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Erik Johansson's optical illusion photographs will boggle your mind

Published 10/04/2015

'The Architect' by Eric Johansson: 'The dicipline of paradoxal geometry, imagine the unimaginable'
'The Architect' by Eric Johansson: 'The dicipline of paradoxal geometry, imagine the unimaginable'
'Set Them Free' by Erik Johansson: 'Do the right thing, set them free!'
Downside of the Upside 'Downside of the Upside' by Eric Johansson, 2009
'World Cup/Kaffeslump' by Erik Johansson
'The Cover-Up' by Erik Johansson
Perspective squarecase
'Self-actualisation' by Erik Johansson: 'It was shot in mid October 2011 just before the winter arrived. In short he was shot in front of a white canvas in all natural light with Swedish V?rnen as a backdrop. I could have done the painting in Photoshop but wanted to keep it as realistic as possible so I did it by hand and shot the canvas from the same angle about a week later.'
'Roadworker's Coffee Break' by Erik Johansson, 2009
'Reverse Opposites' by Eric Johansson, 2012
Lazy dog
'Landfall' by Erik Johansson: 'True green power'
'Impossible Escape' by Erik Johansson, 2010
'Go Your Own Road' by Eric Johansson, 2008
'Face vs. Fist' by Erik Johansson, 2009
'Endless Reflections' by Erik Johansson: 'No reflections, no regrets, endless void'
'Common Sense Crossing' by Eric Johansson, 2010
'Cut and Fold' by Eric Johansson: 'Cut along the dotted line'

Swedish photographer Erik Johansson is seemingly on a mission to blow our minds with his captivating optical illusions.

Based in Berlin, he is also a skilled retoucher, which enables him to turn his ambitious ideas into logically surreal projects that look like real photographs.

Johansson will often use hundreds of different original images to make one picture with the help of digital alteration software Adobe Photoshop.

His interest in art began aged 15, inspired by his painter grandmother, and he soon began “playing around with photos and creating something you couldn’t capture with the camera” on a computer.

“It was a great way of learning, learning by trying,” Johansson writes on his website, adding that he only began viewing photography as his profession years later.

“I had a lot of ideas that I wanted to realise and I saw it as problem-solving trying to make it as realistic as possible.”

Johansson cites his childhood in the Swedish countryside as a key inspiration for his work, along with famous artists such as Salvador Dali, Rene Magritte and Jacek Yerka.

“It’s a lot about looking at the world from a different perspective,” he says, describing his style as “surreal ideas realised in a realistic way with a touch of humour”.

Source: Independent

See more of Erik Johansson’s work at

Further reading

Erik Johansson: The art of manipulation

Online Editors

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