Harmonic Decomposition of a Square
• Posters: "Harmonic Decomposition of a Square" signed print on semi-gloss 100 lb. cardstock.
• Giclées: Signed and numbered (series of 25) high quality archival print on canvas. Finished with a colorfast UV gloss varnish, stretched on 3/4" bars, and shipped with hanging hardware.
Flashback to 2009, when I embarked on a brief detour out of my obsession with freehand illustration and busted out the measuring tools to paint a few more formal geometric pieces inspired by the truly awesome book, The Beginner's Guide to Constructing the Universe, by mathematician and schoolteacher Michael S. Schneider. In it, he teaches readers how each number's symbolic and sacred significance was held by various cultures through history, including (and especially) occult raditions; the way these numbers appear in natural forms and systems (like orbital relationships and embryonic development); and how to use the geometer's tools (straightedge & compass) to create the shapes that resonate with numerals 1 - 10. It is, still, six years later, one of the most important books I think I've ever read, because, initiated into numbers, inspired by Pythagoras and alchemy and other freaky mysteries, I started to perceive and learn from patterns underlying nature and experience.
Then flash forward to 2010, when I finished this piece as a live painting for my friends, the exemplary band Papadosio, as well as in my residency as live painter for Wakarusa Music Festival (back before live painting was a crowded party, and discovering a person making art at concerts was a rare and special treat). Sometimes it's like that: a painting sits there for a year or two, abandoned or just "done," and suddenly makes sense, and in a flush of life and color reaches some fantastic new plateau.
This one, based on the "harmonic decomposition of a square" (in which a form is rotated 1/2 of the angle between its corners, shrunk to fit inside the first, repeat ad infinitum), delighted and surprised me as it grew... The form, the ritual, the structure, all bear ancient meaning, and convey a knowledge deeper than the conscious intellect. And this is why geometry-as-practice is so powerful: you learn through movement, repetition, contemplation, like a martial art, in ways that simply learning facts about a shape (or drawing automatically, which is a separate but equally important discipline) won't teach you.
Browse my art on leggings, iPhone cases, pillows, mugs, and many other items: