Artist of the Week

OLEG SHUPLYAK: Mind-twisting, mind-blowing, breathtaking works of art

What do you see? Now take a step back. Do you see something different?

Oleg Shuplyak’s paintings capture more than what just meets the eye. For a living he designs buildings, but under his pseudonym Mr.Olik, Shuplyak creates paintings that are in a world of their own. 

With an architect’s eye for detail and structure, this artist’s optical illusions use strategically placed objects, colouring, and composition to project the faces of well-known people, such as the playwright Shakespeare and the naturalist Charles Darwin.  

In one instance, what appears to be a man staring into the distance and a young woman briskly walking by is also the face of the post-impressionist painter Van Gogh. In some of his creations you may realise that the famous face of an artist or historical figure immediately jumps out. In this case, through closer inspection you will recognise the other figures and part of the landscape of the second image. The way in which the artist additionally incorporates the style of the artist or the temperament of the figure he is exhibiting (for example Van Gogh’s thick layers of paint and bold, dramatic brushstrokes reflecting his inner emotions of stress and urgency) accentuates the ingenuity of his work.  

His intricate oil paintings are truly mind-blowing and are definitely exploring and taking inspiration from.  

Isabella VII