Matchstick Men Optical Illusion

I heard some advices how I should develop “Optical Illusion of The Day” app for iPhone/iPod Touch. Are you kidding me? We already did this :) It was our main news months ago. If you look a little bit closer (just below the header), you may even notice the “iphone app” link. Now that we concluded this little misunderstanding, let’s check today’s art installation:

This photograph came along with no accompanying description. I can’t tell you who the author is, nor when was this taken. But what I can tell you, is that the shown artwork greatly resembles Tim Noble and Sue Webster’s “Shadow Sculptures“. My next guess would be that the author behind them was Kumi Yamashita. If you have more info, be nice and share. Hope that this illusion wasn’t too scary – it’s just garbage on a stick, after all.

Two Heads are better than one, ayeh?
Two Heads are better than one, ayeh?

68 Replies to “Matchstick Men Optical Illusion”

  1. Really cool illusion.
    I think i see a dead animal in the trash on the right stick (head looking up)..??
    Am I seeing correctly??

  2. Clever. A bit gruesome in more ways than one. The garbage on a stick appears to be dead rodents, lizards, and bugs and the shadows appear to be heads on spikes!

    Obviously clever (not illusions, it is an effect) and I am not offended, so no worries there! 8)

  3. It looks great but the shadows and the items in front don’t match up exactly, for example with the light where it is you should be able to see a long curved shadow that is part of the lower sculpture. But other than that it does look really good

  4. It does look like there are dead creatures on the sticks, as both Roc and Shannon pointed out. If I may assume correctly, humans destroy those lives, but are destroyed themselves? Or are the sticks just for support, and it’s just a strange illusion? Guess it’s up to us to decide.

  5. its kinda scary but so cool i add it 2 my favorites. my first look at the little dead animals on the left i thought it looked like a skull, but after seeing the shadow i understood. sssssssssssoooooooooooooooooooooooo clever.

  6. huh….I wonder how big these sculptures actually are. Those skeletons are of larger animals, I’m pretty sure. The way the back legs are structured….maybe not necessarily huge animals, but definitely bigger than lizard size.

  7. Hey man this site is awesome and i check it almost everyday. Just wanted to let you know your doin an amazing job!

  8. not just garbage indeed, but dead animals.. eventhough it is very clever done, just don’t like it when people use animals (dead or alive) for ‘art’ purposes…

  9. I don;t think its a photo shop but the illusion is that the shadows are being cast from 2 other objects off screen.

  10. Its actually road kill . if you look, the front part we see of the head looking up is of a cat . on the left you see a kittens head top middle in the middle right you see a bird . well really there is birds and cats on both sides. frogs etc.. death and destruction shadowed by death and destruction . i love it.

  11. These are ALL dead animals. Whoever did it has a freaking strong stomach! Very cool, though it probabably stinks like hell.

  12. For those of you who are so sure this is photoshopped, keep in mind the angle of the picture and the angle of the lighting are different. What you see on the object is not going to match 100% with the shadows because the shadows are cast from a different angle. Have a little faith once in a while!!! This is an awesome effect that I’m sure took a lot of time and creativity!

  13. Very cool, but this illusion is just that. The shadows were either modified in post-production, or they are shadows of objects directly next to these two. You can tell mainly because the tail that hangs down from the bone pile on the right is not in the shadow on the right.

  14. Come on…..”advices”…Please!!

    The gramatical, and word usage errors are ruining your presentation….Please CONSIDER an editor….Heck…I’ll do it for free…

  15. i dnt see how that works :|:|

    ..coz the ”garbage” is like all spiky nd stuff …nd then the shadows are like nice nd smooth round the face part :-??

  16. To those who automatically jump to the “Photoshop” conclusion, I have this to say:
    The shadows of the objects are displayed above the objects themselves. Obviously, the light source is BELOW THE CAMERA! We’re not seeing the objects as they are projected against the background, but from a different angle. Obviously, the camera captures a completely different profile of the object, especially given the makeup of the artwork. If the camera were to take the photo from the same position as the light source, the profiles of the objects would appear the same as the shadows cast by the light.
    Parallax, people! Look it up!

  17. they are right . its real. i have done art like this before. yes angles and lighting tricks not programs and megabytes.

  18. ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww………….. thats disgusting!! It’s all dead animals!!! uuughhhhhh!!!! thats gross!! I think the shadow is photoshopped though. The faces are way too defined to be possible. overall, EW

  19. Thank you “Libiom” I couldn’t have said it better myself. You have to appreciate the time and workmanship put into this exquisit art display. I love it and would display it in my home.

  20. Those of you who assume this is photoshopped have obviously never played with lighting. For future reference, you need to consider every angle, as well as the possibility of there being multiple light sources. Use the right mediums and you can still achieve what looks to be a single shadow cast from multiple lights.

    Also, they are small creatures. Shrews, mice, the like. From the looks of the left hand sculpture, they may in fact not be roadkill but bird of prey pellets (at least some)

  21. Yeah, that’s right, these are shadows of entirely different objects off screen. Actually, you can’t see that there are two real human heads cut off and stuck bleeding to the floor on a pair of bamboo sticks.

    LMFAO!!! Morons!

    This is called “shadow” sculpture because what’s sculpted is the shadow, not the real object. While the real object might (would, to be exact) look like crap, it’s arranged creatively in a way that the shadow would look good. What you see millimeters apart side by side on the flat shadow might be rather far and might not even touch one another as the object occupies a three dimensional space.

    And the angle of the light is OBVIOUSLY from a low angle as you see the shadow to be higher than the object. So whatever you see on the object that you don’t see on the shadow, it’s because that thing is not on the edge of the object if you see it from the angle of the light source, so the light doesn’t catch it and project it to the wall to make any particular shape. Get it? What you see as a “tail” on the object? It’s actually just a jumble of things in the middle of the object if you see it from the light source angle, and consequently make up the opaque black in the middle of the shadow.

    It’s real.
    And it’s beautiful.

  22. Nooo, it’s not fake at all – I saw it in London December last year!

    I think it was the British museum, a exhibition of selected modern art pieces set among various ancient statues. Even more striking in reality than the photo suggests.

  23. It was the British Museum, my fiance and I saw it in December last year also, its made with the bones and skin/fur of dead animals.

    Took a little while for us to realise what it was.

  24. yeah, i saw this last yeah in London at the British museum, i was REALLY freaked out. i thought it was discusting, my friend was nearly sick.

  25. If you look at the shadows above what’s actually on the sticks, it looks like a man’s head on a stick looking down at a woman’s head on a stick. The woman’s head is looking up at the man’s head, and it looks like she has a stake through her forehead. They almost look like they are talking to each other. Very strange considering it’s just garbage on a stick!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *