Anaglyphic Art


I have been using anaglyphic techniques in my artistic creations for the last thirty years and have tried to expand its potential from the common use of achieving a 3-D illusion or effect. An anaglyphic picture or film requires an auxiliary tool in order to achieve full expression and this tool is usually a pair of spectacles of which one lens is red and the other is blue or green. The attempt to achieve a 3-D effect was used in spate of movies in the 50’s, such as Bwana Junction, where a lion “jumps” out of the screen. It has been used occasionally in advertising promotions or special articles from the National Geographic, but has remained outside of the mainstream. The anaglyphic technique was also used by certain artists in the Dada and surrealistic movements as a kind of optical trick, but what I am doing goes beyond this and can be thus considered a unique invention and breaking new ground.

First of all, I have no interest in achieving just an illusion of 3-D space, rather I usually try to create on my canvas what seems to be a 2-D surface or form, but reveals its inherent "dual" reality by use of the anaglyphic glasses. (The red lens should be placed opposite the right eye and the green, opposite the left eye.) This is easily seen in the following portraits, which I have painted. Each portrait is shown in its original colors and for those who do not have the anaglyphic glasses, it is followed by a grey scale simulation of what is seen by looking only through the red lens or the blue-green lens.

Natalie Picard in Cote d'Azure



The first portrait, entitled “Natalie” reveals through the green lens the portrait, while the red reveals the hidden profile view of the same woman.



Estherie b/w

In the second portrait: “Estheri”, looking through green lens, the subject looks pensive & serious, while looking through the red, the subject actually smiles.

But I have more ambitious intentions, which can be understood by the definition of the word: anaglyphic, which is a compound word: “ana” diminishing or without and “glyph” form. I am deliberately trying to use the anaglyphic tool to diminish secondary details and emphasize essential forms. The intention is to create a simulation of Right Brain and Left Brain perception and consciousness. As is well known in neurology, the Right Brain tends to see the general design, while the Left Brain tends to see or concentrate only on the details and the balance of light and darkness. In general the Right Brain is dominant in males or masculine perception, while females favor the Left Brain. (This is analagous to Kabbalah teaching which differentiates between Abba-Chachmah and Imma-Bina states of mind.)

angel angel b&w

Original Work - World of Angels              Seen through Red Lens           Seen through Blue Lens  

When I paint, I usually wear for extended periods the anaglyphic glasses to help me create the painting, the green lens view to correspond to the Right Brain and the red lens, the Left Brain. In the course of time I have developed combinations of color schemes that work best with each lens or both of them together. The viewer is invited to examine for himself the anaglyphic experience on the various paintings in this web site.

Directions for use of anaglyphic glasses

1.  Look at the paintings in the usual way.
2.  Put on the glasses so that the red lens is over the right eye and the blue-green lens is over
the left eye.
3.  Close the right eye and look at the painting only through left or blue lens.
4.  Close the left eye and look at the painting only through the right or red lens.
5.  Now alternate a few times between right eye and left eye and notice the interesting
differences in the picture.
6. Now look at the painting through both eyes and lenses and enjoy the special hologram effect.
7. Take off the glasses and look again at the painting and see if your appreciation and
perception of the painting has changed.

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