio in the 17th century as well as the work of renowned artists like Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. Much of the work of optical artists appears in paintings, publications, or other forms of two-dimensional surfaces. With new technology, this has been advanced to motion and screen-based optical art that will give an illusion in a much different manner than print. Anamorphic experiments are often set in architectural space as sculpture, interior design elements or signage. On a functional level, this distortion is important for its use on indicating traffic-related instructions for drivers at a specific angle as well as interior and exterior signage that also relies on the angle of the viewer or other natural elements like sunlight. However, aside from the fact that optical illusions are cool to observe and wonder at, there is no real functional importance in their creation. Unless, of course, a message of some kind is crafted within by the creator that compliments the seen, unseen, imagination or other relating element.

1 comment:

  1. very well written, bethany. great historical examples that i would never have thought of. you also covered each of the required content areas in a thoughtful manner. great job!