Neues Palais. Acrylic on Canvas, 2012, 18 in x 24 in.
This is a painting I did after a trip to Germany. I was at DESY in nearby Zeuthen for a physics workshop, and afterwards I stayed a few days in Berlin. With the wonderful public transportation in Berlin it was easy to make my way over to Potsdam and explore the beautiful Sanssouci Park. I highly recommend making the day trip for anyone visiting Berlin.
This was one of my earlier paintings and after doing it I was able to get it displayed in a small gallery on the upper west side in New York. The gallery held an annual contest in which any piece displayed over the previous year was eligible and this one gained second place in the realism category. This was the first and only time one of my paintings won an award, but it was also the last time I submitted one into a contest.
CMS: BRIL. 2013, Acrylic on Canvas, 18 cm x 24 cm
When I was living in France I had a roommate who worked for the CMS experiment. He worked for the BRIL group, studying the beam radiation present near the detector. After seeing my paintings he told me about a design contest they were having for a group logo, and above is what I came up with. I should note that the group uses diamond technology to measure the beam radiation. In the end, I did not win. They told me that the inner tracking system of the detector was too prominent, and that it promoted their sub group instead of the BRIL group. I guess they have a good point, and I ended up with another painting to add to my collection, so I am not sore about losing.
San Francisco. Acrylic on Canvas, 2012, 9 in x 12 in.
This was a painting I did when I was learning to paint more quickly. Before I typically could take multiple sessions to paint one thing (and sometimes it was many many sessions) But this one I did in a day. I realized that it is all about making the brush strokes and moving forward. Hesitation can be such a roadblock, but it is also the easiest one to remove. Once you start removing hesitation you gain confidence and momentum.
I was recently talking with another grad student about inflation and it inspired this cartoon. It is kind of like the circle of life philosophy in the Lion King taken to a new level. Less than a second after the big bang when the geometry of space-time was still highly curved, these inflatons (excitations of the inflaton field) ate up all the curvature and decayed into the massive standard model particles we have today, leaving a nice flat universe. Because energy is conserved, we are all remnants of these crazy particles that existed so long ago.
Art in the 21st Century
As I start to make some art that relies on technology, I thought I would invite some discussion on the subject. Clearly computers make it easier to produce art, but is it less valuable because of this? Color mixing as an example takes so much time to learn, however on a computer it is a fluid process that isn’t limited by muddling up your palette. At the same time however, is a painter who buys tube paints instead of mixing the pigments themselves also unfairly taking advantage of technology? In the end I have one main criteria classifying what I enjoy in art, and that is response. If the work triggers a response, then I don’t think it matters how it was made. But, like I said I invite others opinions on this subject.
Amsterdam. 2012, Acrylic on Canvas, 9 in x 12 in
This was one of my earlier paintings. I did it in New England from a photo I had found of Amsterdam. I had previously visited Amsterdam and loved the city so much I wanted to do a painting, but none of the photographs I had taken were decent enough to paint from and so I found this one online. Visiting the Van Gogh museum while I was in town also inspired me to make my brushstrokes more impressionistically. Last year I visited Amsterdam again and I had a nice moment where I was walking somewhat aimlessly through the streets and I recognized the view as the one from my painting. Amsterdam is such a mystical city, and seeing my work of art functioning in reverse – moving from the realm of paint to the real instead of the typical other way around – just made it that much more mystic.
Freedom Tower. 2013, Acrylic on Canvas, 11 in x 14 in
Although I find myself more often painting townscapes from Europe, I do have a few American ones. I have never lived in New York, but spent a lot of my time there in recent years. During this time I gradually saw the rise of the Freedom Tower. I have always been fascinated by the way in which sky scrapers define a city. Seeing the birth of this one I am interested to watch it find its place in American culture.