Perceptual Rivalry in Art

In this painting “Don Quixote” by Octavio Ocampo we see an ambiguous image with two or more distinct images in it.  Surrealist painters created images that decoded our perception of reality, and our unconscious thoughts.  We can either view the painting at first glance seeing the huge portrait of Don Quixote, or we can see the two horses behind the two soldiers sitting first. Our perception of the painting depends where our focus draws too first. There are hidden images in this painting such as the skull on the ground, and the face in the rainbow skyline, the windmill with the face behind it, and the soldier whose shield is in the image of a face. Perception is used often when viewing art using our sense of understanding and consciousness.



2 thoughts on “Perceptual Rivalry in Art

  1. I have to say this post is definitely very interesting. Like you said yourself you glance it once and see the portrait of Don Quixote or all the individual pieces that create the portrait.

    Did you notice the shield by the dog? It’s the chalice/the two face we saw in class earlier this week 🙂


  2. This picture is a great example of gestalt approach to visual perception and figure-ground organization! We tend to interpret stimulus by object and background, so by the first look, the figure does resemble Don Quixote. It’s really interesting to see how different segments are aggregated to form a whole.

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