Last week, I wrote about pushing the limits of science by thinking outside the box. In that sense, “thinking outside the box” is used quite figuratively to indicate how traditional thinking will not lead to new ideas, and constant innovation is necessary to achieve breakthroughs.
In this post, we will examine the same concept in the context of art. Art is also an ever evolving process. While all of the same principles apply to art as to science – in that new techniques and concepts lead to new styles and forms of art; in addition art has the luxury of showing this concept a bit more literally. An artist has the power to control the physical boundaries of his/her work.
About a week ago, I attended a local exhibit titled “Art Process and the Aesthetic Experience”. The premise of the exhibit was mixing the old and new. Classical works of art were depicted on electronic frames called Meurals. Next to them were the modern interpretations of local artists that were inspired by these paintings.
A few pieces caught my attention. The first was a tiny “Pup in a cup”. While the idea itself sounds a bit ludicrous, the little guy seemed to fit quite cozily in a porcelain teacup. The artist wrote about her mission of distilling down the minimal essential color combinations necessary for depicting golden surfaces in a painting. I think she achieved it quite well.
Interestingly, this artist also focused on the essential elements of framing a painting, so much so that she painted an empty picture frame on a panel without an image inside. This concept takes an approach that is opposite of “thinking outside the box” and enforces limits before the actual idea is born. It kind of reminds me of modeling in computational biology, where assumptions, limits and constraints need to be set before setting the key experiment in motion.
Just after I left the exhibit, I stopped by a nearby cafe for a quick bite. Coincidentally, as I sat down at the table, the following piece of art caught my attention. It was the opposite of what I have just seen at the exhibit – a painting with an unfinished frame. A piece of artwork that refused to be constrained by the limits enforced by society.
I went back home and could not wait to get back to work on my cell that was trying to escape from its frame. The one I have written about in many of my previous posts. Last week I finally got a chance to stay home for half a day and finish it! It was daytime, and the sun shone brightly into the windows of our new apartment, still not covered with curtains or blinds. I was able to catch some gorgeous shots of the work in progress.
Still, in spirit of thinking outside the box, the long delicate dendrites of this beauty were not confounded by its frame. They reached beyond it in all directions, finally breaking out of the limits once enforced on them by a confocal image frame. They showed that in the name of science and progress, creativity cannot be constrained.