Puzzled Businessman Optical Illusion

I have just stumbled upon this interesting mural in my mailbox. Maria Dentura asked our readership whether the mural below contains a partial painting of a passing businessman, and if his “other part” (in the background) belongs to a similar person accidentally passing-by? I have to admit that the image fooled me when I saw it for the first time. Moments later, I noticed more accompanying details, which then revealed the optical illusion. Hope you like this submission, and are willing to share your view on it. Sorry people, Dirty Harry has just started, so am off to watch my favorite crazy detective. Logging off…

74 Replies to “Puzzled Businessman Optical Illusion”

  1. Can’t be two people – the feet are both in front of the wall. I can see several ways to create this illusion since the man is obviously drawn or painted, not live.

  2. The man is obviously drawn or painted, not live as the line in the wall above him extends through his face and down into his shirt. Even if it were live I can see several ways this illusion could have been produced.

    Also the two feet are exactly the same distance in front of the wall – impossible for a live person standing the way he is.

  3. What your missing is that there is no brick wall. It’s actually flat, and the entire thing is a painting. Look at the column next to the hydrant and behind the guy.

  4. This is the first time I have posted after visiting this site very often. I am not sure If there is a person behind the wall but there are incontinuities between the painting/person on the brick wall and wall behind it. The strap from the bag does not extend over the shoulder of the brick wall painting, the light is coming from the opposite direction on the two pant legs, and the shoes appear to be different on each foot. Either the artist was incompetent or there is a person behind the brick wall. Perhaps the reason why both feet appear to be in the foreground is that the foot behind the brick wall belongs to the left foot -not the right foot- of a live person

  5. The man’s face and body aren’t real but the person walking behind the brick section is. The person on the front also has no strap for his laptop cas going over his shoulder. It could possibly be two people.
    Good work.
    Keep it up!

  6. I just realized that the non-brick wall painted foot could not possibly be the left foot of a live person (the bag is on the “right side” of the person). Either a person contorted himself behind the wall in a strange way or more likely it is a painting (albeit with many incontinuities).

  7. This one is great! The face part of the person is actually leaning his back against an “L” shaped wall with both feet extended in front of him. The other part is a person walking behind the wall.

  8. The point of the illusion is that it’s supposed to look split. The viewer is to look at it as though the back leg and briefcase are part of a real person passing behind a wall with a mural of a walking businessman on it. It’s all a painting, of course, but that is how it’s supposed to appear.

  9. the whole thing is one big painted wall… you can tell beacuse of the fire hydrant and right next to it, the line going down all the way from top to bottom.

  10. I think its supposed to be an illusion of an illusion. The mural was painted on a normal wall. The wall inside the wall, however (that is, the brick wall) is drawn at an angle so that if you were walking down the street that the mural depicts, as you moved left it would seem as if the man was a whole man without the strange wall cutting him in two. What a peculiar way to portray an almost-illusion…

  11. The whole thing is a drawing. Look at the 3 vertical lines, 2 of which run up thru the brick pillar, but are out of step with the joints in the brickwork. These lines are the joints in the background medium, possibly concrete wall panels.
    Also notice the edge of a frame on the far right. It has a shadow that falls to the right whereas the shadows of the hydrant, man and brick pillar all fall to the left.

  12. Ummm I’m pretty sure the entire thing is a painting. Look at the fire hydrant. This ain’t no illusion, it’s just a good drawing/painting/mural/whatever.

  13. the figure on the wall could be painted and a live person be behind the wall depending on the thickness of the wall. the figure in the back could be leaning up against the wall with his/her leg parallel with the painted front side.

  14. I think the whole thing is drawn. The fire hydrant looks drawn, and there’s a line running from top to bottom just left of the fire hydrant, another through the middle of the man, and another about the same distance to the left of that. It’s all one flat wall. The left side of the brick wall looks like it could be drawn also.

    What seems odd to me is that the back side of the man has a dark colored strap on his shoulder, yet it dissapears in the front portion of him, and his right leg is behind the brick wall but the foot on that leg is in front of it. He’s obviously about to trip on something there… :)

    — Leep

  15. obviously the two parts of the man and the background are all painted basically the illusion is fooling you at first sight and then you think the other part is a real person but when its in detail the whole thing is all and illusion a painting.

  16. It could be two people since the laptop bag doesnt match.

    However the person in front is not real… looks liek it is painted on the wall

  17. hum i think if it back leg was put up higher it would look a little better since his body is walking behind the wall and his back foot is trying to walk in front of the wall

  18. It is obviously completely painted. It looks as if its painted onto boards like the type they use to cover up building work in the city. Still, nice illusion though. Love the site by the way. Well done with that.

  19. hey, you cannot be serious asking if this is a “partial” painting. Have a look at this picture people. There is nothing real on it, neither the man, the walls nor the stand pipe.

  20. The whole scene is painted on a flat wall.. Man, brick wall, wall in background, fire hydrant.. everything is part of the mural..

    notice the virtical line just left of the fire hydrant.. it’s straight from top to bottom.. unless that’s the first thread of the space elevator, it’s a seem in the wall..

  21. The entire photo is painted. There is no actual depth in the picture. If u look close, the side of the wall, details on the wall,the opening of the door and especially the hydrant are all painted. Besides, the right foot is pointed directly at the side of the wall where the rest of his body is behind the “wall”

  22. Sidewalk art! Sweet! I can’t really tell if it’s a real person in the background because the work that I’ve seen before is so life like its impossible to tell!
    Love this stuff!
    Final answer: chalk foreground and background (including fire hydrant). The behind the wall guy is real, hiding the rest of his body behind the flat wall colored in chalk.

  23. I think the whole thing is painted on a flat surface. Nothing – including the fire hydrant and pillar are actually three dimensional. That said, it is vary well done Trompe L’Oeil.

  24. it’s just a painting, and it’s painted wrong if you would ask me… Look at the shadow of the wall at both sides and look at the shadow of the yellow thing. ( sorry, I’m from Holland, and my English is not perfect, because I’m still at school. )

  25. this isn’t that bad but did anyone notice that they didn’t do the strp of the bag on the brick part because you would have seen it on the shoulder but it’s not there…

  26. what made me realise it was all fake was looking at the foot of the “real” person and noticing that his right foot was infront of the wall

  27. its actually depending on how you look at it you would see 2 types of pictures… like if you cut it from left to right in the center you would get 2 pictures…the one on the top looks like he is going past a pole… while the one on the bottom looks like he’s walking to another part of town…but still the part on the right is more of a picture of his house in side…just with a fire hydrant inside his house…you could almost say its his house or working place… cause of the glimpse of a painting… though its a pretty good painting or what ever…looks fantastic!

  28. It looks to me like the first half is painted and the second half is indeed an actual person. Whether it’s accidental that it was taken like this or not, the second half is someone in the position to make this look like a single person.

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