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Optical Illusion Selfies

Trompe-l'oeils for profile pic generation: launching the ecstatic surface designers' new overlay for fantasy play

The Dutch artists Pinar & Viola’s practice is concerned with radical surface and new totalitarian decadence. Under this Blog, they report on the emerging digital folklore from the wilds of the net. 

In this special post they launch their new project, Optical Illusion Selfies, which you can jump in and shoot yourself with here. 

While getting inspired by the streets of the internet, we digitally craft overloaded visual surfaces that explore the latest desires and sensations. One of our inspirations is the contemporary crowd and their craving for fun and distraction. A few of our recent projects relate to the stirring online terrain of self-portraiture

We made The Panda Show, a playful webcam application which enables the user to make self-portraits with a panda mask. Actually, our first webcam device is the Go Bunny that played a leading role in the music video we made for Diplo

Today we launch Pinar&Viola's Overlays, a work we did in collaboration with OKFocus. We made a special edition set of webcam filters as part of Overlayer

Our Overlays are inspired by trompe-l'oeil, a classical painting technique that creates optical illusions. Trompe-l'oeils were popular among Baroque artists. The paintings deceived the viewer's senses while the artists playfully explored the boundaries between image and reality on their canvas. As Pinar&Viola, our canvas is the internet and the web shows that, today the boundaries of image and reality, the actual and the virtual, are blurred away. 

A special section of internet's images are results of everyday digital gestures like a self-portrait, in netspeak labeled as a 'selfie'. These self-aware selfies are our daily optical illusions that deceive the senses of our Facebook friends. Our profile pictures reveal, as much as they hide, our persona. Our tromple-l'oeil webcam Overlays are digitally crafted devotions of these carefully constructed acts of self-design. These illusionary sceneries are heavily inspired by digital folklore imagery like desktop wallpapers, GIF animations and fantasy web art.

Make your own Optical Illusion Selfies and turn into a bright blue waterfall, a swamp oracle, a sadomasochistic fire spitting demon and more. Pinar&Viola's transformative pixels are only one click away.

Optical Illusion Selfies, are available on