Georges Rousse – Optical Illusions

georges20rousseSome photographers just go a very long way for a photo. One of those photographers is Georges Rousse. The Frenchman draws and paints on walls, wrecks, builds and cleans up the areas where he works. Because the goal is ultimately a picture I think it’s still safe to call him a photographer.

Rousse creates optical illusions. What he does is painting and drawing designs onto the interior of abandoned buildings in such a way that it is only possible to see those designs from a specific point in that space. Ofcourse this is the spot where Rousse sets up his camera. We call this type of work anamorphic because it changes when you change position. In some cases he physically cuts aways parts of the building.
In the beginning he mostly created geometric figures that seem to float in the space in which they were made. But it is too easy to conclude that this illusion is the only goal. In addition to that, his photographs are forcing you to look better to the interiors in which he has done all his work. Automatically you follow the lines that Rousse has made and you scan the space element for element. In a certain way this makes the spaces more real.

(click on continue reading for photos and a minidocumentary on Georges Rousse)

You become even more aware of the space in his later work because in the course of his career his technique improved and that gave him the opportunity to control the viewers’ eye better. Also his work has increasingly gotten more complex. The abstract geometric figures from the beginning of his career (especially the circle) are still a part of his work but now he also uses more figurative elements which are of course incredibly hard to make. With the help of volunteers and technicians the projects of Rousse got bigger and bigger. For example the Durham project which he finished recently. Over 200 volunteers helped.
You can check the project here:

Check out this 14-minute clip where George Rousse talks about his work himself.
You need the DIVX coded in order to play.
Download link:

Some examples of his work:


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  1. Dunja says:

    Very nice to hear him explain how he works on the videoclip. Really a great photographer!

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