Clouds and Disappearing Elephants

Despite how our visual senses don’t always tell us the truth, they always seem quite trustworthy even when images are fictions, fakes, or misleads. Perhaps most of the time visual perceptions are reliable – and good artistic metaphors do lead towards important meanings and experiences. But when perceptions aren’t reliable, artists also gain ripe opportunity to use the techniques of art-making to take wild liberties with content and meaning in the same ways that magicians are able to use sleight-of-hand and other diversions to direct audience’s attention. Some artists have done so at great personal risk, putting their lives and reputations on the line. Others have simply relied on disappearing elephants, shimmering ghosts, and invisible gorillas to do their dirty work.