Gianni A. Sarcone

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Gianni A. Sarcone
Gianni A. Sarcone.jpg
Born (1962-03-20) 20 March 1962 (age 53)
Vevey, Switzerland
Nationality Italian
Other names Giovanni Sarcone
Occupation Visual artist and writer
Known for Op art, optical illusions, visual creativity and recreational mathematics

Gianni A. Sarcone (born March 20, 1962) is a visual artist and an author of columns and articles for newspapers and magazines featuring visual puzzles and mathematical brain teasers. He is contributing editor to 'Focus Junior'[1] (Italy), 'Rivista Magia' (Italy), 'Alice & Bob / Bocconi University' (Italy), 'Brain Games' (USA), and 'Tangente Magazine'[2] (France). Sarcone is also a designer and a researcher with more than thirty years of experience in the fields of visual creativity, recreational mathematics and educational games.

Visual Research[edit]

Here are two relative size illusions described by Italian visual researcher Gianni A. Sarcone in 1997 and 2013.The first relative-size illusion called Sarcone’s Crosses contradicts Ebbinghaus illusion (aka Titchener Circles, 1898) and Obonai square illusion (1954).Sarcone's cross illusion consists of a cross (the test shape) surrounded by sets of squares of distinct size (the inducing shapes). As shown in the diagram, the three blue crosses in fig. 1.a, 1.b and 1.c are exactly the same size; however, the one on the left (fig. 1.a) appears larger. The illusion works even when the small squares completely occlude the blue cross (see fig. 1.c). In conclusion, there isn’t always correlation between the size of the surrounding shapes and the relative size perception of the test shape. In fig. 2.a and 2.b, by effect of assimilation, the diagonal red line within the large ellipse seems subjectively longer, but in fact the blue line is objectively the longest of both lines.

Considered a leading authority on visual perception by academic institutions, Sarcone was a juror[3] at the Third Annual "Best Illusion of the Year Contest" held in Sarasota, Florida (USA). His optical illusion projects 'Mask of Love'[4] and 'Autokinetic Illusion'[5] were named in the top 10 best optical illusions respectively in the 2011 and 2014 "Best Illusion of the Year Contests". Amongst other notable projects, he created and designed an “hypnoptical” [6] visual illusion that was used in the logo and institutional signage of 2014 Grec Festival of Barcelona,[7] a cultural event of importance that features avant-garde musical, dance and theater performances.

Educational Project[edit]

G. Sarcone has written and published several educational textbooks and illustrated books[8] in English, French and Italian on brain training and on the mechanism of vision. He is the founder of[9] a consulting network of experts specializing in improving and developing creativity - for which he has been commended with a long list of accolades and awards, including the Scientific American 2003 Sci/Tech Web Award[10] in MATHEMATICS and received recognition[11] in the U.S.A. from: CNN Headline News, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), and

Media and Broadcasting[edit]

Some of Sarcone’s artworks such as The Other Face of Paris[12] or Flashing Star[12] have gone viral on internet. His works were also presented in several national and international television programs, including 'Rai 3' Italy, 'RTL 9 Channel' France, 'TSR 1 Channel' Switzerland, and in the following TV series:

  • ‘Nippon Television Network’ / NTV (Japan): "Fukashigi" (2012).
  • ‘National Geographic Television’ (US): "Brain Games Science" (2014).
  • ‘Beyond Production’ PTY LTD (Australia): "Wild But True" – Season 1 (2014).


Recent published works (2014-15)[edit]

G. Sarcone is the author (and co-author) of the following books:

  • How to draw incredible optical illusions, Imagine Publishing, USA, 2015, ISBN 1623540607.
  • Xtreme Illusions 2, National Geographic Kids, USA, 2015, ISBN 978-1-4263-1974-7
  • Super Optical Illusions, Carlton Kids, UK, 2014, ISBN 1783120851
  • Hidden Picture Puzzles, Imagine Publishing, USA, 2014, ISBN 1623540380
  • Optical Illusions: An Eye-Popping Extravaganza of Visual Tricks, Dover Publications, USA, 2014, ISBN 0486493547
  • Impossible Colouring Book: Can You Colour These Amazing Visual Illusions?, Arcturus Publishing, UK, 2014, ISBN 178212182X
  • Make Your Own 3D Illusions - 3D illusions pack: All You Need to Build 50 Great Illusions, Carlton Books, UK, 2014, ISBN 1780974817
  • Impossible Folding Puzzles and Other Mathematical Paradoxes, Dover Publications, USA, 2014, ISBN 0486493512

Non-fiction books in other languages[edit]

  • Libro para colorear figuras imposibles, Editorial HISPANO EUROPEA, Spain, 2014, ISBN 8425521106
  • 3D Optiset Harhat,, Finland, 2014, ISBN 9789522209115
  • Incroyables Illusions d’Optique, Ça m’intéresse, France, 2014, ISBN 2810413274
  • 50 Illusions d’Optique 3D, Editions Ça m’intéresse, France, 2014, ISBN 2810412685
  • Illusions - Coloriage Créatif, Editions Bravo, Canada, 2014, ISBN 2896701729
  • Le Cabinet des Illusions d’Optique : 100 Illusions Stupéfiantes, Editions Fleurus, France, 2013, ISBN 2215147407
  • Удивительные оптические иллюзии (Amazing Visual Illusions), Art-Rodnik, Russian Federation, 2013, ISBN 978-5-4449-0048-2
  • Рисуем оптические иллюзии (Drawing Optical Illusions), Art-Rodnik, Russian Federation, 2013, ISBN 978-5-4449-0050-5
  • Kiehtovat Optiset Harhat, Kustannusosakeyhtiö Nemo, Finland, 2013, ISBN 978-952-240-195-3
  • Optische Illusionen, Ars Edition, Germany, 2013, ISBN 3760791301
  • Pliages, découpages et magie, Editions Pole, France, 2012, ISBN 2848841656
  • De wonderlijke wereld van de optische illusies, Deltas Centrale uitgeverij, The Netherlands, 2012, ISBN 9789044734164
  • Unglaubliche Optische Illusionen, Verlag an der Este, Germany, 2012, Artikel-Nr.: 019435
  • Spectaculaire Optische Illusies, Uitgeverij Atrium, The Netherlands, 2011, ISBN 9789059473607
  • L’étrange univers des illusions d’optique, Editions Fleurus, France, 2011, ISBN 978 2215 11012 5
  • Ilusiones Opticas, Circulo de Lectores Barcelona, Spain, 2010, ISBN 8467237414
  • Fantasticas ilusiones opticas, Editorial Libsa Sa, Spain, 2010, ISBN 8466221255
  • Optische Täuschungen, Bassermann F., Germany, 2009, ISBN 380942398X
  • Fantastische Optische Illusionen, Tosa Verlagsgesellschaft, Germany, 2008, ISBN 3850031926
  • FantaLogica, Edizioni La Meridiana, Italy, 2009, ISBN 8861530923
  • Neue Optische Illusionen, Weltbild, Germany, 2008, ISBN 3828952798
  • 阿基米德视幻觉游戏 (Archimedes' Visual Illusion Games), China Friendship Publishing Company, China, 2007, ISBN 9787505723467
  • 视幻觉 (Optical illusions), China Friendship Publishing Company, China, 2007, ISBN 9787505723047
  • Optische Illusionen, Weltbild, Germany, 2006, ISBN 3828921264
  • Niewe Optische Illusies, BZZTOH, The Netherlands, 2006, ISBN 9045304732
  • Nouvelles Illusions d’Optique, France Loisirs, France, 2006, ISBN 2744192368
  • MateMagica, Edizioni La Meridiana, Italy, 2005, ISBN 8889197560
  • L’Almanach du Mathématicien en herbe, Editions Archimède, France, 2002, ISBN 2844690254
  • La Couleur dans tous ses états, Editions Yva Peyret, France, 1995, ISBN 2-8308-0029-X


  1. ^ Il Club della Magia, Sarcone’s column in Focus Junior magazine (June 2014).
  2. ^ Illusions et trucages, Sarcone’s column in Tangente magazine (June 2013).
  3. ^ Previous Judges of Best Visual Illusion of the Year Contest.
  4. ^ Mask of Love, nominated top 10 Best Illusions of the Year 2011.
  5. ^ Autokinetic Illusion, nominated top 10 Best Illusions of the Year 2014.
  6. ^ "Hypnoptical" is a portmanteau word invented in 1999 by G. Sarcone that blends the words ‘hypnotical’ and ‘optical’ together.
  7. ^ Grec Festival 2014, presentation of the logo with the optical effect created by G. Sarcone.
  8. ^ Sarcone’s partial bibliography, in WorldCat catalog.
  9. ^ Archimedes’ Laboratory, is part Open Education Consortium.
  10. ^ 2003 Sci/Tech Award, for the communication of mathematics to the general public.
  11. ^ Accolades and awards that Archimedes Laboratory has received.
  12. ^ a b Viral Sarcone’s Other Face of Paris.

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