Featured Artist: Paul McGuire

Meet featured artist, Paul McGuire!paul1(edit)

His artwork will be on display through July 1 at our UT location, 2606 Guadalupe St, 78705 and at our Westlake location, 701 S. Capital of Texas Hwy, 78746 this November-December.

Paul has lived in Austin since 1994, moving to the Capital city on what he thought was going to be a temporary 2-year work assignment. More than 20 years later, he’s still loving life in the Heart of Texas.

Since the 1980’s Paul has been writing software for manufacturing process control of semiconductors (computer chips). After reading an article in the early 80’s about the digitally rendered Star Wars landscape, Paul starting experimenting with how to replicate it. Back then it was more of a programming exercise—the images weren’t much to look at due to the limitations of technology at the time.


Night Flare II

It was 6 years ago that Paul began experimenting with programming again to create larger images. Paul creates these images using a fractal mesh algorithm, hence the name, Fractallography Studio.

From his website: “One particular artistic algorithm I have returned to again and again is the fractal mesh, a process that takes an ordinary triangle, and repeatedly applies a random warp or deformation, breaking it into smaller triangles. Each successive generation further deforms the sub-triangles, and an overall 3-dimensional effect emerges.”

Sometimes it’s a random, chaotic process and sometimes it begins with a photograph. The images are printed using a method known as giclée, but instead of originating from an oil or acrylic painting, the images originate from a compute file. The prints are varnished and stretched onto canvas to complete the process. Each print is limited to editions of 12.


Time and Tide

Paul explains, “The way I write them [algorithms], you don’t get the spirals and repetitiveness—they’re more organic, like flowing water. People gravitate toward certain pieces that remind them of a place they’ve been.” Each of Paul’s works is created with a high degree of detail. Those who have purchased his works continue to discover new elements, even after owning a piece for a long period of time.

Their abstract nature allows observers to interpret the images using their own imagination. At art shows children will often compare Paul’s works to cloud formations. This makes naming the pieces somewhat difficult. In order not to steer observers toward any specific interpretation, he keeps the names fairly general.

When asked how, as a software developer, he became interested in making art, Paul explained that he comes from a family of artists. His brothers chose careers as writers, sculptors, and architects. His daughter studied voice, and his son has a talent for drawing.

When asked about his inspiration Paul said, “It comes from my love of mathematics. I’m fascinated by the whole notion of creating art with computers using very simple mathematics.” A year ago he started to branch out into fashion; creating scarves, ladies’ tank tops, phone cases, and other merchandise. He designed scarves for Austin Fashion Week and Design Lab featured his designs during a show at The Oasis. When Paul isn’t writing software for work or creating art for fun, he is relearning how to play the piano, specifically the ragtime genre.paul2(edit)

You can see more of Paul’s designs on his Facebook page and his artwork can be purchased via his online store and at our UT and Westlake locations. Questions for Paul? Email info@fractallography.com.

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