Week 2: Mathematics and Art- Matt Kramer

This week we learned a lot about how math and art often collide and work with one another to produce great works.   We saw many examples in class of painters that incorporated geometry and algebra, among other types of math, in order to structure and create beautiful works of art.  We saw how proportionality plays a very large role in creating art, as a man and woman’s faces can be altered based on just changing a few proportional characteristics.  The YouTube video we watched showed an example of how this was true.  The video creator used a computer editing program to alter the proportions of celebrities’ eyebrows, chins, and hairline, and he was able to instantly transform a woman into a man.  This among other class examples, made me realize how an artist that attempts to accurately represent objects and people in their paintings needs to have superior knowledge of mathematics and proportional ratios to succeed.  

Leonardo Da Vinci was a master at utilizing and math in order to better his works.  



Both of these works incorporate the use of the golden ratio, which is indeed one of the most pivotal and amazing discoveries in both mathematics and art.  The Mona Lisa, which is this three dimensional work by Da Vinci, is regarded by many people to be one of the greatest works of all time.  The characteristics of her facial qualities and the brush strokes create a vivid painting that seems to look at you.  But what is more impressive is the accuracy of his portrayal of a woman, and one that seems vivid and alive.  It seems logical that math would be used to improve art but I would never have thought that so many artists would utilize it to its full benefit.  This relates to last weeks topic and discussions on how closely art and science are related, but that many choose to ignore the relation, or are simply unaware of it.  You would not normally think that painters, sculptors, and all different types of artists would use math and science in their works.  Similarily, as has been throughly discussed, our campus is polarized into two different sections, and you would not expect people to venture back and forth between the two, taking interest in both the arts and sciences.  

Now that people all over are aware of the correlations between math and art, it can contribute to a new[er] age of different art.  Art that uses math and the golden ratio and all types of proportionality can transform and develop in many ways in the future.  What is exciting to me, and I anticipate, is how art will in the future be able to really incorporate the “fourth dimension.”  It will be exciting to learn more about math and art in upcoming weeks.

By Matt Kramer

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