Monday, November 27, 2006


Painting post with a little deviation into visual consciousness:


At first glance, this one seems to be a little more like an abstract portraiture. When I asked for comments on this picture, I got comments ranging from "It looks like the Lord Ganesh with his elephant trunks splayed all over" to "all I see splotches of bluish black paint". After that I told them to take about 10 steps backwards and then step sideways the painting such that you are looking at the painting from your left. They then said that the face of a man with an intense expression emerged from the solid blocks of paint on the canvas.
I know that the human brain 'fills in' a lot of detail for our visual senses when we look at an image. This is the reason why some people did not recognize this image immediately. Their brains were trying to piece together familiar image representations but could not find any from their memory repertoire - but as soon as the face emerges from the canvas through a little coaching, the brain fills in any additional details (please see details in a paper linked at the bottom of this post) that are required to make it look like a face and not see splotches any more.
See if you see the face in this painting...
This oil is titled 'Self - Portrait I' and was done about three months back and is 36 inches wide and 48 inches tall.

The following paper is an excellent review of visual consciousness (Highly recommended).

3 comments:

sue beyer said...

i saw the man right away. it helps to 'blur' your eyes if you are close :-)
loving your blog!

Sunil said...

Glad you noticed it... Will try and post some more panitings soon...

Anonymous said...

When you post it on web, the size is so small that the image jumps out immediately.