Dominick Talvacchio

Artist, Teacher, Word Puzzle Writer
Queens, New York, USA

In making visual art inspired by mathematical research or by a mathematical sensibility, I am less interested in illustrating particular mathematical results than I am in exploring the very nature of mathematical beauty. In these these works I endeavor to palpate—with quiet, minimal, meditative gestures—the mysterious body of mathematical thought, hoping to come close to what I call the "eros of mathematics": the beauty of mathematical pattern, its sensuous rigor, its austere charm, its status as part discovery, part invention—expressed through the phenomenology of sensory experience. I want to create works which breathe the beauty of mathematics, and which contain something of the paradox of losing oneself not in chaos but in order.

Alhambra Below
51 x 51 cm
Pencil on paper

Typically when creating a tessellation in the style of the ancient Islamic patterns, one discards or colors over the series of preliminary markings necessary to generate the tessellating shape. I've done a few works like this, where I leave in place the infrastructure "below" the intended design, and also allow what we consider the "final" pattern to fade at the edges. The effect is a kind of movement or breath between the support layer and the final layer, to collapse the distance between these, allow them to play with each other, adding a dimension which penetrates the surface, and which we experience as a kind of infinity different from, but related to, the infinite way in which the tessellation covers the plane.