Bill Tavis

Austin, Texas USA

My artistic style is based on halftones. These are typically a pattern of dots used in printing, made as small as possible so that people think they are looking at smooth gradients. In my art, I scale the pattern up so that it becomes an integral part of the image. I have also extended the idea of halftones to much more complex patterns, most notably fractals. I find fractal geometry fascinating and as I learned more about them I wanted to put them to use in my halftone art. I developed the technology for fractal halftones myself and wrote my own software in c++ to accomplish it.

Portrait of Benoit Mandelbrot
Portrait of Benoit Mandelbrot
88 x 73 cm
mixed media

I have created a portrait of Benoit Mandelbrot, using the Mandelbrot set to draw him. I first navigated to a suitable location using a Mandelbrot set explorer that I coded. I rendered it using a smoothed iteration count. To use that for a halftone, I first filtered it in the Fourier Domain and then in the Gradient Domain. This alters the structure somewhat to allow for a better tonal illusion, without losing the complexity of the patterns. Contours are then run along the resulting gradient, which are then changed in thickness according to the tonal image, which was a grayscale picture of Mandelbrot that I painted by hand. This resulted in a black and white image which I then laser engraved into opaque plexiglass and spray painted.