What is Reverse Perspective?

Reverse perspective is an art term with a specific, distorted meaning in perception. Objects in the background are portrayed larger than objects in the front of the image. Lines of perspective are essentially reversed. Here’s a video that explains it beautifully:

In my book, I use “reverse perspective” more as a way of looking at the world–or a mystery. Distorting or exploding the background brings out clues, yes, but it can also affect whatever’s happening in front of it. The background becomes more than setting, it becomes an interactive element of the story. A great metaphor for that is the art of Patrick Hughes as described by the artist himself:

Love watching the people bop around his paintings about halfway through.

2 thoughts on “What is Reverse Perspective?

  1. Quandra, the concept is just fascinating and I enjoy Hughes’ work so much. In mystery, however, the part I love most is the way it applies to crime. I’m sorry I just noticed your note. Thanks for writing!

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