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    I aimed to work with optical illusions, which lead to a doubling picture so that the viewer sees two different motives, depending on focus and di… Read More
    I aimed to work with optical illusions, which lead to a doubling picture so that the viewer sees two different motives, depending on focus and distance – An ambiguity of perspective and motive. Read Less
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The art of an Halloween Festival
Entering a supermarket in October, one realises that all shelves are stuffed with orange-coloured pumpkins and sweets shaped like ghosts.
At the end of the 90ies, the term ´Halloween´ was hardly part of the European vocabulary.
A masking fest, where humans frighten each other was almost unimaginable.

However, a mouldered castle ruin in middle of Germany, with the accurate name ´Castle Frankstein´ made the difference:
Every Year on the 31rst of October, busses, filled with masked American GI´s arrived and transformed the whole area in a scar-zone, in which people hunted for each other with plastic monster-masks.

This obscure happening quickly gained great attention and grew extremely. Nowadays, more than 20 000 people flood the Castle Frankenstein, every year to be hunted by monsters.
18 years ago, the organiser of this extraordinary festival, contacted me to ask whether I might be interested to create a poster, which reflects the hunting process of the monsters. This was new, challenging and consisted an unusual task to me, which made me even more curious.
For ten years, my partner and I developed motives of grotesque faces, which lead to obvious irritation and fascination in Germany during the late 90ies - hilarious fun for everybody.
Nevertheless, after ten years I realised that my motives started to resemble. I began to copy my own motives, which means the end of creativity for my job. The power of challenge was gone. In 2011 I thought about quitting, giving up the project…or to drastically renew the concept, so that a new desire and fascination could break through for everybody.
I confronted the organizer with my decision and idea for a new start. He accepted.

I aimed to work with optical illusions, which lead to a doubling picture so that the viewer sees two different motives, depending on focus and distance – An ambiguity of perspective and motive.
These tilt images should show either the Halloween monsters or the shape of a massive skull, depending on which part the eyes focus.
On the one side, the idea has it´s seeds in the old woodcut-technique from the middle age and on the other side in the organizer´s wish of easily recognizable and understandable posters. It is important to mention that the posters are mostly set on the highway – meaning that a distant effect is essential. This kind of effect has not been there at that time.

Inspiration from the Middle Age: Woodcuts, which worked as a model for the new series
Optical illusions open up the possibility to have a unique distant effect but also a highly detailed composition when the viewer comes closer.
First poster with scull-illusion (2010).
A supporting trick to see both of the images in the poster is to unsharp the own view.

However, this sounds easier than it was in the first place, I had to realise myself.
By aiming to create optical illusions, the human´s brain can only focus on one image, one perspective, not able to switch around easily.
This makes the whole developing process extremely difficult and demanding, but, as one can see now, it is our driving interest for it.


Not all layouts worked in their final realisation. Some illusions, which I imaged could not unfold their illusional potential as I planed them to do.
The skull of the pirate-motive from 2003, e.g., was hardly recognizable for anybody, a part from me.

Similarily, the teeth of the wolve from Brother Grimms´ tale “Rotkäppchen” didn´t stand out visually. However, even these failures are part of the process in working with optical illusions. Try and Error.
   
   
The current motive is inspired by the indunesian movie ´Mati suri“´ (2009), whose aesthetic evolves an impressive change of perspective with optical illusions.
Even after ten years of optical illusions, this project is still on of the most interesting and challenging projects that I love doing. 
More artworks of the first ten years of the Halloween-Festival on ´Castle Frankenstein´ can be found here:

https://www.behance.net/gallery/315895/ART-OF-HORROR


Festival-Page:
http://frankenstein-halloween.de/