Cultivating a Faculty for Anthropomorphic Perception

Closely observe the artist's perception and expression

&    Read

The History of "Anthropomorphic Perception"

Below you may see four different versions of what the mind's eye sees on contemplating the image of Mona Lisa.

It is a type of perception applicable to any image that one may behold; a fact that is evident in my observations of alternate realities within other famous icons of Western Art.



Les Mystères Jocondais au code de Vinci




La Joconde



Anthropomorphic landscape with Giocondesque Topography


La Sanssourie



A Short History and Theory Of "Anthropomorphic Perception"

Leonardo da Vinci, in his Treatise on painting, suggested that the artist could enhance his creative faculties by throwing a sponge soaked in paint at a wall and, there in that stain, he could perceive whatever he wished to see. In the movie "The Da Vinci Code", Sir Leigh Teabing referred (probably erroneously) to this phenomenon as "scotoma"- the eye sees what it wants to see. Leonardo said that the artist could perceive therein, scenes of battles, landscapes, and in general whatever he wanted to see in the stain. He felt that the artist could then use those images that he saw in his mind's eye to create new images. This method of creating has proven to be an invaluable means of stimulating the imagination and therein create images hitherto unseen in the anals of art history.   

David G. Wilson has always been interested in art since childhood and credits his mother, Mrs. Leoma A. Wilson, (1911 - 2010) with the initial spark of inspiration for the style in which he now paints. While teaching his brother and him to read, she inadvertently ignited a sparks in his imagination and thereby his ability to perceive alternate realities within any image that he searched for them. She asked his brother to identify the map of Italy. Seeing that his late brother, Edward, was unable to answer, she then gave him an unforgettable hint: "Italy is kicking Sicily". This anthropomorphic depiction of a map was the kindling spark that lit Wilson’s visual punning faculties.          

That light-bulb observation was the genesis of his life-long quest to perceive alternate realities in whatever image that he beheld. This initial inspiration was further intensified by his childhood delight in the double entendre lyrics of his favorite Calypso singer, the Mighty Sparrow, the most popular calypso singer from the twin Caribbean islands, Trinidad and Tobago.     

Wilson's life-long predilection for double entendre and visual pun was further stimulated in 1980 on reading of Leonardo da Vinci's suggestions for creative inventions. It was the legitimate approval for his obsession of searching for hidden imagery and meaning in everything that he beheld. That the artist could further enhance his creative faculties by staring at stains on the wall and therein perceive whatever he wished to see has been Wilson’s modus operandi since then. It has been the critical statement of approval that reinforced the initial suggestion that his mother’s hint had provided.  Finally, on discovering the double image paintings of the famous surrealist painter, Salvador Dalí, Wilson instantly knew that that was the style he wanted to advance with the goal of transcending the accomplishments of Dalí in that genre.  

Wilson calls his style, "Anthropomorphic Perception: An exercise in Ultra-perceptive plausible strategic juxtaposition." He claims that he can perceive an alternate reality in whatever image he beholds. The alternate realities that he finds when he contemplates an image are strategically and plausibly juxtaposed commonplace objects that he calls "mnemonic objects”.They mimic the image that he is contemplating and they remind him of things from his personal history. The ubiquitous "hand of bananas" is not only a deferential reference to "the hand that fed me," he says, "my father," who worked with the banana industry in Dominica (his birth country) for seventeen of the artist’s formative years, but they also mimic the shape of human hands. By juxtaposing these objects in a stategic and plausible manner, as they appear in his paintings, he produces a traditional three dimensional illusion which in turn produces an added dimension as a result of the two dimensional reality of the canvas. This is the source of the alternate reality or parallel universe within his terrestial three dimensional space.

"Mnemonic images are hidden in the shadows and darker hues of an image. The viewer is advised to observe closely the outlines and contours of the shaded areas of every image. Conventional perception teaches us to view shadows as abstract shapes, but it is imperative that the observer perceive these shapes as representational instead of abstract and the hidden truths shall be revealed. 

Wilson says that his work also seeks to demonstrate the existence of a parallel universe that the viewer can train his eyes to see. He uses the two-dimensional nature of the canvas and the three dimensional illusion of traditional representational painting to fool the viewer’s eyes into perceiving co-existing and interdependent realities. This he seeks to demonstrate by revealing the plethora of plausibly juxtaposed objects that can be found in old master paintings, hitherto unseen by the untrained eyes or probably even the original creators of those images (except Leonardo). He has extended this technique of perception to show the hidden images that he has found in many an old master painting (based on this theory of perception). He has dewmonstrated this technique with works by Leonardo, Raphael, Vermeer, Manet, Matisse, Picasso, Velasquez, Ingres and many more. It is this delightful perceptive experience that Wilson wants to share with his audience, and wishes to teach the method of perceiving a parallel universe within our three dimensional mundane space.


Now Proceed To : Scrutinize the image of the Mona Lisa as thoroughly as Wilson did.