The greatest fakers in the art world arent forgers, wanna-bes, or even drones churning out 20 Mona Lisas a day for oil-painting stores. Theyre practitioners of trompe loeil. French for fool the eye, the art style was first used in ancient Greece, where landscape murals were so realistic that citizens would try to pick grapes off their painted vines. Arizonas trompe loeil tricksters work their magic in the Masters of Illusion: Unveiling the Mystery of Trompe L'oeil exhibit.
Its a modern take on trompe loeil, says TCA gallery coordinator Michelle Dock. Half of the works are just photorealistic, including sculptures and textiles. But that doesnt mean theyre any less deceptive. Dock says she often hears exhibit visitors laughing as they reach out to touch something that isnt real. So look all you want -- just dont pick the grapes.