Sandro del Prete
Love Poem of the Dolphins
This illustration incorporates a figure-ground perceptual reversal; it is also an
excellent example of one's perceptions begins primed through experience. If one is
young and innocent, one will most likely perceive a group of dolphins. Adults, on
the other hand, will probably see a couple locked in a suggestive embrace. If one
has trouble perceiving the dolphins, then simply reverse figure and ground: what
normally constitutes the ground (dark areas) then appears as a group of small
dolphins (the figures).
"This image was also displayed in an illusion exhibit gallery at the
Museum of Science in Boston. When asked if there was any
controversy about displaying this image, the curators replied that
once a group of nuns had objected, but were quickly silenced when
told that one's perception is based upon past experience."
(from Masters of Deception by Al Seckel).