Imaginarium – By Oleg Shuplyak

Imaginarium – By Oleg Shuplyak

Art Galleries in Bangkok
Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre

Salvador Dali is one of my favourite painters, not only for his surrealism and imagination, but it’s so much fun to look at his paintings. Talk about tricking your mind – he definitely succeeds in doing that. Swans Reflecting Elephants is a classic optical illusion.

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Swans Reflecting Elephants – Salvador Dali/Source:

You’re looking at 3 swans on a lake, but their reflections turn into elephants – the clue is in the name! Look at it some more and you’ll suddenly realise that the tree trunks behind the swans are reflected as the elephants legs. Move your eyes away from the central focal point and see what else you can find. Can you see the man? The first time I saw this painting, I was blown away. The creativity and vision to be able to produce a piece like this is more than a little impressive.

I love Dali’s work, so imagine my excitement when I went to see an art exhibition at the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre a couple of weeks ago.

Let me introduce – Oleg Shuplyak – a very talented artist from Ukraine and his Bangkok exhibition – Imaginarium (great title, don’t you think?)

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Imaginarium by Oleg Shuplyak

Since 1991, Shuplyak has been showing his work at exhibitions across the world and he is a member of the National Union of Artists of Ukraine. I’d never heard of this artist before, but he’s definitely on my radar now.

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The reason I compare Shuplyak to Dali is because he (Shuplyak) is best known for his optical illusions – an element that Dali used in his paintings. His paintings are portraits of famous people with hidden images – the hidden elements are very Daliesque!

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Imagine – John Lennon

Every piece of work is very bright and colourful with so much detail and, of course, his trademark “painting within a painting.” Like with Dali’s paintings, the first time you look up close, you can see certain elements, but the more you look and widen your focus across the whole canvas, more things become apparent. People see things differently, and I couldn’t see the faces at first, but after stepping back they immediately popped out of the painting. Once your mind focuses on one thing, it’s difficult “not” to see it. That’s the beauty of this kind of art.

I found myself smiling more than once at this guy’s sheer brilliance. I scrutinised the faces and what was a mouth or an eye, turned out to be a bird or a house.

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I kept chuckling to myself too because as I was looking at the fine details and the paint strokes, I’d move my eyes to the right and I could suddenly see…. well what can you see? It’s really fascinating.

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Double portrait of Van Gogh

It really was fun to see his creations and to challenge myself in trying to find everything that was hidden. Just like Dali was, Oleg Shuplyak is a brilliant artist. Their work has been, and is, such an inspiration for other artists that follow. It was so pleasing just to be able to see this work and to appreciate the talent that has gone into creating such wonderful pieces.

It’s not only portraits he succeeds in hiding. This is one of my favourites!

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Birds of a Feather

For more Oleg Shuplyak paintings go to

24 Replies to “Imaginarium – By Oleg Shuplyak”

  1. Wow! What an amazing artist! I´ve never heard of him before but he´s definitely on my radar now as well!! Illusionists are fantastic, and Dalí´s one of my favorite artists. The power of his work is unrivaled – or at least it used to be. 😉 xx

  2. These are stunning! I think I’ve seen similar paintings in the past, but never found who is the author. Great imagination, such a talented painter!

  3. Beautiful artistic work! Oleg Shuplyak’s work is impressive. Thank you for making me discover this unknown artist to date by me. Dali, Van Gogh, Magritte and the Canadian artist Robert Gonsalves are also on my list of favorite optical illusion painters.

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