Week 2: Math and Art by Jessica Amaya

                Math, for many people, represents a dark and mysterious world, where many sleepless nights are played out in order to find the proof of some theorem. They believe the people involved in such a world are dull and serious, or crazy even. However, when thinking of art, they imagine lively characters full of life and glee. How shocking it must be, for those who posse those thoughts, to find out that art and math are intertwined. 

                The truth of the matter is that mathematical shapes are found in the most beautiful flowers, that painters find so delicious to paint. The Golden Ratio, introduced in Tuesday’s lecture, also falls under both the math and art categories.  Everything can be broken down into shapes, which makes drawing, painting, sculpting, architecture and other forms of visual art possible. Of course having creativity to make those works is crucial but so is thinking of proofs to theorems.  In this day and age the division between math and art has grown but during the surrealist period (and many other modern art time periods) that division was much less solid.

                Non-Euclidean geometry opened a door for so many artist to explore their talents in different levels. One of the most well known artists that was affected by this new geometry was Salvador Dali. He was interesting in expression his thoughts through a new dimension, the fourth dimension, which was what the Non-Euclidean geometry offered. Math influence on painting did not start with this however. Perspective was a huge thing that revolutionized art and  how scenes were drawn. Although many artists today use perspective just as a technique and do not understand the math behind it, they can’t change the fact that they are still doing math unconsciously.

                There exist people, however, that do know that math is an essential, but not the only component, of art.  For example, there is Kenneth A. Huff who finds the mathematical shapes in nature to create prints and other visual art works. His works have a clean and intriguing beauty to them that draw the viewer in. 200512

There is an interesting proffessor in the University of Colorado who believes that math is very much art itself and that art can help explain and create an easier understanding of math. You can read about her, Carla Farsi, on the following link.


Similarly, there are courses that try to teach about art and math as one to get more people to see that math is hard, but it can be simplified with art. Such a course can be found in the following link.


There is a division between math and art, but I am sure that more people and more courses like the ones above will change that soon.

Beautiful math art

Beautiful math art



-Jessica Amaya

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