The illusory paintings of Sergi Cadenas

Sergi Cadenas is a Spanish painter who has become particularly popular through social networks. Indeed, the artist’s works have gone viral on Instagram, captivating millions of users. 
Currently, his paintings can be found in Switzerland, at the Porrentruy Optical Art Museum and in private collections around the world.

Sergi Cadenas – Credits: Billieken

Cadenas is a self-taught artist, but undoubtedly the training as a metalworker in his family’s foundry in Spain influenced his technique.  
In an interview for Home & Decor, the artist describes his pictorial design as minimalist, with an air of 1900s modernism. 

He uses kinetic optics, painting vertical strips of paint paste on a canvas. Once the paste has dried, he paints the two sides differently, using oil paints.
The result is an extremely detailed three-dimensional painting, so much so that it almost looks like a photograph. The protagonist appears to be a single person at first glance, but it isn’t: looking at the painting from right to left, the subject changes. 


In this way, he  deals with the theme of duality of life and death, the transience of youth and the dichotomy of emotions by painting the different details of the human face in one and in the other condition. 

Sergi Cadenas – Credits: Cultura inquieta

On a single canvas, he thus reproduces, a child turning into an elderly gentleman, or the change of mood of a woman. 
He also creates intersections between completely different figures, for instance painting Marilyn Monroe turning into Albert Einstein.  

Yet another interesting detail of Sergi Cadenas’ works concerns the title: no work has one. 
This stems from a specific vision of the artist, whereby he does not want to influence the viewer but wants to leave everyone free to look at the painting in its own way. No feeling is thus denied or questioned.