Erik Johansson’s Perplexing Photoshopped 3D Illusions

You know those Magic Eye books everyone passed around in elementary school? You had to focus (except don’t focus too much!) your eyes on the jumbled, colorful geometric pattern on the page to slowly watch as an image appeared 3D-like in front of your eyes. Everyone always said they saw it but I’m not buying it. I never saw anything, anyway. If I’m going to subject my eyes to the confusing job of working out an optical illusion, I’d like to at least do it with a bit of artistic merit.


Photographer Erik Johansson does exactly that with his incredibly complex and often challenging photoshopped photographs of ordinary scenes, flipped (sometimes literally) on their heads. In one, you see two sides of a wood cabin facade in the forest, seemingly floating off the ground. But wait – you also see a man working by lamplight at his desk with his dog by his side – definitely indoors. There are wood floors, sparse furnishings and drawings tacked onto the walls. Except there’s only two walls – the other two are gone, exposing the man and his dog to the elements. Is it that he’s inside his house but the inside of his house is made to look like the outside of a house? My brain hurts. But my eyes are quite enjoying themselves.

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