The gentleman in the above photograph is either trying to be the world’s most convincing illusionist or else the entire image is a photographer’s opportunity that has spun completely out of control. Is the subject attempting to mislead us to assume that he’s steering a bicycle by holding onto handlebars that aren’t physically attached to his unicycle? Is the actual photographer trying to seduce us into believing that the model has lost almost half of his bicycle? Or are we supposed to be so distracted by his complete nudity in a residential neighborhood that we overlook the fact that his handlebars aren’t even attached to his transport?
The gentleman below is showing us a little apprehension before he rides his unicycle. I’ve tried to ride a unicycle numerous times in my own life and appreciate his reluctance before mounting his device. A unicycle isn’t the easiest contraption to pedal and balance at the same time and the first attempt is somewhat disconcerting and intimidating.
One thing that I do know from experience is that it should not even be considered without a helmet and other protective gear (elbows, knees, etc).
However, the above photo, while demonstrating a cautious reluctance to mount his unicycle, doesn’t really give us the complete picture. It does, after all, present us with both the man and his wheel. It never allows us to see the gentleman actually riding his cycle. For all we know, he just might be a very accomplished and skilled cycling enthusiast.
Sometimes, it’s what we don’t see that convinces us of what we think we do see. Hence the illusion component in the title.
There is a proverb that reminds us that every picture is worth 1,000 words. But what that same proverb fails to convey is that “every picture only tells a small part of the story.” We have to trust our vision to tell us what we see and at the same time, we have to trust our mind to tell us what remains unseen.
Occasionally, the unseen can be as inspiring and as intriguing as the actual art, itself!