Amazing portraits created like magic tricks
Amazing portraits created like magic tricks

People often ask about the 'secret' to a magic effect, and one very good reason not to tell them is that they will very likely be disappointed. The answer is usually something you'd never think of, of course, but not always for exciting reasons! A lot of magic tricks exploit people's reluctance to imagine boring things. If the answer to an incredible effect is prosaic ("I bought a thousand of them on eBay") – or involves a huge amount of tedious effort ("I spend 10 years practicing it for hours every day) – no one wants to know. But it could well be the only way the effect is possible!

So I love seeing similar 'magic' in other art forms. I've seen a lot of portraits recently which use the "just spend bloody ages on it" method to create a magic effect. Here are some of my favourites...

These fascinating portraits were created by Alvaro Franca, who types up his favourite writers' faces with an old typewriter, in tribute to them.


I love how they steadily emerge from the typewriter, peeping over it more and more until they're free!

Meanwhile UK artist Joe Blackmakes portraits out of thousands of tiny objects. Here's his Elvis, made of tiny cows:

And my favourite, a soldier – of soldiers...