Face in a Crowd Optical Illusion


One of our fans pointed me to this art instalment featuring face made from bunch of people. When I used reverse image search on Google and Tiny Eye (to get more info on this interesting poster), nothing showed up. So there you have it – an anonymous, beautiful, crowd-formed face illusion. If someone feels confident taking a detective role for a moment, feel free to do your own investigation and please share your findings with rest of us! I would be more than grateful.

  • Steph

    It’s obviously ELVIS – the artist is Craig Alan.


  • ?


  • Thor

    Photoshop. Some of the figures are the same.

    • DMS

      I Have to agree it looks like it may be PS. Repetition of some characters and also the shadows look un-natural.

    • Colleen

      So who cares? Still cool. Sometimes using photoshop shows creativity and intelligence.

    • Thor


  • I couldn’t find that exact image or even part of it but I’m 99% sure it’s Craig Alan’s work and judging from the images with blocks I’d say it’s all digital but still somewhat cool


  • Alan p-j

    Is it Elvis?

  • Derek


    Not photoshop…lots of little figurines.

  • Yorg

    It’s obvious is only a composition.

  • Mike L

    It looks like a image of Elvis Presley

  • D

    Is it Elvis?

  • Yimmer1

    I found it! It’s Elvis. from an artist Alan Craig at http://www.thecoolist.com.
    He also has Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball.
    and the full portrait of Elvis.

  • Yimmer1

    here’s a pic[img]http://www.thecoolist.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/portraits-using-people-by-alan-craig-4.jpg[/img][img]http://www.thecoolist.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/portraits-using-people-by-alan-craig-2.jpg[/img]

  • lia

    The same or similar. Although I didn’t find this exact same painting, it appears to be made by an artist named Craig Alan.

  • lia

    no wait- here it is: http://www.ignant.de/2012/07/25/craig-alan/ I just didn’t recognize Elvis in the cut version above.

  • ?!

    They aren’t real people, look at the shadows, also, their tops halves and bottom halves arent connected

  • Gort

    Definitely Photoshop, is anyone else seeing a young Elvis

  • Caroline Oblin

    It’s an image of Elvis Presley.

  • Marcus

    I don’t really see this as being an illusion… The image is obviously a face. The eye and brain are not being given any information that isn’t already being shown. It’s an interesting piece of art but not an illusion as far as I’m concerned.

    • olleIcke

      @Marcus: Agree completely! Its nice art. There is no ‘illusion’ happening! Otherwise every non-photographic illustration would have to be called an illusion because it does not resemble reality and your head is tricked into seeing objects…

  • Mary

    Something about it makes me think of a young Elvis. And I don’t care if it is Photoshopped, it is still clever.

  • bryan

    could be photoshopped, but coincidences like that dont appear out of nowhere. hurricane nemo

  • Calin

    Thumbnail image is Elvis

  • Audrey

    i notice they are all wearing dark clothes

  • John White

    The Face in a Crowd Illusion was I’m pretty sure an Advert Video. BA did ad on a beach with hundreds of extras some years ago and many others have copied the idea since.

  • Crystal


  • Christy

    This is a portion of Craig Alan’s portrait of Elvis. Craig Alan does aerial photographs using people as pixels. You can find out more at http://www.ignant.de/2012/07/25/craig-alan/

  • M.Usman

    really good!!!!!!!!

  • Franz

    He is Elvis Presley young!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Fred

    Clear as the nose (and eyes) on her face . . . it’s Liza Minnelli!

  • John Paterson

    Sure looks like Elvis to me.

  • john White

    British Airways did this back in the 80s….


    looks like Elvis
    from a distance

  • hanna

    Elvis Presley?

  • YanHo

    Bottom right-ish – the 2 “child” figures and adult to the left have different shadows than anyone else. Also, many of the “people” are in motion – surely not what you’d want in a studied figure…..?

  • Anita Dehghani


    The face of screen siren Marilyn Monroe made up of tiny painted figures painted by Craig Alan. Photo credit: Rex

  • Brian

    It’s Prudence, the face of prudential. If you go to their website, you can see the tv ad featuring it.

  • Scott

    Yeah, Photoshop. Shadows are wrong, and people moving would have just had to move through each other.

  • Emil

    The picture reminds me of Elvis Presley :)

  • Steve B

    It is obviously photoshopped as there are a large portion of the figures in motion and the picture would be impossible to get with everyone in the right spot seeing they are moving to or away from the right spots…. saying that I still like it

  • Rocuro

    The shadows and poses appear to me to be from small figurines, like 19th century village figures. Is that Elvis?

  • Annie

    I don’t care how it was made-it’s excellent.

  • Natalie

    I thought maybe it was a drawing of people with their shadows drawn in.

    If you look at the photo with the red lips, the people are casting red shadows.

    This makes me think that it is not an aerial photograph, as one website reports.

    Here is another sample of the artist’s work which looks even more like it is a drawing.


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