ICO Students Create Eye-Tricking Illusions

Updated: Jun 20, 2019


ICO: Reverspective "Our Favorite Space"


The study of optometry is most often used in a clinical setting. However, the inner workings of our eyes, brain, and visual system can affect how we see fine art. Some creative ICO students are building an illusion that tricks the eye. It’s called reverspective. Chido Munjanganja ‘15, Sepideh Omidghaemi ‘15, and twin sister Saeideh Omidghaemi are using reverspective to connect art with science.


Reverspective, or “reverse perspective,” uses math to confuse our brains’ perception. An image is drawn on a three-dimensional surface. The surface itself is built toward our eyes, while the painted imagery moves away from us. The sections of the picture that appear furthest away are actually closest to our eyes. Thus, every brush stroke must be carefully calculated. The result is a striking scene that appears to move when we do.

As an artistic technique, reverspective was discovered and perfected by Patrick Hughes. The science behind the method is still being explored. ICO’s own Dr. Susan Kelly believes that our brains choose the “most sensible perception-“ movement, in this case- even when the painting remains static. The final product is truly fascinating.


Sepideh, Saeideh, and Chido’s painting will feature scenes from the Illinois College of Optometry- the lecture center, clinic, library, and views of Chicago. The piece will be on display starting May 13, 2015. It will remain at ICO after graduation, for future students to ponder and enjoy.


In The News

Chicago students use optical illusions to trick the brain – WGN-TV, May 13 Optometry College Painting Gives a Different Perspective – ABC 7 News, May 13 Blue-and-Black Dress Illusion Inspires Twins’ Art on How our Eyes Trick Us – DNAinfo Chicago, May 14

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