About...

Fractal Art

My work is composed primarily of computer generated, mathematically-inspired, abstract images which powerfully reflect the beauty of mathematics that is often obscured by dry formulae and analyses.

The images are generated using fractals. Fractals are created by the repeated iteration of a simple formula using complex numbers (numbers that have two parts, corresponding to the 2 dimensions of a computer screen). These images are identifiable by a characteristic pattern that is repeated throughout the image at different scales. Fractals also have the property that, mathematically speaking, they have infinite detail. That is, you could zoom forever (or to the limit of your computer) into a fractal and never run out of structure. These features, repeating patterns and infinite detail, are why fractals are being used to model natural phenomena, and why I find them interesting.

Fractals, like photographs, depict objective realities that already exist. A computer is required to perform, at the direction of the artist, the necessary calculations that transform the fractal from its native form — a mathematical formula — into shapes we can see; but it has very little to do with aesthetics. Fractal art is not something that can be made by a computer alone, nor is it something that everyone with a computer can do well. Rather, the artistic value of a work of fractal art is inextricably linked with the artist's creative process — the thoughtful selection and manipulation of coloring algorithms and gradients, which give shape, color, lighting and texture to the fractal structure; compositional choices of zooming and cropping; and the merging of multiple layers of fractal elements together. It is this process that transforms an intriguing, but lifeless fractal shape into a finished work that expresses the artist's creative vision.

To create works of art from these individual fractal images, I combine them in a layering process, allowing colors and shapes to merge and interact in interesting ways. As I create, I envision each image as a collage of fractal layers — each contributing shape, color, light, shadow, and texture to the overall work.