Marco Trevisan

Illustrator
Belluno, Italy
Usually I enjoy and love mathematics for its minimal aesthetics, its purity and perfect balance. I work as an illustrator and as a math teacher, and I find that the contamination (or should I say convolution?) between these two worlds is fun and fruitful. I use illustration to warm up a bit the "cold and austere beauty" of mathematics, and in return I find myself often taking away elements from my illustrations rather than adding more stuff, as if I were trying to simplify an algebraic expression. The two pieces I present for Bridges 2018 are my perspective on the work of two great mathematicians, Bernhard Riemann and Kurt Gödel.
Bernhard knew exactly where to find his favourite mushrooms.
48 x 36 cm
Digital media
2018
In mathematics it's often difficult to pictorially represent abstract ideas and deep results. Luckily the Riemann Hypothesis, even if its details are quite complex (pun intended), has a beautiful geometric interpretation, namely it states that the zeros of a peculiar function lay in a straight line. In our "real" woods, mushrooms grow sometimes in fairy rings; in his "complex" forest Riemann believes that his favourite mushrooms follow a straight line.
Herr Gödel had a vague sense of incompleteness.
48 x 36 cm
Digital media
2018
My understanding of Kurt Gödel's incompleteness theorems is, alas, highly incomplete. Nevertheless with this illustration I tried to catch a glimpse of this tragic figure, sitting under an axiomatic system, about to eat a theorem he just demonstrated (which I like to imagine is one of "his" theorems), knowing that he will never be able to prove all true statements within that system.