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Knots and links are mathematical objects that can possess considerable esthetic appeal. Robert Fathauer has created a number of digital prints based on iterated (fractal) knots and links. To learn more about iterated knots, click here.

Human visual and temporal perception are both sources of inspiration for Robert Fathauer and find their way into several of his artworks. Optical illusion is a technique he employs to express his fascination with perception. In his illusion prints, he sometimes employs mirrors, computers screens, or windows to separate two different worlds.

In tessellation metamorphoses, there is often a figure/ground reversal that is a form of optical illusion. For example, in "Dragons Metamorphosis", the dragons are black at the left edge of the print, seen against a white background. At the right edge, white dragons are seen against a black background. In between, the role of background switches from one color to the other. The exact switching point depends partly on the direction from which the eye approaches.

In several of his prints, Robert Fathauer uses photographic rendering techniques to create apparent scenes that couldn't exist in the real world. Examples include the multiple drawing hands in "Drawing on Glide Reflection Symmetry", the branching fingers in "Fractus", and the fractal photograph and moulding in "Fractal Dentil Moulding".

Mirror images and distorted images can be intriguing and can challenge the way we see the world. Several of these digital prints use reflection or refraction of light, and a short movie is included here as well.

Ambiguity is another illusion technique Fathauer uses. Several of his fractal tessellations bear similarity to real-world objects like clouds, waves, and trees. In "Migration", the migrating birds at the top of the print can also be seen as clouds, while the migrating rays at the bottom of the print can also be seen as waves. Similarly, in "Fractal Fish - Grouped Groupers", the scene seen through the porthole can be interpreted either as a school of fish or as waves.

Click on the thumbnail images to see larger versions with descriptions.