Here is our first interview with Guido Moretti. We sent these questions before receiving his book, which answers many of these questions. Once you start to understand exactly how he does what he does, and how mathematic it all really is, you gain even more of an appreciation for his work. So without further ado, here is the interview with the one of the most talented 3d optical illusion sculptures in our current time:
Wait - before we jump right into the interview, you better take a look at the optical illusion that he created below. That's right, all three pictures are of the same object, with Guido Moretti in the picture. If you twist the 3d sculpture to the exact angle, you'll actually see another couple optical illusions. The first is known as the Necker Cube, which we use here at coolopticalillusions.com. And the second is the Impossible Triangle, which you can build your own from a printable form at this site. But what we don't have is the middle picture, which is the same sculpture from the side! It's not impossible!
First of all, thanks for taking the time to answer the questions about
your optical illusion sculptures.
How did you get started with this type of sculpture, did you start out
simple, with a few shapes? For some time I had been making sculptures using a special method that I dubbed “orthogonal intersections”. At a certain point, while I was doing particular research on cubes (everything is explained in detail in my book entitled The Third Way to Sculpture), I orthogonally intersected two drawings representing a cube in perspective. I was amazed at the end of the process to see that the drawing no longer existed but its “three-dimensional force” had been transferred to the 3-D space. If you look at the resulting sculpture from two perpendicular directions, you can see two cubes that, in reality, do not exist. This was the start of the fortunate series of sculptures belonging to the chapter Illusion and Reality.
I'm sure most would agree that some of your latest work seems incredibly complicated and almost impossible to come up with? How long does it usually take when you're working on a new sculpture? Could you break it down into the steps?
The sculptures look very complex, but in actual fact they are the result of orthogonal intersections of two drawings which in themselves create the illusion of a three-dimensional object, whether it be real (cubes, pyramids, etc.) or virtual (impossible pillars, the impossible triangle, etc.). To make a sculpture that can create an optical illusion, you need first of all to create or merely use a drawing that is capable of showing a three-dimensional object. Then you make a copy of plywood shapes that are applied to two opposing faces of a polystyrene cube. Then, with great patience you have to cut the polystyrene, following the outline of the drawing. If you repeat the operation in a perpendicular direction, you get a complex sculpture that creates an optical illusion of solids that do not really exist.
What would you say to others who are interested in making similar
sculptures, or if they're just getting started?
Of course, anyone can apply the method I have adopted for creating sculptures. That’s precisely why I’ve created a website and published a book called The Third Way to Sculpture. I think I can consider myself a sort of benchmark for all those wishing to create sculptures using the method I have developed. There’s already been the case of an artist who, after discovering my technique, applied it to get sculptures very similar to my Living Forms (which I had patented nearly ten years before).
When museums first started carrying your work, is that when you started to become really proud of what you have worked on, or was it much earlier on?
Oh, it was much earlier on. I’ve always been confident about what I’ve done. And if official recognition follows, so much the better. The first person to recognise the originality of my sculptures in the field of optical illusions was Al Seckel, who bought several of them for travelling exhibitions in the most important museum in the US and now each year publishes books on the subject that include pictures of my work. The last one (in 2004) was “Masters of deception, Escher, Dalì & the artists of optical illusion” by Sterling Publishing CD. Inc. , New York.
Do you have any other artists that inspired you to begin? Any mentors or
even other historical artists that paved the way for you? 2D or 3D artists?
I think the artist I took inspiration from in developing the method of orthogonal intersection was SHIGEO FUCUDA. Another important artist was Oscar Reutersward from whom I took most of the lovely drawings that I then converted into real-illusory sculptures. My latest creation – a tribute to this great artist – is called THREE IMPOSSIBLE CUBES.
Your sculptures seem incredibly unique, to your knowledge, are there
other artists designing works of art like this?
I don’t think so, at the moment. There are some sculptors who use the orthogonal intersection method (including Fukuda himself), but they have remained in the figurative sphere. For me, though, this method has become virtually the only way to produce fascinating new shapes. Anyway, a glimpse at my website www.guidomoretti.it (The third way to sculpture) will help you understand how far this method has been developed, and also its philosophical implications.
If someone was interested in purchasing some of your art, or
commissioning a piece, what is the general price range (in USD/ Euros)? Anyone interested can write to me for full details. But in general the prices range from 200 euros for small nylon sculpture to 4 or 5 thousand euros for the big bronze ones. The website gives the exact dimensions. The large sculptures are priced individually, of course. Can you tell us a little about your latest project? I’m currently developing sculptures based on circles, as well as squares and quarks. But I don’t only do optical illusions. My research covers many different fields. Another important aspect for me is developing the dynasty of quarks (see website). And then there’s orthogonal intersection in the three dimensions, and so on.
What's the most difficult thing that you do? I’d say transforming small sculptures into very large ones, on a monumental scale, as this involves statics and engineering calculations to make sure the work can support itself. And no less difficult is the problem of finding someone prepared to fund my large works. When it happens, is a fantastic boost to morale.
Thank you. Another note to visitors here at coolopticalillusions. If you do decide to purchase some of Mr. Moretti's artwork, please let us, and him, know that you saw it here first!
Wow! It will look like the diamonds on the top are much darker than the diamonds on the bottom.
Perfect and printable! This is a very strong optical illusion, and is even noticeable in the small image to the left. Doesn't it look like the top row is considerably darker than each successive row?
Moving Red Spiral
Sometimes, while I'm just playing around in Photoshop, something appears, as if by magic. This illusion was one of those that just jumps off the page.
It's a large red spiral on a purple background that appears to jump and move. Works better for some people than others, but if you like the moving illusions, you'll love it! Although this small image might move a bit as you read these words, the larger versions are even better!