Visual challenges and optical illusions are an excellent way to challenge your eyesight and your critical thinking ability. But the painting below, which is attributed to Mexican painter Octavio Ocampo, will make your head spin.
After thousands have viewed this spectacular image, titled “The General’s Family,” only about 10 percent of all people were able to spot all nine hidden faces in it. Are you one of the best? Can you see every face in this illusion? Try it out now!
The reason we have fun with optical illusions is because these images trick our brains into getting stuck on certain details. Because our brains our overstimulated every moment of our lives, just think of the immense amount of information coming at you through your senses every moment, our brains learn to tune out unuseful or routine information and search for novel or important data instead.
The reason our brain does this is because it wants us to be able to function in the world. It makes generalizations about what we see in order to quickly process the abundance of information. If every time we saw a car while crossing the street and our brain had to go through the cognitive process of recognizing what it is, we would get hit before we realized what was speeding toward us.
This famous illusion does this to trick our brains. Because the painting features what appears to be the sun setting beyond a stone archway while a man and a woman stand in front of it, we naturally blend the pieces of the puzzle together to make a coherent judgement about what we see. But as you look more closely, you’ll begin to notice a number of hidden faces throughout the painting.
Sometimes this image is misattributed to the famous Spanish surrealist, Salvador Dali. But as mentioned above, the true artist and creator was Octavio Ocampo.
The Mexican painter describes his work as being “metamorphic” in style. Within the larger picture, Ocampo often hides images that appeal to the deeper symbolic nature of his artwork.
His spectacular artwork has earned him world-wide recognition and fame. The artist was even commission by the Mexican government to create a unique portrait of President Jimmy Carter as a sign of Mexico’s goodwill.
Ocampo attended the School of Painting and Sculpture of the National Fine Art Institute in San Francisco. The 73-year-old artist who was born in 1943 grew up in a family of designers.
Besides his paintings and sculptures, Ocampo also pursued a film and theater career. But in 1976, he decided to devote himself to fine art. His artwork is featured in galleries around the world.
Besides the portrait of Jimmy Carter, he has also created portraits of Jane Fonda, Cher, Cesar Chavez, Jesus Christ, John Lennon, and Marilyn Monroe among others.
But back to “The General’s Family” optical illusion. How many faces did you find?
There are 9 in the image. You’ll find four in the upper left corner, one in the upper right corner, and four in the center of the painting.
How did you do? If you found six, you are average. Seven means you’re above average. But finding eight or nine means you’re among the best in the world.
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