Dan Perkins Turns Optical Illusions Into Works of Art

At the base of Dan Perkins’ abstract art lies a paradox: though flat, his clever depictions of geometric shapes create a sense of depth that draws the viewer inside.


“Reflecting on that idea gives me the space to experiment and play with composition in a way I find visually engaging and perceptually challenging,” he remarked once in an interview with Art Maze Magazine. “In another sense, I am interested in creating a paradoxical whole. Something that claims to represent and encapsulate the entirety of an experience, while being a figment or mirage.”


According to Perkins, his interest in Mobius-like forms comes from exploring this paradoxical thought. But incredibally enough, his work isn’t digital but painted with extreme precision. “In terms of working digitally, much of my work with color is first sketched out in photoshop in terms of general color relationships,” he explained the process, “however all drawing, masking, cutting, and painting is done by hand”.


His techniques combine artistic intuition with clever mathematics and exploration of space to create beautiful images. His use of color is also informed and is based on a careful study of the ways different colors interact with each other. “I have a catalog of images and sources that I use as a source for color relationships in my paintings,” sats Perkins. “I find referring to something outside of myself really helpful for understanding and making color decisions.”

If you’re a fan of optical illusions, you’ll certainly enjoy following the twists and turns of his images.