‘Pareidolia’: The Genius of Giuseppe Arcimbolo, and the Art of Seeing What’s Not There

‘Pareidolia’: The Genius of Giuseppe Arcimbolo,

and the Art of Seeing What’s Not There

Not exactly a household term, ‘Pareidolia’ can hardly be said to be in common usage, it is however the word ascribed to a fairly common phenomenon enjoyed by many of us whereby we see faces where none exist.

I had never really given the matter much thought until I came across a BBC article back in May of 2013. It think it well worth a read if you share my interest in the subject, therefore I have posted the link below.

“People have long seen faces in the Moon, in oddly-shaped vegetables and even burnt toast… Most people have never heard of pareidolia. But nearly everyone has experienced it… Anyone who has looked at the Moon and spotted two eyes, a nose and a mouth has felt the pull of pareidolia…It’s “the imagined perception of a pattern or meaning where it does not actually exist”, according to the World English Dictionary. It’s picking a face out of a knotted tree trunk or finding zoo animals in the clouds…. “  more

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-22686500

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Now, let’s hear Wikipedia’s take on it:

“Pareidolia is a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant. Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit. Carl Sagan hypothesized that as a survival technique, human beings are “hard-wired” from birth to identify the human face. This allows people to use only minimal details to recognize faces from a distance and in poor visibility but can also lead them to interpret random images or patterns of light and shade as being faces. The evolutionary advantages of being able to discern friend from foe with split-second accuracy are numerous; people who accidentally identify an enemy as a friend could face deadly consequences. Combined with Apophenia (identifying meaningful patterns in meaningless randomness) and hierophany (a manifestation of the sacred), pareidolia may have helped early societies organize chaos and make the world intelligible….”  more

Wiki’s Pareidolia Page

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And so to begin with today, as Pareidolia figures so prominently in my sculpture, I thought that we would take a look at the work of Giuseppe Arcimbolo, one of my favorite Pareidolian Painters.

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Giuseppe Arcimbolo

1526 → 93

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Giuseppe_Arcimboldo_-_Summer_-_Google_Art_Project

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Arcimboldo_Winter_1563

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Arcimboldo_Earth

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Arcimboldo_Air_(copy)

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Arcimboldo,_Giuseppe_~_Autumn,_1573,_oil_on_canvas,_Musée_du_Louvre,_Paris

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Arcimboldo_Librarian_Stokholm

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Arcimboldowater

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Giuseppe_Arcimboldo_-_La_Primavera_-_Google_Art_Project

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Now, let’s take a step closer for a better look, and see just what you were actually seeing.

Giuseppe_Arcimboldo_-_The_Waiter_-_WGA0835

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Giuseppe_Arcimboldo_Fire_Kunsthistorisches_Museum

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Arcimboldowater

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Arcimboldo,_Giuseppe_~_Autumn,_1573,_oil_on_canvas,_Musée_du_Louvre,_Paris

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Arcimboldo_Air_(copy)

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Arcimboldo_Earth

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Arcimboldo_Winter_1563

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Giuseppe_Arcimboldo_-_Summer_-_Google_Art_Project

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To my  mind Giuseppe Arcimmbolo presents the masterful ability in encouraging the human brain to do what it does best: make sense out of chaos. And what style, technique and courage he shows through the sheer force of his painting. There’s a simple beautiful, savage, timeless truth about it all. And best of all most of it is going on inside the viewer’s own head.

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Let’s begin with water.

Ice Sculpture

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You’ll have to let me know just what your mind makes of the following images.

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Ice Sculpture

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Ice Sculpture

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Ice Sculpture

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Ice Palace Late January 2013

The Ice Palace

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Pirate and his Loyal Monkey  (2)

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Pirate and his Loyal Monkey Enlarged

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Garden Tour 2013 11 27 Thanksgiving Eve

Limestone

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The Ice Palace Gargoyles

The Snowgoyles

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Garden Tour 2013 11 27 Thanksgiving Eve

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Colorado Yule Marble

Dreadnought, The Maiden Collection  / SN12 08 07 / 27 x 5.5 x 9.25 inch / 36.6 lbs / @ martincooney.com

 

Dreadnought

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'Pilgrim Ghosts Through The Sculpture Garden'

Pilgrim

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The Belle

The Belle

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Venus de Mermaid, The Maiden Collection

Venus de Mermaid

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'Mystique Masque', 1314 Winter Collection

Mystique Masque

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Terrible Lizard, Colorado Yule Marble@ martincooney.com

 Terrible Lizzard

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Troy, The Maiden Collection @ martincooney.com

Troy

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Catwalk, Maypole right, Oblique Perspective left.

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I aim to ignite ideas in the mind’s eye of each viewer, rather than present images served up on a platter. For each of us is equipped with an abundance of imagination, and each will draw our own unique conclusions as to exactly what it is they are seeing. I’m always fascinated by just what appears to people within the framework of my sculpture.

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'Catwalk'. 'Wolf Man Jack', The Sculpture Garden, Woody Creek CO

Cat Walk, Wolf Man Jack

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Thanks for stopping by. I do know that it’s a mighty busy world out there, and so I appreciate the time you spend visiting martincooney.com.

I hope you enjoyed your time and that in some small way I am able to spark a fire in your belly for the visual arts, particularly of course Curvilinear Reductionist Direct Sculpture.

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Cheers !

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I realize artist bios are conventionally written in the third person but I simply cannot bring myself to do it. As this is my blog, and not a gallery, I feel it more appropriate to use my own voice when writing, and just as it would be odd if I referred to myself in the third person when in conversation, I simply feel more at ease writing my bio using my own voice; it is after all me writing this, not a third person. I hope you will understand and appreciate the reasoning for my decision. Cheers! Martin

 Martin

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Green Man Solar Fountain @ martincooney.com

Green Man

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