A superb painting created by Spanish artist Sergi Cadenas shows human aging as you move from one side of the piece to the other.
In the artwork, which has become viral on social media, the face of a woman ages many years when you take a few steps in the opposite direction.
Painting by Sergi Cadenas shows human aging as you walk by it pic.twitter.com/lY58E6O5cm
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In another, the piercing blue eyes of a young girl morph into the inky black ones of a little boy.
The self-taught artist takes a unique and thoroughly modern approach to this age-old tradition by creating paintings that contain dual images; they transform as you move from one side of the piece to the other.
Human aging painting inspired by flip images from childhood
Though Cadenas didn’t begin his career as an artist until his thirties, his curiosity and experimentation quickly led him to developing his own distinctive technique.
Inspired by flip images he’d seen on cards as a child, the artist was struck with the idea to mimic that effect in his oil paintings. Using a piping bag intended for decorating cakes, the artist creates vertical ridges on the canvas to provide a relief upon which he can produce two separate images.
In an interview for Home & Decor, the artist describes his pictorial design as minimalist, with an air of 1900s modernism.
He uses kinetic optics, painting vertical strips of paint paste on a canvas. Once the paste has dried, he paints the two sides differently, using oil paints.
The result is an extremely detailed three-dimensional painting, so much so that it almost looks like a photograph. The protagonist appears to be a single person at first glance, but it isn’t: looking at the painting from right to left, the subject changes.
Each subject in Cadenas’ paintings can be individually viewed by simply observing the artwork from one side or the other. However, the transformative nature of his work allows him to address deeper themes and meanings.
Some of his paintings confront complex subjects, such as the fleeting nature of youth, mortality, the dichotomy of emotions, and even racial equality.
Others simply provide the viewer with two distinct vantage points of the same image, revealing previously unseen elements as the new image emerges in view. No matter the subject, each canvas forces the viewer to actively engage with the artwork and contemplate their own interpretations from a different perspective.
Cadenas’ work has acquired great international acclaim, and his paintings are part of private collections around the world.