Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Math Is Beautiful

Primary Shapes by ~JeremyMallin on deviantArt
It has long been a tradition in art to celebrate the beauty, elegance, intricacies and simplicities of mathematics. My art is no different. I love abstract geometric art. I love viewing it and I love creating it. That’s not to say that I don’t appreciate and many different forms of art; but the geometric and the symmetric hold a special place in my heart.

Ingress Modified on deviantArt
I have always been one of those odd-ball artists with equal parts analytical and creative thinking. It’s been both amusing and frustrating to constantly confound professors trying to teach (and compartmentalize) students silly rubrics like the Myers-Briggs(Wiki) chart. To this day people still give me confused looks when I tell them I have a fine arts degree and an engineering degree. They always seem to be wondering if I’m an artist with an engineering degree or an engineer with an art degree. Why can’t it be both? Why does it have to be either?

Misfits on deviantArt
I’ve always believed that designing form and structure is both inherently artistic and inherently analytical by nature. Endeavors like furniture design and product design certainly prove that. To me there’s nothing more creative than the construction of form, volume and shape out of the space around us; and yet it can be a highly analytical endeavor too – sometimes even at the same time.

Bricks on deviantArt
A perfect illustration of this duality is my favorite children’s toy, Lego®. Each brick is based on a simple mathematical ratio that is repeated over-and-over not just from brick to brick, but within each brick itself. This intricate symmetry is beautiful and mathematical solution to an everyday design problem – and it’s wonderful. It’s worth drawing. It’s worth rendering. It’s worth celebrating.

Muse on deviantArt
Even in less obvious works of art artists have for centuries celebrated the mathematics of beauty. Classical Greek and Roman artists even viewed the beauty of the human form through the prism of mathematics, defining proportions in terms of Golden Means and ideal ratios that were connected throughout the body in a web of symmetric elegance. An excellent book, Geometry And The Visual Arts(Amazon), is one of many to explore the wonderful relationship of art and mathematics throughout art history.
P-Ball on deviantArt

So, the next time you hear someone suggest that math is boring or you feel yourself about to say it yourself, remember that both math and art are all around us and know that math is beautiful.

All of my original artwork shown here is posted for viewing and downloading at

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