Creativity, innovation itself, depends on the desire to explore, the quest for new insights. Such is Julian's experience, and it is most certainly revealed through his artwork. Before he began composing artistic pieces, his primary interest lay in the fields of science and mathematics. He began creating pieces with his sketchbook cover, Duality, and since then has endeavored to express mathematical and geometrical insights through the medium of art. Indeed, it is this very mission that has driven him to produce such pieces as Symmetrical Asymmetry and Book and Ring, two works that emphasize the appearances of symmetry in nature. It is indeed this latter piece that represented the greatest creative challenge for Julian, in that he tried to meld the stable, tactile nature of physical reality with the unstable nature of the watercolor medium. In completing this piece, however, he felt great pride in his work, and held a better grasp of the process of artistic expression. Once he completed this piece, he truly understood creativity.
Duality, Mixed Media
The application of color was a central component of the piece. Without the subtle gradients of color across the Calabi-Yau manifold, its identity as such would not, at all, be apparent. The contours of the shape, and their depiction upon the flat surface of the paper, rests upon color. Color lifts the higher-dimensional aspects of the world from a lower-dimensional surface.
On The Plain, Zentangle
I used value to emphasize crucial aspects of the piece, particularly the head and forearm of the dog. Rather than employing the traditional method that emphasizes the entire subject, by darkening the background, I darkened the subject itself, thereby making the African wild dog appear to exist at a distance. The sense of motion, of the animal turning its neck, is effected through the application of lighter value, against the darker value of the background.
Book and Ring, Watercolor
Texture was a crucial element of the piece, and I employed various techniques to harness texture as a factor to unite solidity and fluidity. For instance, I used the stamping method to impress solid shapes upon the fluid background of the painting, adding detail to the background and uniting a solid, but roughly shapen, artifact with a uniform, but fluid, space. Scraping also added essential texture to the book, indicating its nature as such by portraying distinct pages of the volume.
Symmetry and Asymmetry, Stamped Ink Composition
When composing the stamp, and the stamped form, of paramount consideration was the underlying background which would serve to emphasize the artistic message. Thin paper, heavier paper, and rough paper produced different atmospheres and different feels to the background. As much important as the visual statement is the tactile sensation of the piece, and in addition to varying the colors of the background paper according to a pattern to balance against the stamp's black ink, I also employed a balance of rough, smooth, and "fragile," thin textures.
Polyhedral Recursion, Stamped Ink Solid Form
Color was the most critical element I used in composing Polyhedral Recursion. Indeed, the title itself refers to the nested nature of the various geometrical forms induced by the variance of color. By using colored paper, and placing the ink upon the colored paper, I was able to effect such geometrical repetition of form (namely, the identical nature of the form of the ink stamp), while avoiding the unfortunate visual effect of repetition. Color was critical to the statement of the piece.
Entropy, Bas Relief
The single most important artistic technique was the avoidance of pattern; that is, in a sense, the introduction of randomness. It is this concept which is closest to the scientific notion of entropy, the inherent disorder within all physical systems. By demonstrating the appearance of this entropy, by avoiding any clear pattern in the composition of colors, I thereby established the central artistic statement. This piece shows the devolution of systems from order to entropy, the second law of thermodynamics.
Real and Imaginary, Mola
The most important artistic element I used was color. I left most of the piece a clay color, therefore drawing attention to the particular mathematical and geometrical components which were focused through color. I used a recursive structure, utilizing the central figure to provide the main symmetries between the different colors. Thus, I used blue, yellow, and green respectively on each side of the central figure, and on the satellite circles I applied cyclically related colors, and thusly for the second-order satellites, inducing a notion of "ad infinitum" progression. I used darker colors towards the edges and lighter colors towards the middle, emphasizing this notion.
Euler' Number, Silkscreen
The medium of the piece, ink printing/stencil, constrained the visual statement greatly. I was compelled to consider a mathematical formula, Euler's Theorem that links the great constants of mathematics in a single equation. A mathematical formula offered a natural choice as subject, as its simplicity, compared for example to some other form of image, naturally lends itself to the printing process, yet the visual statement can carry much profound meaning. Euler's Theorem lies at the root of much of the natural world, for which reason I gave the formula a very "fuzzy" instantiation upon the shirt. I tried to show the theorem appearing from randomness and disorder, by applying a number of disordered "blobs" of ink above and around the formula, which serve to solidify into the formula at the center. For example, the "0" was fragmented at the edge, to illustrate the emergence of order from disorder. The use of stencil to cut the images allowed me to effect this artistic choice.
Infinite Recursion, Mandala
The medium of the piece, Mandala with watercolor, greatly informed the visual statement. Because of the format through which I applied the watercolor, namely concentric circles, I was compelled to apply a radial design. This radial symmetry was thus fundamental to the piece in its entirety. Furthermore, the use of watercolor encouraged a "meditative" approach, so to speak, to producing the piece.
An Ode to Bashar, stop-motion video
The most important art principle I employed was symmetry. I wanted to emphasize how both belligerents were unnecessarily prolonging the conflict. Thus I constructed the stage to focus on their similarities. Therefore, I placed Assad directly opposite from his foes, on other sides of the backdrop. I manipulated both Assad and his enemies with my hands, showing how both are manipulated through foreign intervention. I placed the stage directly front-and-center relative to the camera to create an aesthetic visual symmetry
Teacher Reviewing my Artwork