Myron Stephens’ work engages the viewer with the trompe l’oeil puzzle of, “is it real or paint?” while communicating lighthearted messages that can uplift the spirit, if just for a moment. Stephens’ execution of trompe l’oeil “trick-the-eye” techniques involve extremely realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects are three-dimensional, instead of actually being a two-dimensional painting. Stephens art has real appeal; it is simultaneously funny, edgy and smart. The ideas Stephens conveys within each piece are positive messages, learned from his own personal experiences and shared with the viewer through his work. When it comes to inspirations for his work, ideas develop from the artist in his studio, conversations with his wife and friends, and even conversations at work. The themes of his work shift from relationships and friendships to playful innuendo, while holding onto a sense of nostalgia, by including images of chalkboards, binder paper, and a childlike text to catapult the viewer back to a simpler time. This work, “Hidden Treasures,” allows us to take a look at the simple things that may be right in front of us and beckon to be appreciated. The Monarch Butterfly, the corner of a sheet of binder paper, and a piece of tape come together to create an enigmatic puzzle of message and imagery.