Anamorphosis is a distorted projection or perspective requiring the viewer to use special devices or occupy a specific vantage point to reconstitute the image.

Between 11 and 25 March 2007, Swiss artist Felice Varini and his team created an unusual piece of public art that is set to baffle and fascinate visitors to Cardiff Bay barrage. The piece, entitled 3 Ellipses for 3 Locks, was commissioned by arts agency CBAT for the Cardiff Harbour Authority and cost $50,000.

A series of three yellow ellipses have been painted onto the working locks, gates and even the outer sea wall to create a piece that took a year to plan. All you have to do to see Felice Varini’s ‘anamorphic illusion’ properly formed, is find a precise vantage point somewhere on the barrage.

Here’s what it looks like:



More Of His Work…

Felice Varini was born in 1952 in Locarno, Switzerland. His work spans several decades at an international level. The Muse des Beaux Arts, Arras, France recently held a solo exhibition of Varini’s work entitled Une Saison Suisse (Dec 2007). Selected group exhibitions include: the Osaka Art Kaleidoscope, Osaka, Japan (2007); and Versailles Off, Chateau of Versailles, France (2006). Public works include 3 Ellipses for 3 Locks at Cardiff Bay Barrage, commissioned by Cardiff Harbour Authority, Cardiff, Wales (2007). Varini currently lives in Paris.


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Date: 30 Aug 2008 | Author: mesmerX | Category: Pictures | Views: 670194

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Comments: 102

Alejandro | 25 Apr 2012 – 16:30
Drea, you are so amazingly taneetld! And Aliesha is STUNNING! Such great pics. I love the one of her and Tad in front of the turquoise wall with ice cream painted on it. Kinda ironic since preggos love ice cream! Ha! ๐Ÿ™‚

Guest | 12 Mar 2012 – 20:53
Wow lol all these people really are stupid…

Gwenelda | 1 Aug 2011 – 17:36
Always the best content from these prodigious wirters.

al 16254 | 16 May 2011 – 13:44
awesome smile y won’t the artist just admit he took a huge paintbrush and painted it all crying lol.

Guest | 11 Jan 2011 – 03:01
Thats awsome, even if it is not new, its still cool and would be pretty unique to just walk in a building and see that type of thing done. Even if people dont take it as art they have to admit its unique or cool, no matter how many times you have seen it done. Just as long as its seen at various and unique places and not always at a type of certain area.

Guest | 17 Mar 2010 – 20:24
tongue wassat wink smile

Guest | 10 Feb 2010 – 12:42

Guest | 1 Feb 2010 – 05:02
frigen awesome

gnikesh | 23 Nov 2009 – 15:26

Guest | 21 Nov 2009 – 16:56
nice done

jenn | 15 Nov 2009 – 16:44
Cool, but Bill Ramage was doing this 25 years ago with tape and paint.. so it’s not new.

Someone You Cant trust. | 28 Oct 2009 – 22:46
angry y would he go threw the hassle of a web site then?

Guest | 27 Oct 2009 – 18:23
The lure of this doesnt come from the fact that its simple geometric shapes, it comes from the fact that its simple geometric shapes on varied, complex surfaces on a large scale. Making lines appear straight (or cirved for that matter), while being on three dimensional surfaces is prohibitively difficult, and I’d challenge anyone who thinks this isnt art to do the same, and I guarantee you that you’d have a newfound appreciation for this.

This sort of thing also isnt a new idea, Take a look that Andrea Pozzo dome painting in the Santโ€™Ignazio di Loyola – he made a two dimensional surface seem three dimensional after the dome collapsed. This is the same thing but in reverse. Using three dimensions to appear as two.

Guest | 27 Oct 2009 – 06:04
Graffiti worth looking at. The difference between the art here and the art in this post is that the artists I’m sharing with you did it with a can of krylon in the middle of the night with the fear of being a felon hanging over them.

So I say again to the people who are defending geometric simplicities as art, you’ve been had. this is a scam. you are a sucker.×853.jpg

Guest | 27 Oct 2009 – 05:14
I can’t believe that people are defending this as art.
It’s simple shapes. This is first year art school shit at best.
We learned depth and shading in grade school.
this is a scam.
A graffiti artist who sacrificed "art" for $50k.
How does this end up being recognized as genius when kids have been doing this with cans of krylon (and getting arrested for it I might add) for years.
The commenter who says that only .06% of the population can really appreciate this, doesn’t understand it and is defending themselves like all children do when they are trying to understand something they don’t, by lashing out.
This is FAIL at best.
he should be met like the rest of us are when we paint in public.
$10,000 fine and 6 months in jail.

Guest | 26 Oct 2009 – 21:21

The Man | 23 Oct 2009 – 22:28

Taerh | 15 Oct 2009 – 03:40
I never understood stuff like this. all a bunch of lines, and as people said, its not that hard to do. Eh. ive seen the same thing done much better.

Guest | 14 Oct 2009 – 20:39
It shows you how it is done at the top. How can you say it’s photoshop??

EasyDrowing? | 14 Oct 2009 – 00:53
Yes that is an easy drawing, it seems that it needs a lot of imagination to paint it or whatever.No, it is just a projector that standing at a point of view and hiting the dark places of a hall or a place with depth, then you will only have to paint the light spots. And i’m not saying this is not a genius idea.

Steve DaVinci | 5 Oct 2009 – 16:49
"Well, here’s your red spiral, now where’s my 50K, suckas?" LOL!!!

Guest | 30 Sep 2009 – 18:55
Georges Rousse is his Daddy. checkem out

Guest | 30 Sep 2009 – 01:52
Photoshop or not, still art morons. Until you know the definition of the word, you have no merit and your words carry no weight. no go back to your World of Warcraft You fuckin’ moronic geeks.

Guest | 24 Sep 2009 – 02:37
really? everyone here is arguing about art? the most subjective tangible thing on the planet?

Guest | 23 Sep 2009 – 02:05
How does a few tins of yellow paint cost 50k wassat

Guest | 20 Sep 2009 – 13:40
Obliviusly photoshopped’!!

Guest | 15 Sep 2009 – 00:46
the 4th comment down from me made my day.
ANAL[divine intervention]

Guest | 8 Sep 2009 – 14:24
Julian Beever kicks this guys ass all over the place… google him.

Guest | 1 Sep 2009 – 18:24
The whole "it’s not art" thing? the whole "it’s too simple, i could do that!" Doesn’t matter. They did it first. It might not be the action, but the idea. You guys are ridiculous. Give the guy the credit he is due…

Guest | 29 Aug 2009 – 21:08
I like it. all you people need to shut up, take the sticks out of your asses, and calm down. who cares if it’s art or not? photoshopped or not? seriously people, there are more important things to care about

Guest | 29 Aug 2009 – 03:17
eat my dick.

Guest | 28 Aug 2009 – 02:45
people really are just amazingly dumb….

Guest | 27 Aug 2009 – 12:21
It doesn’t even take "an eye for perspective", all you need is a projector and some paint. A child could do it

Guest | 27 Aug 2009 – 12:19
Youre KIDDING me right? He defaced those lovely arches and columns for a moment of eye trickery? How old is that site. Where is this clowns respect?

Guest | 27 Aug 2009 – 11:44
It’s not AMAZING, but it’s quite clever and it works.. And all art should be useless..

Guest | 27 Aug 2009 – 07:43
There’s nothing "wrong" with us, we just recognize bullshit "art" when we see it. This is like those "artists" who throw paint at a canvas and make millions because of it. "Action Art" my ass. Shit like this takes no talent whatsoever, just an eye for perspective and some patience. "Artists" like this are some of the biggest scammers on the planet. Gettin rich off shite work.

PRO | 27 Aug 2009 – 00:23
i’ve seen his work done in a parking garage once it is soooo amazing!

Guest | 27 Aug 2009 – 00:22
HAHAHAHA The sicko republican trolls are back.
1st of all its all OMG SHOPPED PIXELS bullsh!t, then when they’re proven wrong its "what a load of crap, this guy should get a proper job"



p.s, this guy IS amazing.

Guest | 26 Aug 2009 – 22:29
Adobe has a lot to answer for!

stupid mf

Photoshop Expert | 26 Aug 2009 – 21:15
That is so photoshopped man!! You don’t even need to look at the pixels and stuff.

I’ve seriously pwned whichever "Photoshop expert" decided to try and fool us with these pics!!

Guest | 26 Aug 2009 – 20:18
cryingOMG. What’s wrong with people today?!? No wonder our world is gone to shit!

Brad | 26 Aug 2009 – 10:07
and yeah, I get it, you can totally see the pixels ๐Ÿ™‚ there are a lot of funny comments as well ๐Ÿ™‚ so that’s my bit of troll food.

Brad | 26 Aug 2009 – 10:03
oh, well the link is to BBC NEWS main site, and there report on the Cardiff work. took 5 seconds on google to find out. pricks.

Brad | 26 Aug 2009 – 10:02

better put the whole link if it’ll let me, looking at the comments, don’t think some of them could add http

Brad | 26 Aug 2009 – 09:59

there,hope that ends this fucking nonsense

Muted Cat | 26 Aug 2009 – 04:27
Like, lolz omgz, shopped ftwzzz. Pixelz r like there!!!11!

Anyway, amazing stuff. Can’t even imagine the time and effort that’d take.

Anonymous | 26 Aug 2009 – 04:22
Heheh…Feed them trolls, all you silly little intelligent people out there who know it’s not ‘shopped. Feed them trolls…

anon | 26 Aug 2009 – 03:37
let’s all take a ride on the trollercoaster!

Guest | 26 Aug 2009 – 01:57
I dont know which is more interesting the argument on this comment board or the pictures themselves.

Nope, pictures win because they required time and effort wink

Guest | 26 Aug 2009 – 01:34
sad get a life

Guest | 26 Aug 2009 – 00:24
I think that his work is amazing! smile It’s so hard to imagine where to start when doing something like that. He has a great gift of prespective

hello ๐Ÿ˜€ | 26 Aug 2009 – 00:09
it’s not photoshoped i’v seen it done. they use a projector of the image and then oait it in.

Guest | 25 Aug 2009 – 22:58
this kind of art has been being created for centuries longer than photoshop has existed. I’ve seen paintings with this effect. If you look at it head-on, it is distorted. Look at it from the correct angle, and you see what the artist has really created. Same thing here, only on a much larger scale. It isn’t shopped. It’s just someone who knows how to do perspective.

nanoparticles | 25 Aug 2009 – 19:08
This comment board makes me fear for the future.

Woo. | 25 Aug 2009 – 19:06
I really liked the pictures, at first i thought they might have been photoshopped but then once i really looked closely i could tell that it wasnt. ๐Ÿ˜›

Im so smart xD

Guest | 25 Aug 2009 – 17:44
omg these are so great blah blah blah shopped shopped blah.

what a load of crap, this guy should get a proper job

Guest | 25 Aug 2009 – 16:05
Photoshop has ruined peoples opinions of art…
It’s not ‘shopped – It’s paint, on walls. Get over it!

Guest | 25 Aug 2009 – 15:59
Clearly docted in so way the lighting isnt correct.

Children commenting | 25 Aug 2009 – 15:05
What’s with all of the 10 year olds on here?
He’s amazing.. and his art is phenomenal.. it’s just way too heady for immature, underdeveloped brains..

Photoshop ruined art | 25 Aug 2009 – 14:16
I love it! I think this is great.

Dumbass Guests | 25 Aug 2009 – 09:45
People posting anonymously that something is photoshopped :/ there should be a filter that removes all anon comments with the word photoshop from everywhere online.

If you dont get it why are you even posting a comment? This is very simple to make.

I do agree that some of the buildings are "prettier" without the paint tho..

I have seen more of these other places, some better than others, but if done correctly you can make people dodge it like they are thinking its gonna hit them in the head ๐Ÿ˜›

Again this isnt photoshoppped, those saying it is are either too stupid to get it, or just saying shopped cos they are monkeys, and have seen others do this on other comment sections.

Guest | 25 Aug 2009 – 07:41

Guest | 25 Aug 2009 – 07:33

Guest | 25 Aug 2009 – 06:50
Interesting laughing

Guest | 25 Aug 2009 – 06:41
This one time I farted, but like it kinda hissed, and I thought I’d finish it with one of those triumphant toots, but I just instead pooped a little.

Guest | 25 Aug 2009 – 04:55
do this many people really stumbleupon this that often?

Guest | 25 Aug 2009 – 04:54
grow up people. do you really have nothing better to argue about with your lives? who cares. it’s good or it isn’t good. your opinions don’t matter here

Guest | 25 Aug 2009 – 04:46
Really, someone with a strong projector? Have you ever heard of something called "depth of focus". Of course not.

And if you wanted to use a laser pointer, exactly how would you guide it to create these patterns.

Think about what you are saying before you write stuff. You really aren’t a smart person.

Guest | 24 Aug 2009 – 23:41
wassat Those of you that dont get it….Please make sure to check that your helmets arent too tight before you get back on the little bus.

Guest | 24 Aug 2009 – 22:48
ilginc…interesting…I guess it’s light based?tongue

Guest | 24 Aug 2009 – 22:19
If you like this you should check youtube for "The Brothers Quay Anamorphosis" It will blow your mind.

avisioncame | 24 Aug 2009 – 22:19
I think they are amazing. It is a very creative idea.

Artistic talent, as well as mathematic talent had to of been used.

I doubt they defaced the architecture. I am sure the paint isn’t permanent. And if it is, consider it a permanent piece in the gallery!

Guest | 24 Aug 2009 – 21:16
The stupid crap that passes for "art" these days astonishes me. He could do the same thing with a sculpture without defacing cool architecture, as in the 1st, 7th and last pictures. And im sure the $50,000 spent on it could have gone to something much better. What a waste.

Guest | 24 Aug 2009 – 21:15
These are nice and show a real interesting dimensional art and well as talent to the person/people who made it. Those who say they could do this obviously have never tried it, and have no idea how much work was put into it. And to those who say it’s "photo shopped"…seriously? Get a life y’all. Don’t hate someone with talent, because your life up to this point has amounted to doing jack shit. laughing tongue wink smile

Guest | 24 Aug 2009 – 20:52
perhaps if you try to do it yourself, you will then understand how much talent it takes…

Guest | 24 Aug 2009 – 20:43

Guest | 24 Aug 2009 – 19:16
Anyone with a fairly stong projector, or laserpointer and a paintbucket could do that. itยดs fun, and the size of it applauseworty, but it has nothing to do with art.

Guest | 24 Aug 2009 – 18:21
What the fuck is going on in these comments?

Guest | 24 Aug 2009 – 18:17

Guest | 24 Aug 2009 – 16:51
Ha ha. There is a subculture that thinks the dimensions above the third have to do with art?

Guest | 24 Aug 2009 – 16:50
@ yeah
Like hell you cud.

Guest | 24 Aug 2009 – 15:03
why? WHY?????

Yeah | 24 Aug 2009 – 14:28
These are stupid. Big deal. I could do that.

Guest | 24 Aug 2009 – 12:23
Hi all
I live in Penarth and have seen this first hand, it takes a while to find the optimum spot to view, (look for the yellow grids on the walkway)
but well worth it.
when it all comes together you get a "WOW" moment!

Guest | 24 Aug 2009 – 11:53
All humans see in 3 dimensions idiot. What you are describing is visualizing art or visualizing multiple things in the 3rd dimension, that has nothing to do with the actually 4th, 5th, or 6th dimension. I’m assuming you use those terms in art world to describe such visions, but they in no way reflect the actual dimensions.

Guest | 24 Aug 2009 – 02:30
you said tosh. how kitsch. get a life.

Guest | 24 Aug 2009 – 01:30
somebody crazy,

If you put a carved paper in front of light source and paint the shadow and when you stand a the point where light source initially was, you will see above illusion

Hope that helps.

Guest | 24 Aug 2009 – 01:26
so great, should make one with looks like a person is standin there

Guest | 24 Aug 2009 – 00:50
LOL, there’s nothing to understand. It isn’t social commentary it’s pure art. If you don’t have the imagination to comprehend how difficult it is to achieve this effect on such a scale try doing it yourself!

thibbit | 24 Aug 2009 – 00:26
(@ Guest | 24 Aug 2009 – 09:42)
What absolute tosh, 4,5 & 6th dimensions my eye.
All that is needed is a high powered projector or a lazier with a ray tracing ability (such as they do light shows with) or failing that a picture that you superimpose the image on then work by eye.
The patterns used are simple, so this would be no big feat. And before you ask, yes I could do it, yes I am an artist.

Guest | 23 Aug 2009 – 23:53
How do you see nothing impressive? What’s not to get?

He is taking multiple surfaces and painting them so that from exactly one point, the paint lines up perfectly to form an optical illusion of sorts. Incredible. Great post!

Guest | 23 Aug 2009 – 23:44
by the way my names are O.E.M if you wonder who brought up the 4,5,6 dimensions

Guest | 23 Aug 2009 – 23:42
Just to answer a few question asked here…First, human beings are born the same but there is a small percentage of beings gifted by nature. Most of us view the world in three dimensions i.e depth, length, and width. their are a few though that are blessed or gifted to view the world in four, five and sixth dimensions. to be able to draw a picture on a flat stab like a camera requires you to have the fourth dimension. draw a fish in a water tank exactly as it looks plus drawing a child, for example, behind the fish tank on a stab then you have the fifth dimension. less than 0.6% of human beings have the sixth perspective. that is to draw a child, for example, on a hall way including the depth of the hall so as to see the real picture from only one chosen point of view. the picture you see above of rings showing deep on a hall require the sixth dimension view. so if you ain’t got it don’t stress it out co you never will have it.

Guest | 23 Aug 2009 – 23:22
To understand this art it helps to see it in person. It is pretty much made to look ‘shopped, but in real life.

Guest | 23 Aug 2009 – 23:17
So what’s the big deal? Sorry, but I don’t see anything impressive about this.

! | 23 Aug 2009 – 09:30
amazing. simply amazing!

Graham Paterson | 23 Aug 2009 – 09:29
haha love this stuff, genius.

Guest | 23 Aug 2009 – 09:29
the first yellow one is cool

Guest | 23 Aug 2009 – 09:28
so he photo shops colours on buildings?

Guest | 23 Aug 2009 – 08:58
What do you mean you don’t understand it. What is not to understand. This is genius!

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