Village Turned into Optical Illusion

We’ve featured Felice Varini dozen of times, so I encourage you to check some of our previous articles to learn the background and goals this particular artist set for himself. It’s because I dislike repeating myself. In his newest installation, the buildings in the town of Vercorin in the Swiss Alps contribute to this impressive piece. The set was called Cercle et suite d’éclats. But what I recon interests you the most, is how all of this was turned into practice. Well, the pattern was projected on the town from the vantage point, and then traced and painted. If you shoot a photo from the same spot in daylight, you’ll quickly realize how the town looks flat – almost like a postcard. The interesting part is how he got the whole town to approve this? Don’t miss the panoramic view on Varini’s website. More photos from different angles are included below…

Vilage Optical Illusion by Felice Varini






68 Replies to “Village Turned into Optical Illusion”

  1. Although the illusion is fabulous, I can’t believe that, that many people would have allowed him to paint their decades old architecture. Looking at the photos, it looks like reflective silver paint but maybe its a thin adhesive bound foil that peels off easily? If it is paint, shame on him for marring such harmonious,indigenous architecture.

  2. Contrary to what Bianca says, I applaud the artist. Who knows how permanent the paint is? Besides, try to get that many people to come together for a project like that in this day and age. Cheers.

  3. That is sooo wild! I wondered how he’d get anyone to agree to having their houses painted like this. But then in the closup shots, it looks like aluminum foil, perhaps sticky backed, that peels right off.

  4. It is cool, but the problem with this kind of stuff is that it looks good only from one very specific point of view. Most of the time you are just looking at random slashes of paint.

  5. Bianca, the question of what is and is not the right thing to do with their town is between the people and the artist, it’s not for you to judge. However, do you have absolutely no concept of how many antique villages have traded their heritage for tourism dollars? How is this any more offensive? Unless you can sufficiently argue that there is some inherent difference in value between old and new art AND you know for sure that the townspeople were unhappy about it, there is no reason to feel offended by this.

  6. I’m sorry Bianca, but I think that you should lighten up. Why should architecture stop exploring, just because it is harmonious and/or indigenous. Is it fair to condemn anything to always be in the past. Three cheers to Felice for adding something fascinating to something that is already beautiful and congratulations to Vercorin for their sense of community.

  7. And there, my friend Bianca, is where you are mistaken. What you take to be a “marr” on architecture and landscape lies the true beauty art, for art it is.
    I think the effort and consistence involved in making this is absolutely mind-boggling. It is perfectly done. And I’m quite sure if the artist hadn’t gotten the approval of the whole town, he wouldn’t have gone along with his project.

  8. It looks like it might be aluminum foil or something – I guess if it was an adhesive then they could remove it easily after. Pretty cool!

  9. yeah i think of the same way, cuz
    it wasnt a great illusion just, and the only thing they do is fuck the town

  10. This is the best work of art that I have seen at your site to date. I tried to find inconsistencies, but instead found that the houses in the fourth photo are the same as the houses in the bottom right of the main photo. Wow.

  11. As Bianca said, if it is something like foil and can be taken off easily it might be ok, but if it is paint… then theres probably no point of putting it there because it just wrecks the old houses

  12. Sorry, Jay…didn’t mean to sound too “uppity” or to offend you. I appreciate and love most forms of art; love illusions sometimes even more because they’re a combination of not only creativity but genius as well. I love this illusion too and called it fabulous. What inspired Felice Varini to conceptulize this piece??? However,I also have appreciation for the artist called TIME whose work on stone and wood and clay can never be duplicated. (I still think it’s foil.)

  13. Thank you first for your polite disagreements from some (many) and kind support from others. I don’t believe this is permanent paint so, please relax, I take back my “shocked” reaction. Aesi says it is not for me to judge, but are we not all doing just that when we write our opinions here? Is she not judging me? And money, Aesi, yes! That’s a good reason to do this to one’s generations-old home. I know what some women do for money and they are not considered works of art. Trust me, Garry, I am lightened-up and having fun with this. And thank you, popesantaxiv, I am often wrong (as my daughter reminds me) and I find myself agreeing with everything you say. The juxtaposition of perfect circles mathematically lined up against a natural setting is beautiful. But the devil in me would like to lobe one more ball into your court and ask you whether you would take the brilliant mark of a hip New York graffiti artist across the face of the Mona Lisa as a stroke of genius or a “marr”? 

  14. That’s no illusion and certainly no art. Felice Varini is working with the aliens. He is sending them a message or something, in preparation for their invasion. We are doomed. Doomed! You hear?
    Maybe the whole town has already been taken by body snatchers, have you thought of that?


  15. i agree with bianca, she wasn’t saying it isn’t art, she was just curious to whether the town let them do that to such historic buildings!

  16. Nouveau Art: Very inspiring and intriguing

    How did you do it!

    I don’t mean how you got all the people together, but the method you used.
    maybe its in at a relative spot?.

  17. An optical illusion (also called a visual illusion) is characterized by visually perceived images that differ from objective reality. The information gathered by the eye is processed in the brain to give a percept that does not tally with a physical measurement of the stimulus source.

  18. Hi,
    This is very cool, but there is one thing wrong with the accompanying commentary; the word ‘recon’. I believe that is supposed to be spelled ‘reckon’. The word ‘recon’ is usually short for reconnaissanse’ or ‘reconnoiter’. It’s interesting to find this error associated with a site which pokes fun at others’ grammatical mistakes, but I guess, after all, we all make them at some point. I do, though not often.
    Regards, Anna

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