Artist Creates Photorealistic Works That Can Fool Anyone's Brain


To put it simply: Howard Lee's photorealistic works are mind-boggling. Upon first glance, you may think you're staring at a real pile of candy, an actual set of matches, or two delectable frozen ice pops. 

But look closer and you'll see you've been totally fooled.

In fact, in Lee's paintings, only some of the objects are real while others are drawn so realistically, they'll fool you once, twice, or even thrice. 


Take, for example, the below video, which appears to feature a collection of green and blue marbles. Yet hit play and they all roll away — except for one.

Did you spot it?

In this video, one of the Butterfinger bars is a fraud — but you can barely tell.

"What motivates me as an artist is the illusion or misdirection that occurs when viewing [photorealistic works]," Lee tells A Plus in an email. 

"Your brain receives information from your eyes and tells you that you're seeing something...only for you to find out that your brain was wrong! You were tricked into believing a reality that doesn't exist. In a way you have created the work yourself, through your interaction with it," Lee adds.

But such trickery is time-consuming. Lee tells A Plus that some of his paintings and drawings can take up to 20 hours to create — and that doesn't include making the videos for his interactive social feed. 

Lee tells A Plus that the feedback on his popular Instagram feed helps motivate his work. Howard has already built a large following. With nearly 20,000 followers, his posts can get thousands of likes and comments.

"On the whole though the overwhelming majority is simply people enjoying the work and telling their friends," Lee explains. "One comment that sticks in my mind said 'I keep watching this over and over...It actually calms me'."

And Lee has advice for other artists looking to develop their own aesthetic, too.

"Start by having ideas for creations that you think will be amazing. Make art because it genuinely impresses you as you stand back and admire it. As long as that is your motivation for creating your work, other people will love it too," Lee tells A Plus. 

Then, decide what you want to work on and do some research to see if it's been done before. "If you can't find it, it probably isn't out there!" Lee says.

Or, collaborate and share your work with other artists who have the same ideas. "The two of you will have a shared passion for something...which is nice too!"

For more of Lee's work, follow him on Instagram, YouTube and Facebook and be sure to check out his website.


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