The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Man-Eating Tree of Madagascar Hoax, 1874
Brief History of Triple-Decker Buses
Monkeys pick cotton, a 19th-century urban legend
The Berners Street Hoax, 1810
A black lion: real or fake?
Did Paul McCartney die on Nov. 9, 1966?
September Morn, the painting that shocked the censor, 1913
Dog wins art contest, 1974
Boy floats away in balloon, 2009
'Solar Armor' freezes man in Nevada Desert, 1874
Painted Room Illusions
Status: Real
These photos show rooms painted in such a way that, if you stand in the correct place, a pattern will appear. Despite looking photoshopped, they are real. The painted rooms are the creations of artist Felice Varini. On his website you can find more examples of his art if you search around long enough (and struggle through the incredibly bad navigation). Varini writes:

The painted form achieves its coherence when the viewer stands at the vantage point. When he* moves out of it, the work meets with space generating infinite vantage points on the form. It is not therefore through this original vantage point that I see the work achieved; it takes place in the set of vantage points the viewer can have on it. If I establish a particular relation to architectural features that influence the installation shape, my work still preserves its independence whatever architectural spaces I encounter. I start from an actual situation to construct my painting. Reality is never altered, erased or modified, it interests and seduces me in all its complexity. I work "here and now".

I have no idea what that's supposed to mean, but the illusions are pretty cool. (Thanks to Eric Kimlinger for sending me a link to the photos.)

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Categories: Art, Photos/Videos, Places
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 02, 2006
Comments (11)
That is really cool. I bet you could do it at home though, if you tooka picture and did it really carefully.
Posted by Citizen Premier  in  spite of public outcry  on  Thu Feb 02, 2006  at  12:49 AM
Definitely cool, but I would sure hate to inhabit one of these spaces. It'd nearly always seem wrong or incomplete or off except when you're in that one magic spot.
Posted by Joe  on  Thu Feb 02, 2006  at  01:27 AM
It took a few minutes to realize, but the only way this could be done is with a laser image generator. It would project a laser dot or line from a specific point through to all of the surfaces on which a line must appear. Then you simply trace it with pencil at all the points it lights up, and fill the resulting outline with paint.
Posted by Irish Horse Thief  in  State of Sortaeuphoria  on  Thu Feb 02, 2006  at  10:42 AM
The problem that I have is that my wife and I are different heights (not to mention the baby). To whose height should I paint the illusion? (I am particularly fond of the one that looks like the room is divided by the 'X', like on a sheet of glass.)
Posted by Fawkes  on  Thu Feb 02, 2006  at  12:43 PM
What if you made your bed the observation point and did one of the floor-to-ceiling versions, then got really drunk?
Posted by Lonewatchman  on  Thu Feb 02, 2006  at  11:17 PM
"It took a few minutes to realize, but the only way this could be done is with a laser image generator. It would project a laser dot or line from a specific point through to all of the surfaces on which a line must appear. Then you simply trace it with pencil at all the points it lights up, and fill the resulting outline with paint"

Surely a simple slide projector would work just as well, if not better.
Posted by fk  on  Fri Feb 03, 2006  at  06:11 AM
It's incredible, this fellows depth perception...
Regardless of his technique (I think it was projection, as I've used the same for cutting profiles in woodworking), based on the size of photo/angle of view, this guy is a perfectionist. As for the question Fawkes posed, the height is not the important thing. The important thing is for somebody to comment on what a weird paintjob, and then you tell them "well that's cause you aint looking at it properly", and then you show them, and...
Posted by Christopher in Joplin, Missouri  in  Joplin, Mo  on  Fri Feb 03, 2006  at  08:26 AM
I am doubting about some of the photos. I can't believe the ones where the lines cross open doors (now you must have these doors open to this angle, forever) or the one where the paint goes over a video monitor. I'm not saying it's impossible, I'm just thinking that one or two were "touched up" before being posted.
Posted by Vryce  on  Fri Feb 03, 2006  at  12:08 PM
If you really look these pictues are fake. The one with the x has a line on the radiator. When looking at the x the line is on the floor. What i am saying is that the picture on the left doesnt match the pic on the right.
Posted by Ken  in  missouri  on  Sun Feb 26, 2006  at  03:07 PM
Ken, you are incorrect. The line on the radiator is still on the radiator when looking at the X, and the line on the floor also exists in both pictures. The right-side vertical line of the X (box) is painted on both the radiator and the wall alongside the radiator running horizontally.
Posted by CPT  on  Tue Mar 07, 2006  at  09:03 AM
Yeah, I was just about to say I don't think these are real. In the third picture down, there's yellow over the T.V monitor. Although I suppose they may have been allowed to do that.
Posted by Kaitlyn  on  Fri Aug 03, 2007  at  05:15 AM
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