Lucky to be born with an innate talent to draw, I soon realized that this is less about the control of a pencil and more about the ability to observe. So observe I did, and found the world also has amongst other facets a mathematical dimension.
Bees, for instance, have a structural relationship with the number six via the hexagon. The basis of many of Escher’s illusions—for example the “impossible” triangle is a flattened Mobius strip, a unique single-sided, but three-dimensional, object that has some fascinating geometrical and structural properties. An ancient instruction manual on how to build a temple discovered in New Guinea uses the same geometry as the first Christian Church built in England at Glastonbury, a Sioux village and Stonehenge.
Renaissance paintings are often structured through subtle uses of the triangle. Three dimensions can most usefully be described by using a cube. Then there’s the geometry of perspective, number series, the golden section ratio, integral calculus and complex numbers. Combine this with traditional artistic disciplines—painting, drawing, printmaking, sculpture, color theory and some of the opportunities for optical phenomena explored by artists like Vasarely and Riley—mix in a little environmental psychology and computer science and we have the most fabulous palette available with which to create pictures.
I was fortunate to be born into the second half of the 20th century where the freedom to express visual thinking was established by some truly revolutionary artists, including Cézanne, Gauguin, van Gogh, Picasso, Braque, Lichtenstein, Rothko, Pollock and Escher. The influence of these observations, disciplines, knowledge and experience has allowed me to create images that ultimately and quite simply I adore. I try to create images that can appear to be three dimensional or kinetic or puzzling or disturbing or beautiful or mesmerizing or meditational or alluring—or any combination thereof or any other emotion I can bring to the party.
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email Chris Tucker
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