It's the man on the moon, right? Keep looking. Okay -- whoa! -- now it's two lovers moving in for a kiss. Try another. This one? It's a bowl of fruit. Pick it up. Flip it over. Ah...now it's a guy in a helmet!
As design historian George Tscherny so readily shows in this endlessly engaging book, perception is a fragile and easily manipulated commodity. Changing Faces presents an idiosyncratic and humorous collection of paintings, drawings, cartoons, masks, toys, advertisements, and other works of ephemera that -- either by flipping or flopping or just plain staring -- somehow transform the human physiognomy. Here you will find optical illusions from the Renaissance, Enlightenment-era political cartoons, and Victorian toys that all start off as one thing and end up as another. Sometimes these mutations were made for fun (give magnetic hair to a bald man!) sometimes for profit (buy a Studebaker!), and sometimes to score a political point (watch a French king turn into a big fat pear!), but the results are always an intriguing pleasure to watch.
Not every book on our list promises an afternoon of pleasant diversion -- architecture is serious business -- but we're confident that after a few moments with this volume even the most jaded readers will -- forgive us! -- find their frowns turned upside down.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
George Tscherny is a design consultant for the School of Visual Arts and is principal of George Tscherny, Inc., a design firm in New York City. In 1997 he was inducted into the New York Arts Directors Hall of Fame.Review:
Entertaining collection of optical illusions on paper of the past. -- Inside Antiques, December 2004
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
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