Fractals are extraordinary complex geometric patterns where shapes and configurations infinitely repeat themselves. While fractals are a mathematical construct, they are found in nature. Examples include clouds, river networks, mountain ranges, craters, snow flakes,crystals, lightning, broccoli, systems of blood vessels and ocean waves. DNA and heartbeat can be analysed as fractals, and even coastlines may be loosely considered fractal in nature.
Needless to say that fractals have been a huge source of inspiration to many artists and designers. Cyberneticist Ron Eglash has suggested that fractal-like structures are prevalent in African art and architecture. Decalcomania, a technique involving pressing paint between two surfaces and pulling them apart, used by artists such as Max Ernst, can produce fractal-like patterns.
Fractal patterns have also been found in the paintings of American artist Jackson Pollock. While Pollock’s paintings appear to be composed of chaotic dripping and splattering, computer analysis has found fractal patterns in his work. Source: Wikipedia
Richard Rosenman has created a stunning set of experimental 3D fractals generated with various software applications for the technical and creative exploration of computer generated abstract mesh creation. Some examples:
I don’t know where exactly my fascination with trees comes from, but I know it has something to do with their shapes as it exceeds natural trees and includes tree-like things, such as electric pylons (see previous post). However, there are also trees that I find downright ugly, such as pine trees. And yes, the first has to yet enter my house during Christmas; instead I decorate leafless brown tree branches and put them in a large vase.
So within the huge variety of features trees come in, what are the common characteristics I’m so fond of? I’m afraid I can only be rather vague here…
Grounded creatures reaching for freedom? Impressive giants that connect earth and sky? Graphic – be it capricious or structured – shapes that make up a sky design? I guess all I know is that I’m not alone. Trees and tree-like shapes work for many people and artists. Brooks Shane Salzwedel, an LA-based artist who employs layered resin and mixed media to create depth and a delicate misty effect in his tree-ish works must be one of them.
Although I’m very positively affected by bright colours, dark, gloomy and moody colours attract me more. There seems to be something awfully ambiguous about their greyness infused with just a dash of colour. As if reflecting the somber beauty of life.
There is something about doors and windows. Besides the many varieties in appearances that intriguingly reflect different cultures and histories, there is something tremendously mysterious about them. They represent the border between the outside and the inside. Doors and windows are the barrier to a soul, yet always seem to reflect some of it. They seemingly let one catch a glimpse of a story, leaving the rest to be imagined.
Needless to say, one of my priorities when traveling is to search the streets for remarkable doors and windows. By now I have a quite a collection of photos and when this collection encompasses at least 1o different countries, I may even publish a photo book…
A thank you to the conservative republicans and catholic groups who protested against David Wojnarowicz’s AIDS related film “A Fire in my Belly”, which as a result was removed from the Hide & Seek show at the National Portrait Gallery. Without your efforts, this film would have not gotten the attention it deserves.
And much praise for Mike Blasenstein & Mike Iacovone for defending our freedom of speech/expression. Glad you have been released and hope you’re not too disappointed to never be allowed into the Smithsonian Institution facilities again.
This is the text of the flyer that was handed out by Blasenstein:
I am standing here with this iPad around my neck…
…because politicians and pressure groups don’t want you to see this work of art
…because this work’s detractors have every right to interpret it any way they want
…because so do you
…because I’m tired of people who know better caving in to the hysterics of the misinformed
…because the time our politicians waste vilifying a dead man is time they should be seizing to fix the problems of the living
…because I never believed that the same forces that marginalized this artist twenty years ago would try to silence him today
…because I was wrong
…because by marginalizing the work of the marginalized from an exhibition about marginalization, the censors themselves have provided the ultimate validation of the artist’s work
…because too many gay people—myself included—too often forget that any acceptance we enjoy today was paid for in blood, bruises, and unimaginable suffering by those who came before us
…because suffering is human
…because we are human
…because there are those who will stop at nothing to suppress that truth
…because I refuse to let them
…because silence still equals death.
[on other side]
A Fire In My Belly, 1987 (excerpt). David Wojnarowicz. Music by Diamanda Galás.
David Wojnarowicz created this video in 1987 as a tribute to his colleague and lover, Peter Hujar, who died of AIDS that same year. The video contains some grisly images: Mummified bodies, bloody icons, lips being sewn shut, and 11 seconds of ants crawling on a crucifix. These images represent Wojnarowicz’s feelings of isolation and marginalization as an openly gay man living with AIDS in the 80s — an era in which carriers of the virus were demonized. They are a memento mori, or a reminder of our mortality.
Yesterday wasn’t a good start of the week. It was as if my hands weren’t mine; as if someone else took over, which I guess ‘can’ lead to truly interesting results. In this case it didn’t. I was even prepared as I expected days like these to occur (hopefully not too often). Nevertheless, it infuriated me. And today, rather than bullying myself into “a must deliver day”, I decided to keep things simple and treat myself to a day of inspiration. So I searched the web for art, read the art magazines that are piling up beside my desk and tidied up various stacks of paper and mess on my desk. Now, the latter may not correspond with your idea of fun, but when in the right mood, I love it as I usually stumble upon one or two interesting things I had lost or even forgotten about.
So today I stumbled upon the results of an artist/related business skills competency test I took a couple of months ago and I didn’t score too badly. For those interested in taking the test, it is unfortunately only available in Dutch and can be found here.
I also found out – with the help of my photographer neighbour, Sonja van Driel – that I don’t need the wireless flashing device I purchased last week as my camera and flash can do the same without. Just saved 100 Euro.
But the best thing today was all the intriguing art I came across, which is regrettably too much to share in this one post. Therefore I’ll give you my favourite of the day.
The below piece by Laurent Koller was the runner-up at Saatchi’s online Showdown competition. Koller makes enticing black & white paintings that are fully in line with his favourite quote by Leonardo Da Vinci: ”Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication”. Would you like to see more of Koller’s work, click here.
Jessica Rankin is an Australian artist who currently lives and works in Germany. She explores language, imagery and the unconscious. Her early works are purely text-based and hand-embroidered on translucent panels of organdy. The below piece is a work of group exhibition “Your Sky”, which took place in 2005. Jessica Rankin at the ”Your sky” group exhibition
I love Maira Kalman. She is an illustrator, author and designer who seems to effortlessly construct a unique sense of humor and engagement by alternating between profound philosophical issues and everyday ordinary situations and items. Kalman speaks of her work as a form of journalism. She uses writing and drawing to render an ongoing account of the world as she sees it.
Although a couple of years have passed since her online column for the NYT, “The Principles of Uncertainty”, which ran from May 2006 to April 2007, it’s still a wonderful read. View her NYT blog or read the book.
Some of my favourites:From ‘The Principles of Uncertainty’ by Maira Kalman
From ‘The Principles of Uncertainty’ by Maira KalmanFrom ‘The Principles of Uncertainty’ by Maira KalmanFrom ‘The Principles of Uncertainty’ by Maira KalmanFrom ‘The Principles of Uncertainty’ by Maira Kalman