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Photograph: Ode to Art
Photograph: Ode to Art

Marilyn or Einstein? Sergi Cadenas’ kinetic oil painting will make you do a double take

Be mesmerised when you see Marilyn Monroe turning into Albert Einstein in this single painting.

Written by
Izza Sofia

When you look at a painting, it is often expected to see only one image. But what if there’s actually two paintings in one? 

Enter Ode to Art and you will witness a new installation by Spanish painter Sergi Cadenas, featuring a huge pixel portrait of Albert Einstein. However, if you look at it once again, you will see another face, and that is a portrait of Marilyn Monroe.

Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you though. Popular painter Cadenas is known to create such an illusory, where you’ll find two distinct image portraits in a painting. He developed such a technique while working as a metalworker in Girona, Spain, where he runs his family’s centuries-old foundry, Ferros d’Art Cadenas. 

To create this kinetic oil painting, Cadenas used a piping bag to create large-scale canvases with vertical strips. Combining the age-old optical illusions, he is able to paint separate portraits on either side of the narrow ridges to create mesmerising effects. So cast a light one way, and shadows align across the canvas to reveal Marilyn’s lovely little pout. When you look at another angle, the face morphs to look older, and a portrait of Einstein emerges. This transformation is delightful, and the variations are definitely unexpected.

You can now view Cadenas’ artwork in Singapore exclusively in Ode to Art gallery, with its transformation in plain sight.


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