Victor Vasarely

April 9, 1906
On this date, the father and leader of the op art was born.
French abstract painter, sculptor and graphic designer, Victor Vasarely was the master of optical illusion.
His pictures give powerful optical effects and illusions. He also experimented with Kinetic art and tapestry.
He was influenced by numerous artists including Sandor Bortnyik, Wassily Kandinsky [one of my very favorite artists] and Auguste Herbin.
Zèbres (Zebras) oil on canvas, 1932-1942
Semiha 1979, serigraph
Red Blue
Planetary Folklore
Toll from the Permutations Series
Quasar 1965
On a note… no computers back then!


Of course, being also a musician myself, I have to mention his connection with Bowie.
The original LP cover artwork of his 1969 album [David Bowie, David Bowie, re-released in 1972 as Space Oddity] showed a portrait of Bowie by British photographer Vernon Dewhurst exposed on top of a work by Vasarely.
Vernon Dewhust holding the LP cover in front of Vasarely art
So here’s a song from this album:


David Bowie

Cygnet Committee

David Bowie [aka Space Oddity] 1969


And I want to believe
In the madness that calls ‘Now’
And I want to believe
That a light’s shining through

And I want to believe
And you want to believe
And we want to believe
And we want to live
I want to live

Victor & David


Be Safe 🏡

26 replies »

  1. Wonderful post!
    I LOVE the Zebras!
    Happy Easter!

  2. That’s really cool. I didn’t know about him so much or his connection with Bowie. But I don’t like looking at those optical illusion images. I’ve have enuf ‘paradigm shifts’ to deal with for one person. Tricking the brain just uh, I don’t know, doesn’t sit easily with me. 😀

    • Well… you should try seeing those with astigmatism [that’s me]! 😂 Still, I like his work and what makes it even more amazing is -as I mention- no computer! All done by hand. As a designer who’s started off with paper mockups and rapidograph artwork where the slightest ink blotch ruins ALL the artwork[!], I can tell you these are admirable! 😉

      • I understand… it’s no surprise he and bowie hit it off… db too was doing stuff analog – the long way – before digitalia… (there’s some song in the album Diamond Dogs, in particular.. (I’d refresh my memory but am just waking up with my coffee!). 😴 And I guess we could say “ch ch ch changes” forshadows the now overused tech of digital sampling… 😌

  3. These are phenomenal, Marina! Thanks for introducing me to a ‘new’ artist. I was introduced to op art in 1968 in a beginner’s art class and still am blown away by the precision and effect. BTW Kandinsky, though different, is one of my favorites too. When the Centre Pompidou Kandinsky exhibit visited the Milwaukee Art Museum—designed by Santiago Calatrava and a piece of art in itself—I was fortunate enough to visit three times 🙂 It was a spiritual experience.

  4. Vasarely’s work is really wonderful. Speaking of album covers, I have a friend who’s a retired photographer who got his start photographing album covers during the 60s and 70s in Los Angeles. He has a lot of great stories from those days.

Happy to hear your thoughts

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