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Today we are going to have look at the world of Op Art. We have looked at Pop Art in year 4, well Op Art came from the same time as pop art but it’s all to do with OPtical illusions.
Op art started in the late 1960s and still continues today. The founder of the style is Victor Vasarley. He just loved patterns, but he didn’t just love how the looked he also liked they way they make us feel.
Vasarely lived in a place in France called Gorges with lots of sunshine and square houses, so there were always lots of interesting shadows. This made him think of using interesting shadows and colour combinations and geometric repetition to create his artworks.
This is a very early work by Vasarely in 1937, he chose to paint two zebras and he fell in love with the way the stripes created intense patterns that make your eyes feel a bit strange.
Art isn’t just about what is looks like its about how it makes you feel. Sometimes an image might make us feel sad, or excited. But what if it made us feel something physical in our bodies, like being dizzy.
Bridget Riley is an Op Artist from England who makes paintings that do just that. When people see her paintings in a gallery, they will often tilt their heads, walk up close then far away to experience the painting physically.
Have a look at these artworks by Riley, she wanted it to feel like the curves of a sculpture. If you stare at it, it feels like its breathing.
Op Art influenced all sorts of things including fashion interior design. This is David Bowie wearing an Op art inspired jump suit! Pretty funky!
We are going to make our own piece of Op art, all you need is a piece of paper, a pencil and a felt tip pen.
First draw a very light out line around your hand and wrist, then starting at the bottom draw a straight line up to the outline of your hand then draw a gentle curve to the other side of your hand. Then continue a straight line to the far edge of the paper. Have a look at my example.
It doesn’t have to be perfect, don’t use a ruler, the imperfections make it more interesting.