Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Van Gogh's Mathematical Perfection

The following piece came over an EP listserve I belong to. I found it really interesting because it provides hints at how an unusual mind works. Apparently Vincent Van Gogh's swirling whirlpool stars in The Starry Night (and a few other pieces) fits a mathematical equation that defines perfect turbulence. Van Gogh possibly painted these patterns when he was mad, hallucinating, or otherwise different from himself than when he painted less chaotic pieces. The author of the following article also makes reference to Jackson Pollock, another artist who painted with a free spirit. His creations are said to capture fractal patterns. I think elements of such art vaguely resemble those made by some nonhuman apes. The physical forms that Van Gogh and Pollock created in their art may be the unconscious expression of a more animalistic mind, one unfettered by the structure of human consciousness.

Van Gogh painted perfect turbulence The disturbed artist intuited the deep forms of fluid flow.
by Philip Ball

Source: Nature

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