Oleg Shuplyak’s Illusory Paintings

As it has been confirmed over and over again, sometimes there is much more to the eye than you can initially perceive. This specially goes for the items that have been featured on Mighty Optical Illusions website. Today’s featured artist comes from Ukraine, and is widely recognized because of his illusory oil paintings. His name is Oleg Shuplyak. The gallery you’re about to see hides a surreal world once you take a look at it more closely. Through carefully placed objects, characters, coloring and shadows, there is a second image in the painting which creates an optical illusion.

I’m not sure whether this artist was more influenced by Sandro Del Prete’s opus or works done by famous Octavio Ocampo, but those of you following this website for some time will immediately notice the resemblance! Just like Sandro, Oleg’s works usually feature a portrait of famous personalities. Go through the gallery below and see how many of them can you recognize. Van Gogh, Sigmund Freud and Salvador Dali are just few among dozens.

With works like these, it’s sometimes hard for the author to balance the weight of both images. Personally, I’m more fond of illusions where the “constructed”, 2nd image is more subtile. Oleg on the other hand, does quite opposite – The second image is so easily observable in some paintings, that you can actually miss the first one consisting of harmless landscape or characters in different settings. What you have to do then, is observe the painting more closely to actually see the initial setting and not concentrate on the faces. True skill of such artist is then evaluated by the fact how well did he construct the illusion, and whether the parts of landscapes constructing the illusion have useful part in the original setting. Artists often trap themselves by forcefully adding elements needed to construct the illusion, which don’t actually play their part well in the original setting. In my opinion, Oleg has mastered the technique just like Sandro did, and each part in his paintings seamlessly works in both images, the first “apparent” one, as well as the “hidden” illusory one. So, how many faces did you recognize? Which of his paintings did you like the most?

20 Replies to “Oleg Shuplyak’s Illusory Paintings”

  1. There are other artists besides Sandro Del Prete and Octavio Ocampo painting in this manner. I’ve been painting in this manner for the past 31 years. You have featured one of my paintings and some kid thought that it was lewd. Maybe you should take a look at my work and see that there are others painting in that manner for many years.


  2. Here is my version of Van Gogh’s portrait painted in 1991, entitiled “Fleeced Lamb”


  3. Please tell me there is no face in the one with the bird(s). In some of them I can make the images alternate but in some I can only see the illusory image and not how it can be called part of the background.

  4. Most of those faces are real people who used to be writers, such as Shevchenko, Gogol and so on. I am so proud that Oleg is using them in such art.
    Thank you,

  5. Love these, though some are far more illusory than the others. Particullarly good is the bird one you opened with today, for a short time I did not spot that the upper one was an illusion – skill indeed.

  6. The artist has a great imagination. Would love to own some of the art. Great Job! To me this is talent. Keep up the good work.

  7. well, having looked at David G Wilsons work, I can only say how much more I now appreciate the work that is showcased here, yes there are many people doing similar work, but I cant help liking the unforced subtlety of Olegs work, and I particularly like the multi layered illusions of the featured portrait.

  8. Shuplyak’s a genius; these are magnificent and superb in detail. The tribute of vincent vangogh is especially good, considering that he even captured vincent’s style of color and brushstroke. Even the ones with hidden faces still have extra illusiary details hidden elsewhere if you were to look. If I were to ever become filthy rich, THIS is the art that what I would collect; well, among other things.

  9. hello there
    im looking to contact the artist for exhibiting in our museum.

    could you please help me with contact or more details how to find him?

    best wishes

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